More black women than usual have been featured on September magazine covers this year – and that’s a great thing. But one publication is taking issue over the media’s fawning about this fact. i-D published an essay by Steve Salter about the hub-bub over the September covers, mentioning that in the articles praising the month’s diversity, i-D‘s Willow Smith cover was referenced. While the shoutouts are nice and all, Salter takes issue with the magazine being lumped in with publications who don’t have the decorated history of regularly using people of color on its covers.
“For me, in 2015, it’s both disheartening to see race referenced as a trend and linked so blatantly to commerce, especially when my own publication is thrown into the mix to support their arguments,” Salter writes. “I get it. The greater the volume of examples, the more powerful the argument. Right? No. Not if your argument strikes the very heart that pulses through the publication’s pages. Now, I could be deemed naive, biased even but by its very nature i-D has always pushed diversity and in every piece I’ve read, this has been grossly overlooked.”
As we see time and time again, magazine covers overwhelmingly feature white women. Salter is correct in pointing our that i-D has a long tradition of using models from all kinds of racial backgrounds. Browsing through its cover archive shows exactly that. Sure, there are a ton of white models but there are also plenty black, brown and Asian people featured, and that’s something that should definitely be taken into account. As Salter put it, “For a feature to use your title to illustrate their argument and then shift the focus in a direction that it doesn’t fit, is irksome. Why not call out the titles who are actually guilty rather than whitewash i-D‘s past, present and future?”