E-Mails of the Day: Vanity Fair’s Lack of Diversity

DiversityInc's article "Baloney Meter: The World According to Vanity Fair: Thin. White. Female" about Vanity Fair's recent cover spread of young starlets-who were all white-spurred strong reactions from many of our readers. See what they had to say on the subject.

Also read: Vanity Fair, ad agency, EEOC, discrimination, advertising

DiversityInc’s article “Baloney Meter: The World According to Vanity Fair: Thin. White. Female.” about Vanity Fair‘s recent cover spread of young starlets—who were all white—spurred strong reactions from many of our readers. See what they had to say on the subject. Their edited comments are below.

Vanity Fair Cover
Is this cover a reflection of how the media is out of touch? Read CEO Luke Visconti’s latest Ask the White Guy column on the current state of mainstream media.

Read “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison. Stop using mainstream media as the standard for what is acceptable, what is right, what is good, what is just, what is honorable. Why should we expect anything more or different from mainstream popular culture, even if this is 2010? If you don’t like it, don’t buy, don’t watch, don’t subscribe, don’t patronize, don’t get bent out of shape over it … don’t give it the credence it seeks to attain. Better yet, create your own. Thank goodness for alternative publications and media.

I think we are making a mountain out of a molehill. Why is the race card played all the time? I feel there is nothing wrong with the article. Probably all the other actresses who were left out would feature in a subsequent article. Where’s the problem?­

I think that Vanity Fair is discriminating against women of color. I take this very offensively, because there were a lot of upcoming actresses of color. The excuse of having to shoot within a day … that is bull! If they really wanted, they could have reached out to many of the women of color that received nominations. They really need to do better in this day and time we are in. Women of color can sell magazines too.

The truth is … this is the America that not only sells … but that majority of “white” America believes in. It’s just time for people of color to truly wake up and realize that integration was a schematic way to get more your monetary resources, land, and energy. Until you truly seek to do for self and one another will you be satisfied … waiting around for VF or white America to glorify traditional African, Indian, Asian or Latino features is foolish.
—Jay M

The views expressed herein are solely those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DiversityInc.


  • I’m a woman of color and I don’t need “VF” to define or represent me ( they couldn’t if they tried or was even interested for that matter.) This is part of the “Goold Ole'” girl network. This is a white American magazine for the blonde blood eyed. So I would have to piggy back off Tony Morrison and say just don’t patronize. If a magazine doesn’t recognize people of color it’s there lost and we shouldn’t want to be associated with such anyway.

  • Vanity: something that is vain, valueless or useless; inflated pride in oneself or one’s appearance. Why make such a fuss over a magazine that glorifies all that meets this definition. I haven’t seen this issue because I have ignored Vanity Fair for years. Based on the description, I would probably take it as a compliment not to be included. The actresses of color mentioned have all struck me as strong, independent women who deserve better than Vanitly Fair.

  • It is no secret that mainstream fashion/health/beauty media makes it a point to minimize the beauty of People of Color. Boycotting can be a powerful tool and I support and recommend it 100%. These magazines are in full view at thousands of newsstands and stores across the country, and as I walk by with my pretty little black daughter, and she glances over at the many magazine covers that do not represent her or me in any positive way, I realise that it is I and the village that is raising her that must take the time to emphasize and teach the contributions of People of Color to this planet, not only in beauty, but intelligence, and spirit. Simply filling my home with non-white periodicals for my daughter to “see” is simply not enough. We must take the extra step of talking about what our children see in these magazines, discussing both the positives and the negatives and emphasizing that ALL cultures view beauty very differently. I am a firm supporter of the cliches beauty is only skin deep and in the eye of the beholder, so part of my instruction also has to do with the superficial approach to beauty that most magazines focus on and therefore have no place being in a home that celebrates people of substance.

  • Nicole Jackson

    I presonally feel that a particular magazine has the right to choose whom it wants to represent on its cover. I am a balck female and I have never purchased or even been interested in anything like vanity fair. However, that being said, people of color have magazines that cater to US, example, Essence, JET, Ebony…and so on. It is it fair to pass judgment on this magazine or magazines like it simply because it chooses to put info in betweens its covers that directly affects the people who choose to read it? The cover looks the way it does because the people who actually READ it look like that (so to speak). Just a thought. Isn’t this a form of “reverse racism”?

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