Glossy Magazine Covers

08 June 2018 by Christina Barker

Glossy Covers

Source: Alamy Stock Photo by Afua Hirsch

Upon reading the above article it seems The Guardian have discovered that there were whole months last year when not a single BAME (Black, Asian, Minority or Ethnic) person featured on the cover of our best selling magazines. This seems a little concerning. Growing up, I, like the author of this article, also read magazines like ‘More’ and ‘Just Seventeen’ from a young age. At the time I didn’t even think about it not being relevant to other minorities. I guess I was the target market and possibly a little bit naive as we only take in information we see as youngsters.  I thought times had moved on since then and magazines are now catering for the wider minorities but I was saddened to hear about these shocking facts from The Guardian. Why are our magazines not putting BAME people on our covers? They say that they don’t seem to sell and that the editor has the final word. The article suggests a lot of other excuses but it’s just such a shame that the magazines are still aiming the majority of their magazine content towards White British people.

Is it because a lot of these popular magazines are UK based? There is such a diversity of people here now, so the magazines need to get with the times. I wonder if we were to visit somewhere like China if there would be magazines there that cater to white British people or if all their magazines have Chinese people on the front? If I went over to China to live I would like to think that there was a magazine which I would be able to read and enjoy to feel accepted in that country. One magazine should be able to be enjoyed by anyone in the world and printed in any language. There’s clearly a market out there for a magazine to cater for all backgrounds. Something needs to change! Let’s hope that is does soon.

Perhaps the magazines could learn a Snowflake model to introduce the diversity using stories, tales and arts. At Snowflake Books we do not discriminate against anyone. People of all ages and all races can read or at least enjoy the illustrations in our books. They are written in both English and Mandarin and tell tales of animal legends and stories so you are also learning about the Chinese culture. We are an organisation that has so far been supported largely by voluntary work and contributions from a team of authors, designers and artists both in the UK and from Taiwan. The team has been working very hard to promote our books because all the income from the books is invested back into funding our free workshops and events for schools, libraries and museums to introduce this lively Chinese culture to British children to know the true of meaning of 'diversity' and to experience early to be in the age of 'diversified society'. Even Snowflake Books employees come from around the globe! Some in the UK, where we are based and others from various parts of Taiwan. It is fantastic to learn about the differences between both cultures and learn their culture. I myself feel that I can now understand their ways better, whereas before, I just wouldn’t have bothered finding out as such and I think this is part of the problem. If the best selling magazines started showing models other than white British people, maybe we could all accept and respect each other a little more. We would be learning about how it might be difficult to style a black persons hair or how applying makeup on an Asian person might be different to how we apply makeup as white people. Hopefully, the magazine industry will catch up with the world soon and we will all be better connected.