Merry Christmas, Black Models, Wherever You Are

Intern Maria did the tireless work of looking for black models, Asian models and models of any color but white in the December issues of the major women's fashion magazines. She writes, "Surprise! There were no women of color in ANY fashion spread (not counting the 'shopping' sections, since spreads are what matters in terms of 'big time modeling'). The products I noticed did use a lot of non-celebrity women of color were mostly skin companies (Aveno, Olay, Johnson and Johnson) and lower price-point companies like Payless Shoes and I.N.C. However, there were also a lot of (non-celeb) Asian women in Rock and Republic and Lord and Taylor ads. Bigger corporate companies like The Gap also threw in a few black and Asian models/celebs into the mix." After the jump, see Maria's tallies for W, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Marie Claire, Allure, Glamour, Lucky, Elle and Cosmopolitan.



Maria says, "I counted 'ambiguous race' when I thought the women were intentionally meant to be 'ambiguously' black/asian/white or mixed race."


W
Total number of ads: 103
Total number of black women: 4 (1 was a celebrity, 1 Naomi)
Total number of Asian women: 4
Total number of women of ambiguous race: 1 (ad for KLS)

Total number of fashion spreads: 1
Total number of black women: 0
Total number of Asian women: 0
Total number of women of ambiguous race: 0

Harper's Bazaar
Total number of ads: 112
Total number of black women: 3 (2 were celebrities)
Total number of Asian women: 1
Total number of women of ambiguous race: 1

Total number of fashion spreads: 4
Total number of black women: 0
Total number of Asian women: 0
Total number of women of ambiguous race: 0

Vogue
Total number of ads: 173
Total number of black women: 10 (6 were celebrities)
Total number of Asian women: 3 (1 celebrity)
Total number of women of ambiguous race: 2 (1 celebrity)

Total number of fashion spreads: 4
Total number of black women: 0
Total number of Asian women: 0
Total number of women of ambiguous race: 0

Marie Claire

Total number of ads: 99
Total number of black women: 6 (4 were celebrities)
Total number of Asian women: 2
Total number of women of ambiguous race: 1

Total number of fashion spreads: 2
Total number of black women: 0
Total number of Asian women: 0
Total number of women of ambiguous race: 0
(although they did employ an old Bhutanese man as a "model.")

Allure

Total number of ads: 96
Total number of black women: 5 (2 were celebrities)
Total number of Asian women: 0
Total number of women of ambiguous race: 1

Total number of fashion spreads: 2
Total number of black women: 0
Total number of Asian women: 0
Total number of women of ambiguous race: 0

Glamour

Total number of ads: 91
Total number of black women: 6 (3 were celebrities)
Total number of Asian women: 1
Total number of women of ambiguous race: 4 (2 were celebrities)

Total number of fashion spreads: 2
Total number of black women: 0
Total number of Asian women: 0
Total number of women of ambiguous race: 0

Lucky

Total number of ads: 147
Total number of black women: 8 (4 were celebrities)
Total number of Asian women: 2
Total number of women of ambiguous race: 3

Total number of fashion spreads: 2
Total number of black women: 0
Total number of Asian women: 0
Total number of women of ambiguous race: 0

Elle

Total number of ads: 161
Total number of black women: 6 (1 celeb, 1 "real woman")
Total number of Asian women: 1
Total number of women of ambiguous race: 3 (1 celebrity)

Total number of fashion spreads: 3
Total number of black women: 0
Total number of Asian women: 0
Total number of women of ambiguous race: 0

Cosmo
Total number of ads: 103
Total number of black women: 3 (Budweiser, Dove, Lee Jeans)
Total number of Asian women: 0
Total number of women of ambiguous race: 1 (Levi's)

Total number of fashion spreads: 2
Total number of black women: 1 (Beyonce)
Total number of Asian women: 0
Total number of women of ambiguous race: 0

Total number of beauty spreads: 2
Total number of black women: 2 (1 model, 1 Rihanna)
Total number of Asian women: 0
Total number of Hispanic women: 1 (Christina Milian)
Total number of women of ambiguous race: 0

So, what have we learned? Black, Asian and models of color are still not "fashionable." But advertisers use black and Asian models, because they know not to fuck with buying power — Bethann Hardison talked about this at the NYPL conference. Still - -can you think of another billion dollar industry in which blatant racism is tolerated? And what is a black or Asian woman who loves fashion and fashion magazines to do with this information?

Earlier: Where Are All The Black Models? Let's Start By Asking Anna Wintour
Is Prada To Blame For the Lack Of Black Models?
We're Still Looking For Black Models
What's The Message Behind A Black Man In Heels On The Cover Of Vogue?