The Magazine Stand Is Looking Very Diverse These Days & It’s About Time

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This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

The Magazine Stand Is Looking Very Diverse These Days & It's About Time

I was eight years old when I fell in love with magazines. The glossy pages, slightly sticky and heavily scented perfume samples, and the supermodels in insanely decadent haute couture designs drew me in from the very start. But even as a kid, I noticed something missing: people who looked like me and the women in my life. Aside from Essence, I rarely saw women of color.

There’s always been a myth that brown faces don’t sell copies. Even if you’ve got a big, buzzy project out, all priority seems to go to the A-listers with the long, blonde or brown hair and fair skin. According to Fashionista, only 31.3% of 2017’s major magazine covers (including Allure, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and Elle) featured people of color. Which is progress from the late ’90s, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Thankfully, we’re happy to report that the tide is changing. It’s not uncommon to see natural hair, dark skin, and curvy bodies peering up at you from your local bookstore or the airport today. Each cover is hard proof that the industry’s standards of beauty are finally changing… which gives something for the next generation to look forward to. See July and August 2018’s brown and Black cover stars, ahead.

Jameela Jamil told the Vera staff that she didn’t want her pics Photoshopped… and she looks damn good, too. “Hi squishy legs and normal 32-year-old knees,” she captioned on Twitter.

Photo: Via @jameelajamilofficial.

“No perm in it,” Nikki Nelms, who styled Janelle Monáe’s hair, wrote.

Photo: Via @allure.

How does Janet Jackson manage to always look flawless?! Hopefully, she spills her secrets in her Essence cover story.

Photo: Via @essence.

Camila Cabello’s messy waves and glowy makeup are hotter than Havana.

Photo: Via @cosmopolitan.

Believe it or not, but Nicki Minaj’s hair was 59 inches long for her Elle shoot.

Photo: Via @elleusa.

Tracee Ellis Ross looks more and more like her mom each year — and who’d complain about that?!

Photo: Via @traceeellisross.

Boy, does Serena Williams know her way around a good curl.

Photo: Via @bazaaruk.

Danai Gurira looks insanely powerful on Women’s Health…

Photo: Via @danaigurira.

… and simultaneously graceful on her Ebony cover.

Photo: Via @danaigurira.

Winnie Harlow’s glittery liner and perfectly-matte red lip are what dreams are made of.

Photo: Via @graziauk.

Of course, Pharrell was the very best choice for L’Uomo Vogue ‘s relaunch.

Photo: Via @luomovogue.

“When you truly understand the humanness of queerness, there are no rules to this shit,” Kehlani said.

Photo: Via @papermagazine.

Hi, mom and dad.

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