There was and still is a need for black women to be represented on the newsstands, both in magazines that target us and in mainstream magazines that embrace diversity. Though Essence Magazine caters to an audience of African-American women, many still champion the need for major magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair and Cosmopolitan Magazine to feature ladies of all races. Jada Pinkett-Smith believes that request of mainstream magazines presents a conundrum. Can we implore them to include us in their pages while we shut them out of magazines that are for us by us?

She writes:

Will there ever be a day in which women will be able to see each other beyond race, class, and culture?

There is a question I want to ask today. I’m asking this question in the spirit of thinking outside of the box in order to open doors to new possibilities. These possibilities may be realistic or unrealistic. I also want to make it clear that there is no finger pointing here. I pose this question with the hope that it opens a discussion about how we can build a community for women based upon us all taking a deeper interest in one another. An interest where skin color, culture, and social class does not create barriers in sharing the commonality of being… women. With love and respect to all parties involved, my question is this…if we ask our white sisters, who tend to be the guardians of the covers of mainstream magazines, to consider women of color to grace these covers, should we not offer the same consideration to white women to grace our covers? Should women extend their power to other women simply because they are women? To my women of color, I am clear we must have something of our own, but is it possible to share in the spirit in which we ask our white sisters to share with us? I don’t know the answer and would love to hear your thoughts.


On one side of the argument, it’s clear that women feel we need a space where black women are celebrated, uplifted and featured exclusively to combat all the other unfavorable images of us in the media. The counterargument is that black magazines that don’t feature women of other races are adding to the problem of segregation instead of moving toward the solution of diversity.

Where do you stand, Clutchettes?


  • Minnow

    No, Jada…No.

  • Keshia

    Umm no! Does Cosmo, vogue, vanity fair, and seventeen include black women? Ebony, essence, an jet were created for black women when white people discriminated against black people and their magazine did not cater to us (they still don’t) so no they should not. Even though essence is now white owned I wouldn’t really be surprised if they started, many if their articles are already questionable.

  • Blacmon

    Wait. So is Vogue finally admitting that it’s really there for White people?

  • Kay

    That’s like asking someone who has a few crumbs to share with someone who has a whole pie. Just sayin……

  • Fantastico

    What is there to share? Let’s be honest “mainstream media” is code for white media that superficially includes people of color.

    “Black media” was created in response to the overwhelming exclusion of more balanced representations of black men and women in the media.

    The hell is she talking about?

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    How many covers would Cosmopolitan have to feature black women on per year before it was decided that they were being inclusive? 1? 3? 5? 10?

  • Anon

    Jada Pickett reads as part of the mix race movement, and this whole pursuit of a UTOPIA, a one-race world. They talk color blindness, but what they really promote is socio-economic elitism and stealth eugenics, of which would include a low number of less, non-mixed and low socio-economic blacks (most of the population).

  • http://sapphiresandsisters.wordpress.com sapphiresandsisters

    Much respect, Jada, BUT….. BUMP THAT!

  • Simone L

    you know whats interesting about this example? Charlize Theron is a white South African, which would make her African American, because she has African roots but she is now American. With her, it would just boil down to her skin color. Hmm.

  • Nadell

    People magazine should be more inclusive with their appointing of the ‘most beautiful woman & man’ to select non-whites. Annually their selection reflects the exclusivity which gives the foundation for a Cosmo Latina and an Essence publication.
    I think Jada’s argument is legitimate …to a certain degree.
    The premise for magazines such as Essence, Ebony & Jet were to showcase black women and men because of the absence of their presence on magazine covers such as Vogue, VanityFair, Cosmo etc. These publications are just coming around to featuring non-white models, actresses etc.
    Would I purchase an Essence magazine if a white sister were on the cover? Depends. But I wouldn’t be so enthused to purchase it. However, the state in which Essence is currently in gives reason to believe that the tide is already turning in that direction. Some of the articles that are on the inside of the magazine makes me a little leary…

  • Ponder On It

    They don’t like this comment because it makes them think past skin color. Let me bump this comment back to 0 as opposed to -1.

    This is very thought-provoking and should even be an article on its own.

  • JRoc85

    Jada has definitely asked a question that is long overdue!!!!!!! However, in my opinion, White magazines should reach across the border even more & have more black women grace their covers, and not just Beyonce or Halle!!!!!!!!! How about Tika Sumpter, Brandy, Kerry Washington, Kelly Rowland, or Keisha Knight Pulliam (you know like Brown or Chocolate girls, not just Naomi Campbell)!!!!!!!! Thank God for Essence, Jet, & Ebony because they recognized their very own in a respectful & classy way when White Magazines DID NOT respect us!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.urbanexpressive.com J. Nicole of UrbanExpressive

    True, but most White South Africans were originally of German or Dutch ancestry, so some still claim or let you know their roots go back to Europe. I think its not only about skin color, since you could have someone like Padma Laskshmi (not sure if thats the correct spelling) who although is not Black, is about the same complexion & in some cases darker than some Black women, I’d still feel a sort of way with either woman on the cover.

    Those mags were created as an answer to mainstrem (white) media for not having images of us. Here we are decades removed and there still is no diversity. So we have to take on the role of “Magical Negro” and extend the olive branch? I don’t think its fair to do that.

  • Yb

    Real Africans do not claim that “Afrikaan” abominations. We do not want them. Never did. Never will. They are about of colonial rapists and thieves that overstayed an invitation they never received. Call those creatures African is a slap in the face.

    And people need to learn the definition of “African-American” before throwing it around so loosely.

  • Minnow

    Wanted to add..,

    It’s bad enough that Essence isn’t even black owned. A white owned magazine for black women with a white woman on the cover would be a HUGE slap in the face…as if we (black women) don’t get enough slaps in the face (by society) already.

    I shouldn’t be surprised that Jada would say this. She’s married to a man who went along with Hollywood casting a Latina actress in Hitch because they didn’t want to put off white audiences with showing a black couple.

    Article about it…

    Seems to me like the Smiths think it’s best to put white people and money above black people. Amazingly, Eddie Murphy didn’t need a Latina actress cast as his love interest in “Coming to America” back in the day. Jamie Fox didn’t need a Latina or white actress as his love interest in Django. People (white and black) came out in droves to see it. I didn’t see any white people running out of the theater asking for refunds when Kerry Washington appeared on the screen. Wow….amazing.

    I think that until Hollywood (and society in general) stops pretending that black women are bad for business or don’t exist, we need a magazine devoted to women of color. That means black women exclusively on the covers.

  • Yb

    Jada needs to continue reading from a script, because she has proven multiple times that she cannot think properly by herself.

    Smh Black women begging white women to be on their magazines so they can worship their even more. #endofdays

  • Simone L

    Yeah. I mean…believe it or not, I stopped looking to be represented in major publications. I don’t read Vogue; the closest we would come to being represented along with all women is Oprah’s magazine, and she makes sure she knows whose gonna be on the cover every month!! But yeah. people don’t like to think outside of the box.

  • dee

    Black women are already under-represented in main stream media already. Honestly it’s nice to see people who look like you doing great things when you open up a magazine.

  • Keshia

    Good point! That Scientology has the smiths confused I tell ya

  • http://www.beautyisdiverse.com Beauty Is Diverse

    How many more magazine covers do white women need to be on, they force their image on every magazine cover around the globe and they need to be featured on one more magazine in order to start diversifiy the others? That is the dumbest suggestion ever.

  • v

    Jada is part of the color is irrelevant movement. This is a fantasy many sisters seem to have but I’m forced to live in the real world where racism rules and color means a whole lot.

  • ChaCha1

    No. What purpose would it serve? How would it benefit us? We see white women and white representations of beauty everywhere. I can’t follow her on that one.

  • Minnow

    Simone L, it would be an issue because on the binding of the magazine, it says “ESSENCE Where Black Women Come First.” A woman’s nationality makes no difference. It’s supposed to be a magazine that celebrates the beauty of black women. White women have plenty of magazines, billboards, runways, movies, fairy tales, legends and men (of ALL races LOL) celebrating their beauty.

  • TajMarie

    A resounding No. I hate to say it. However, I think Jada has forgotten her roots. When Susan Taylor was the editor, Essence was a magazine that was more than about hair, clothes, and make-up, but those stories concerning the social issues of Black Women for the day. Now, after being sold to Time, the magazine is a former shell of itself (even though it has been going down before that) and is not worth 25 cents. Furthermore, we are still in an era where a person can be discriminated based on their name on a resume, denied a loan or held to higher standards of getting a loan due to race, and where Black Women are still fighting to get roles outside of being a maid or stereotypical hood rat — and yet Jada feels the need to pose the question of should “white women” be profiled on the cover of a black women magazine like Essence as if there is some type of equivalence.

    No disrespect. However, I would be more interested in her working towards become a producer or director so more Black Women Actors can have opportunities as opposed to peddling these articles. Though she is no Debbie Allen, I wish Jada could learn a thing or two from her.

  • tina

    if we ask our white sisters, who tend to be the guardians of the covers of mainstream magazines, to consider women of color to grace these covers, should we not offer the same consideration to white women to grace our covers?

    Women of all colors should cover “mainstream” magazines because we all make up the mainstream. Frankly, there are some things I don’t want to see covered from a “majority” perspective as it pertains to black women and that’s why black women need a special outlet. Does anyone really want to see Cosmo or Vogue try to talk about natural hair? We’ve already seen the trainwreck that ensues when some designers call themselves going ethnic, i.e., slave fashions.

    Jada lives in a world where green (& her husband’s fame) speaks louder than her black. Trust me, most of those folks schmoozing in her face on a daily basis would have no love for Jada P from B-more.

  • Moe

    Asking why are there no white women in black magazines is like asking why is there no white history month

  • Cia Bia

    Jada seems to just want us to THINK about a future where color/ethnic barriers are torn down and where we can commune together (in magazines, etc.) as women. I agree that so many of our experiences are similar because we are women living in a male dominated society and who share many of the same interests as women. I subscribe to Essence, Glamour and Ebody and so much is on make-up, hair, fashion, women’s health issues, dating/sex, etc. and a lot of the information is overlapping. I think it might be nice to have an issue, maybe a Mother’s day where Essence or Ebony celebrates a white mom with a black child. Like Charlize Therone, Sandra Bullock or Jillian Michaels. I think it is all just something to THINK about. Just THINK. It is unfortunate that this turns into a Jada/Smiths bashing session.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.l.spacek Jennifer L Spacek

    White women are not the ones thrusting their images on America. It’s the often gay, male designers from all over the world creating this image. I just want to point out that women should ban together no matter what race they are. Women were the last group to get any rights legally in the US. Women are still preyed upon heavily throughout the world. Instead of fighting amongst ourselves over who is prettier, or whatever the argument is, let’s just do as Jada says and extend the olive branch to each other and promote the beauty of being a woman in a male dominated world. I am sorry for all the terrible, horrific things that have been done by white people, but I PROMISE you this, it wasn’t me personally. I grew up poor, from an unwed teen mom, was abused in every way shape and form my whole life and I get so hurt that there is such a “reverse racism” trend in that now people of color hate those that lack it for no reason. Quit being jealous and hateful and celebrate beauty in everything because it is a gift from God.

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

    See, this is what happens when you pay attention to people who should be quiet. Last week Jada was talking about desperate women turning to each other for love and that was covered. When it should have been ignored. So now Jada thinks she has an important voice and we get this nonsense. Please just stop paying attention to her and she’ll go back to whatever she was doing, like raising her kids and producing marginally entertaining TV shows.

  • http://elegantblackwoman.blogspot.com Elegance

    I think that it’s in the best interest of Black celebrities, directors, and people with money to make things with mainstream appeal. If the mainstream is White then why aren’t Black people going after that money? It’s there for the taking! Spike Lee’s most financially successful film is Inside Man that had mainstream appeal because it wasn’t only seen by Black people, yet it employed 2 Black actors. Why can’t more Black people in Hollywood do more things like that to make money?

    Why doesn’t a Black producer start a mainstream magazine that just uses more Black people and multiculturalism than other “mainstream” magazines? The mainstream is where the money is, I don’t know why it is so hard for people to understand that! Start off mainstream and then use those riches and that popularity to make Black-oriented projects. Oprah is able to do that because she doesn’t only focus on a small Black audience. So not, Essence doesn’t have to have White women on the cover, but the next time a Black woman starts a magazine I suggest she try for something mainstream. White people have the money, go after it and slide in some things to positively change how they view Black people in at the same time. Go multicultural if you want to make the most money.

  • http://melodymoose.deviantart.com/ Catpopstar

    I think that its not a good idea. Unless the white magazines will also become diverse, it will just seem like the black magazines are getting absorbed into white media and disappear.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelley.johnson.75436 Kelley Johnson

    The dangerous chemicals in those cheek implants must be messing with Jada’s brain cells.

  • http://elegantblackwoman.blogspot.com Elegance

    The Smiths put money ahead of doing what’s good for Black people? Well that’s why they are rich and other Black celebrities are struggling. The Smith’s get with the program and just act like actors instead of “Black actors”. That is why Smith had the money and power to produce his own films and was able to produce a TV show, Hawthorne, starring a Black woman…his own wife! They are doing it right. He had so much mainstream appeal that he could do a film, The Pursuit of Happyness, about a Black man, and bring in big money for it instead of it only appealing to Black people.

    If you want to complain about the Smiths not putting Black people first I suggest you focus on the rappers instead who throw Black people under the bus on a daily basis and blame it on White producers who allegedly tell them to do so. Rappers only care about money and sell out all the time while Black folks support them. They are way more harmful than the Smiths.

  • http://defendingmoney.wordpress.com Marketing Gimmicks

    Oh Jada…

    I think that botchilsim in your face is starting to mess with your brain.

  • http://elegantblackwoman.blogspot.com Elegance

    Of course it’s only there for White people. Once Black people accept that and stop buying those magazines then they will be happier. Once Black people stop expecting these magazines to put racial harmony and diversity ahead of dollar signs then they will be happier. Stop expecting these magazines to do the right thing and get all political, they are just about the money and White people have more money.

  • No_chaser

    Possible to share? LOL? Why do I want to share when I haven’t even got my own slice of the pie? What’s next? Advertise caucasian skin tone makeup and hair products in Black mags? Feature spreads of the biggest non-black models? These celebs are completely out of touch with reality.

  • tina

    Your post made me think of a segment on the show The View where the person hawking the product was going on incessantly about how the product blended with all skin tones including darker skin tones. Whoopi looked at the product & told her that it absolutely did not blend with her darker skin tone. The woman quickly huffed that by darker she meant skin that tended towards olive and some Latina women. Even though she was hawking a product for “all skin tones” on a TV show with a darker skinned woman it still flew over her head that she needed to correct her pitch since her product was not really useful for all women.

  • ImJustSaying

    Your two examples of black couple casting were movies based on SLAVERY AND AFRICAN ROYALTY. Coming to America was written and produced by Eddie Murphy in conjunction with Paramount. Though Eddie has a taste for white women now i think he’s smart enough to know that in 1988 the Zamunda princess should be black. Quentin Tarintino originally wanted Will Smith as Django but he declined. (And I’m glad about that) Just a little perspective on your argument.
    In regards to Jada’s thoughts – I think she has a point I don’t want a pity cover during black history month from Vogue. To start small they could put “hair how-to’s” with multiple ethnicities instead of all white women. That is the section i always skip n every “white” magazine. On the flip side how about Essence or Ebony (who really needs help right now) show “the races working together” as cliche as that sounds. companies owned or started by black women/white women together. In 2013 we can’t keep saying INCLUDE US but we still get to EXCLUDE YOU.

  • Fancypants

    This may be a tangent but when people say we shouldn’t see color I think it is the stupidest statement ever. I mean, it does exist! We are different shades. Period. One time I was looking for someone in a room and the person describing them to me went all around the block giving vague descriptions. So I said “The white lady? Why didn’t you just say that.” And they accused me of being racist. No, I just narrowed down the possiblities. In a room full of black people and there is one white lady it would have saved me a ton of time if you would have just mentioned her color. It’s just stupid and it bugs me to no end. Okay, rant over :)

  • Pat

    I can’t support Jada on this one. We must learn how to uplift and love ourselves first. This is the purpose of Essence – to embrace ourselves. It is not an exclusion of others, but the appreciation of who we are. When you look at someone who resembles yourself in a glamorous form, it is a part of developing self-love. Remember, we haven’t always had this privilege. It is about loving our complexions, our diversity, our style and curves. Once we embrace all of our beauty, then we can invite others in. Society has already given them their glory. Allow us to continue to help each other develop ours.

  • http://gravatar.com/tashman2012 TT

    I think Django was successful because of Quentin Tarantino so it was seen as more mainstream rather than a “black movie”. I can’t believe that Essence isn’t even black owned. SMH. When was the last time you saw a woman of color of Cosmo or any other predominantly white magazines? Black and other women of color need their own magazines because they are largely ignored by the entertainment world.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Bingo! But…sighs…does anybody find it funny that when the diversity/inclusive argument are presented it is always brought to our front door when it WASN’T us practicing exclusivity towards others. As mention the reason magazine like Essence, Ebony, and even online black publications exist is catered to black women because we were lacking in mainstream *READ: White* media and still heavily under represented by our counterparts in these industries knowingly. Jada needs to stop with this pseudo-intellectual letters. Hell someone needs to ask her how many white magazine is knocking on her door to ask her to be on the cover…I’ll wait.

  • Erica

    Africa is a continent not a country, so no she would not be called African-American,but South African-American. Just like Iman and many other black women from the continent of Africa is not called African-American.

  • Misty_Moonsilver

    No! She’s lost it! That’s why we have magazines like Jet and Ebony and Essence. We are beautiful! Everywhere we look, the idea of beauty is presented to be a white woman! Little black girls need to know that they are beautiful and that beauty does NOT just mean white skin and blue eyes! UGH! Stupid Jada.

  • Keshia

    I’m with you on this whole I don’t see color nonsense lol it’s like yeah you do or else you wouldn’t even have brought color up. It’s nothing wrong with seeing color, it’s how you react to it when you see it.

  • Keshia

    I think this just goes to show how black people love to include other groups of people into “our” culture. It reminds of something my high school religion teacher said, she was white but was honestly was one of the few white people who kept it real with us. She said if a white woman walked into a room full of black women they would all welcome her and make her feel comfortable, but if it was in the reverse white women would not be welcoming at all. I truly believe that because I have experienced it.

  • LadyCoco

    She makes an INCREDIBLY valid point. that many people missed. we don’t want equality, clearly. We complain that there aren’t black characters in Girls. But its fine to have all black casts because thats fair. But of course black people won’t even entertain the idea of the hypocrisy. People like Jada, and myself, are thinking waaayy ahead. ACTUAL equality.

    we want our people in our magazines. and we want our people in YOUR magazines. but you can’t have any magazines with just your people. cuz thats racism. (do we see this logic?)
    instead shouldn’t the goal be: we want our people in your magazines therefore they can be OUR magazines and eliminate the need for magazines like Essence to exist

  • LadyCoco

    And this is exactly what Jada was trying to say. But of course the closed-minded have already shut it down without even the slightest bit of thought. We are all WOMEN. And as women we should be able to come together but we can’t because we aren’t represented enough in their magazines and they aren’t represented at all in ours and so we shall remain segregated due to stubbornness.

  • LadyCoco

    sigh, see, i was with you until you threw in the bullshit reverse racism thing. Thank God i read the whole thing before i upvoted it. there is no such thing has reverse racism. And black people don’t “hate those that lack it for no reason.” We do not hate white people. (well most of us don’t) We hate the way that the majority continues to pretend that equality has been achieved while simultaneously oppressing the minority.
    We hate Stop and Frisk, we hate that our name or our hair can determine whether or not we get a job regardless of our qualifications
    And I promise i’m really sorry about your trouble and your upbringing and i’m so glad you overcame it.
    But you have to understand that even with all of those things, you still have a privilege that I don’t have simply for being born a different shade. and we hate THAT.
    The privilege of not being followed in stores.
    The privilege of being able to be your own person. The difference between it is that when a black person robs a store, it reflects on the ENTIRE community. White women walk down the street wary of any and every black person they encounter
    When a small group of muslim extremists bomb a building all of a sudden ALL muslims are terrorists. THATS what you don’t seem to understand. we hate THAT

    so no, we are not “jealous and hateful” we are however, frustrated but hopeful

  • Keshia

    Thank you or how many big name white filmmakers are looking to cast her as their leading lady. Smh I swear since Hawthorne she’s had too much time on her hands.

  • MissSheba

    How would it benefit us? In the same way that them putting people of our complexion in their magazines would benefit them. Oh wait….

  • http://gravatar.com/hsm36 Whatever

    Exactly. Jada needs to have every seat that wasn’t filled for opening weekend of her last movie. How many white publications has she graced the cover of? The only covers I can remember her being on in the last decade were Essence covers. With the black publications we’re guaranteed a black face on the newsstands every month. Without them you would see Halle, Rihanna and Beyonce once a year and that’s about it.

  • Pissed Off

    O Rly? A lot of the information in mainstream magazines is overlapping? So explain to me and my “close-minded” brain how I’m going to use even a THIRD of the hair products that are being recommended. Perfect example, I have this month’s In Style Mag & they’re displaying a shampoo Kate Bosworth uses. I can’t use that ish! & let’s not delude ourselves about how natural hair care/showcases will be diminished to cater to this *eye roll* marginalized group of white women. Also, why is this always being brought upon black women’s shoulders? I don’t see anyone asking for Charlize to be on the cover of Latina or Asia Vogue?? Why do we continue to allow the gas lighting?

  • http://twitter.com/Tamstarz Tameka (BloggerPoet) (@Tamstarz)

    I think because there are more magazines that feature Caucasian women as opposed to ones that are dedicated to the black female experience, some people would say why should the mags that feature women of color break tradition and put a Caucasian woman on the cover? When we ask why, are we really saying we don’t want to challenge our comfortable status quo? Would it hurt? Are mags that feature women of color hurt by doing so? I guess what I’m saying is that I wouldn’t mind seeing other women on the cover of Essence if it meant more women of color would appear in other periodicals. http://www.venusblogs.com

  • Apple

    Maybe essence should include more than repeat actresses and singers. Maybe visual artist like fashion designers or interior design or popular painters or even political people or sports women other than Venus and Serena? Or give us back SUEDE! Now that was a magazine !

  • Purple Rain

    Interestingly enough, people do (mostly White people) ask that very question. It’s funny because every time I see that question posed, I don’t quite know how to respond O_o

  • Purple Rain


  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    True! I would also like to point out in how many white women buy Essence/Ebony or other black publications as they are? I see black women and other women of color buy other mainstream publications but I rarely see the opposite occur, it is okay for us to buy things that feature them on it but they can’t buy magazines and such with us on it because they feel excluded… *things that make you go hmmm…*

  • Pseudonym

    Ummm…Jada, don’t quit your day job bc I can tell you journalism is not gonna work out for you.

    These black women’s magazines exist solely bc whites kept us out and have continued to bar us from the covers of mainstream magazines. Without Essence, Ebony, Jet and even the tacky Sister2Sister, I would not see black women on covers and I think I get enough signs of my second-class citizenship in this country. So, now you want us to get rid of the only few magazines that showcase black women so that we will have no magazines with black women in them?…hate to be harsh but GTFOH.

  • Pseudonym

    Wrong. We can’t be bothered to make room in your magazines bc the whole reason we have this magazine is bc you won’t make room in your magazine for us.

    That’s like if you and I were to order a bunch of Chinese food and- when it arrives- I say, “Oh, no! You can’t have any of this! This is all for me!” So you, being hungry, call the restaurant and order a small beef and broccoli for yourself and hen it gets to the crib, I ask you to give me half of your beef an broccoli. Wouldn’t you look at me like I was crazy if I did that? Should you almost starve b I just have to have EVERYTHING for myself? No.

  • Allie

    First off LadyCoco, blacks can’t be racist because we are not in a position of power to systematically oppress anyone, so I think the term you’re looking for is prejudice not racist. Next you can’t talk about hypocrisy and prejudice of black people and black publications, when white people and white publications make it point to be exclusionary, especially to PoC, which is racism. This kind of hate goes beyond magazines but all forms of media where blacks and other marginalized groups can not voice themselves, and our being is distorted, and appropriated in the name of consumerism, which last time I check isn’t something white people have to go through.

  • ChaCha1

    I never said I was a part of the put-us-in-more-white-publications movement. However, “their” magazines weren’t created because of a lack of white models (while ours were originally created due to a lack of positive representations black people), so while they don’t “benefit” from black faces in their mags, it isn’t a slap in their faces. That are already the majority and are always seen almost everywhere, almost all the time, so where is their need to be included?

  • The Artist

    Ummm. I think I see Jada’s point…but we don’t actually live in a society of color blindness, especially when magazines fail to feature models of color due to their readership or racist attitudes toward beauty and race.

  • Sula

    Dear Jada Pinkett-Smith. Please find something to do.

    …somebody that you used to know

  • Dw

    Reason why black women are not on major magazine covers because it is run by whites. The famous black panther Hue said it best, he does not expect white media to portray any positive images of black people. Meaning, since these magazines are run by whites, why are black women expecting to be on these covers. The white man would never put another race of woman above the woman that can create white babies. Black women cannot produce white babies. Essence was founded by two black men, yes, the black men many of you black women love to throw shade at and say they ain’t ish, produced Essence magazine that features black women, it went to a black woman and the black woman lost it to a white man, now Essence is not even black owned. totally F’ed it up. The only people who are going to promote black women are black men and its like many of u women still do not understand that. smdh

  • Ms. Write

    Are you effin kidding me? Those mainstream magazines feature about one woman of color a year. I’m not in the business of begging to be acknowledged.

  • MissSheba

    its not all about “hair products.” Magazines have articles about LIFE too in case you didn’t notice. Articles about relationships, jobs, family, womens body issues like are you serious? Some of you act like we have NOTHING in common with white women and thats a problem in itself. The common experience of being a WOMAN. Of course we have different hair needs but you are closed minded to think that there isn’t anything shared between the races. Race is a social construct. We are PEOPLE before anything

  • LadyCoco

    I am FULLY aware that black people can’t be racist, i never said we could. I said we don’t like to point out the flaws in our own thinking. Hypocrisy. And I know the full deal with the discrepancy in media. BUT you aren’t understanding my point, which is inherently my point.
    We are marginalized, we are still segregated, we are underrepresented. But how are we going to fix that?
    Clearly something has to change because The current way ISN’T WORKING.
    Jada is proposing something to foster a new thought and theres nothing wrong with that. Working toward the goal which is for magazines to have ALL women represented, not just black girls and white girls but asian women and hispanic ladies and all of us despite our differences can recognize that we are women. and its about time we stopped warring with each other

  • LadyCoco

    and if we don’t like Jada’s plan thats fine. but at least she’s trying to think of something. so what’s a better solution. Its really easy to sit here and insult her and bash her and shut her ideas down without ever offering up an alternate solution.

  • Gina

    Seventeen does include black women occasionally. more so than vogue or cosmo ever did. And they even try to do ethnically/racially different hair and makeup how to’s. I think we also need to get more black women in positions of power and major publications

  • Afrostyling

    No she is not African. She is the descendant of colonialists. I don’t claim them and any true blood African with a lick of sense wont. Why do you think they call themselves Afrikaans? Charlize African my ass. Her roots are European. Please stop trying to remix African people.

  • Reluctant Geek Girl

    I disagree with putting a white woman on the cover of Essence (especially since the gross inequity in media has yet to be addressed). For decades, magazines such as Essence and Ebony have served as a safe space for black women to address our issues. Ergo, I am not comfortable with violating that sacred relationship.

    If Essence’s fan base wanted to read about a white entertainer, they could buy Cosmo (at least they’ll get useless sex tips too).

  • Allie

    Well you and Jada can have fun letting white people take over what little black people have in this country as far as media goes.

  • Taylor

    Her article did not say anything about begging or worshiping white women. I think you might be reading a little too much into this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nieshag Niesha Gourdine

    heck no jada!! why would you even say that out of your mouth?? whites are already on 98% percent of all magazine covers in America.. can we have 1 thing to ourselves please.. just 1!

  • Barbara

    Let’s end White racism first.

  • MommieDearest

    “Dear Jada Pinkett-Smith. Please find something to do.

    …somebody that you used to know”

    LOL!! Yes, Jada clearly has too much time on her hands…

  • Proud to be a WOMAN

    Here is a novel idea: How about a magazine that celebrates the powerful, awesome and beautiful thing it is to be a WOMAN. NOT a (insert your race of choice) woman. SIMPLY a woman. Could you imagine the articles addressing the state of women at large? Considering national and international issues that we as women face and how we can collectively support one another? how to be a voice for each other? Where simply being a woman is enough to grace the cover? Acknowledging disparities and coming up with effective solutions because we are all sitting at the same table, leaning in to hear the same conversation and standing up for each other? Probably not going to happen. WOMEN are powerful. We AS WOMEN should OWN that power and use that COLLECTIVE power to help other WOMEN who don’t have a voice. Like our sisters abroad facing prison for the ‘moral crime’ of rape. Like the 4.4 million women worldwide trapped in the sex trade. Like your neighbor caught in the destructive cycle of domestic violence. They NEED us. ALL of us.

  • M

    Black people at fault for segregation? I understand your “Theory” Jada, but at the end of the day, “White” magazines are not that friendly and open-minded with continual exposure of “African Americans” on their front cover. Because there is a “Black” president in office does not mean that the racial divide is over. It is far from over. Not only is the racial division taking place on the top magazine covers but, across the board when it comes to television broadcasting and communication. Keep “Hope Alive” Jada! The hearts of the people towards each other regardless of race; as a whole has a long way to go!

  • Sandra

    The problem is in the question she poses. She references “mainstream” magazines. Well, if they are “mainstream” then why is it that they have to be forced to have women of color represented on their covers? Are we not a part of the mainstream. That is why there is a need for magazines geared towards specific ethnicities. We can celebrate womanhood on may levels. It can be inclusive & exclusive without it being a matter of knocking other women. Besides, it’s not ONLY about the cover. It’s the content. When I see a magazine that has articles about the 100 sexiest in America & there may be 2 or 3 Black folk out of that 100 – I know that magazine is not me. So, note to Jada: when they not only consistently include our faces on their covers – but have articles to meet the needs of women in communities of color – then, and only then, should we think about this colorblind society that you apparently live in.

  • Sula

    Girl! Doesn’t she?!?! smh!

  • Sula

    Girl! Doesn’t she?!?! smdh

  • fran

    Jada is writing that nonsense because she realizes her children will probably all go ‘white’…spouses, etc.who cares what she has to say…MOVING ALONG….

    I have a question:

    Were Black magazines created ONLY because white mainstream mags wouldnt feature Blacks or were they created because Blacks wanted something of their own? I ask because I see this sentiment in alot of the responses and it is so sad and kinda pathetic if true.

  • Pingback: Jada Pinkett-Smith questions: ‘Should black women’s mags put white women on their covers?’ | theGrio

  • Gina Wild

    Chuch! This is the best comment so far. I wish more people could see things from this vantage point.

  • Gina Wild

    Is this a hate-Jada-Pinkett-Smith campaign for some of you or what? I can smell some undercurrent hate towards Jada. IMO, she’s making a valid point.

    And that I see some people denying that Charlize Theron is African, Well, Charlize is South African and South Africa is in Africa, so she is African. Even though she’s White, she’s African or White (South) African, if you will. And if she’s an American citizen now, well she actually is an… ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/eshowoman Friday Foster-ABWW (@eshowoman)

    She was born a white African. If she has become a U.S. citizen she will be a white American. See how simple that is?

  • http://twitter.com/eshowoman Friday Foster-ABWW (@eshowoman)

    Mainstream media is still owned by and made for whites. You would think that this wouldn’t escape Mrs. Smith since as black woman she was unable to keep her own TV show on the air! There are white women in the advertising in Essence every month. Have a hospital auditorium full of seats, Jada.

  • http://gravatar.com/designdiva40 paintgurl40

    I’m sorry but I was kind of done with Will Smith when he made a comment years ago about wanting a love interest in his movies that wasn’t a black woman. As far as Jada is concerned, the last movie I saw her in was “The Women”, in which she had a small role as a black lesbian in her circle of white friends…

  • veronica

    Jada…You are right to have a progressive mind on race relations…I agree with you that we should move forward…you are up against people who have not yet evolved to this level and so you are faced with resistance and opposition to your proposal…History has only moved forward by someone looking further than their nose. Keep up the good work in all the battles fought…you are my inspiration…

  • Anthony

    Awesome post, ABWW, but I tend to disagree. If the millions of black people that were born in America profess to be “african american”, I thnk a person born in Africa (an African) can remain as such….an African. Being from Africa or America or Italy or wherever has NOTHING to do with skin color….but only the fact that they were born within the borders of said country. So, Ms. Theron is atually and Africa-American moreso than the vast majrity of people that claim to be. My ancestors were all from Scoland, having moved to America in 1740. I therefore consider myself to be Scot-American (or Scottish-American). Nothing at all to do with race….but nationality.

  • Gina Wild

    Rapper Walé has Nigerian parents, and he was born and raised here and he’s a U.S citizen, and he’s an African-American.
    Charlize is a white African woman. So if she’s a US citizen, then she’s an African-American. She’s not Black American but she’s African-American, so he’s Barack Obama. Get used to it!

  • http://gravatar.com/missinformation7 Ms. Information

    Go to the grocery store….there are 20 magazines with white women on the cover…2 with black women (Essence and Oprah) and maybe Ebony if its not a man………….No Essence should not feature white women because every other magazine does….and we may have it better than Asian women, I dont see them on the cover of anything.

  • Pingback: Soapbox: Writings from The Frisky | Shanelle Matthews

Latest Stories

Why Oiling Your Scalp May Not Be Such A Bad Idea


Nigerian Officials Confirm Release of 44 Abducted School Girls


Watch: ‘Black People Mate’ a Parody About the Ridiculous Stats on Black Women & Dating


University President Under Fire for Wanting to Make School Less White In the Future

More in jada pinkett smith, magazines
On Women Loving Other Women as a Last Resort

Jada Pinkett-Smith on Domestic Violence: “Emotional Murder”