I was a little girl who saw myself reflected back from the TV screen, movie screen, and pages of magazines. And I do know how important that was for me. I remember having photos of women like Jennifer Love Hewitt and Britney Spears on my walls because they were brunette and I thought they kind of looked like me. I filled my room with cutouts of people that made me feel beautiful. Little girls of color deserve to have the same thing. And since they cannot just flip open any old magazine and find a dark-skinned woman with tight curls smiling back at them, they need to at least be able to flip open ‘a’ magazine and find that. They deserve a magazine filled with nothing but photos of women that look like they look, reinforcing the fact that they are beautiful, too. Beautiful does not just mean white and blond. It also means black, brown, curly, thin, fat, and every other variation under the sun. But you wouldn’t know that from taking a look at the media we consume in our culture.
This is an excerpt from her essay White Women Don’t Need To Be On The Covers of Any More Magazines, Okay? Britini is White. It’s in response to Jada Pinkett’s comment about having White women cover Black magazines like Essence. I tweeted and retweeted a lot of responses to this on my Twitter account for @GradientLair; many Black women (and some men) on Twitter felt hurt/angry by Jada Pinkett suggesting this. One of the tweets that I sent was a suggestion for a White intersectional feminist to speak out on Eurocentric beauty myths and media domination. She replied to me, and later posted the above-referenced essay, which I sent to Jada’s Twitter.
I love Jada; I don’t have Facebook so I don’t follow every post she makes, which usually are great, but I heard that the last few were troubling. I just posted something admiring her the other day. But this…just…NO.