Psychologies magazine cover next to InStyle magazine cover

An article posted on The Guardian’s women’s blog recently highlighted an interesting British magazine trend. According to writer Anita Chaudhuri, more U.K. women’s magazines are featuring women of colour on their covers, including InStyle (U.K.) and Psychologies. Chaudhuri wonders if this means magazines are becoming more diverse.


While there has certainly been a shift in recent years, there is still a predominantly Caucasian trend.

While it’s admirable that British magazines have been putting an ethnically diverse group of women on their covers over the last few months, it would be even better if this trend became the norm—not only in the U.K., but everywhere else. Rihanna graced the cover of American Vogue in April 2011, every cover since has featured a white woman.

The old excuses are wearing thin, after all. In the United States, the issues with the best sales featured white women (and Justin Bieber). But so did the covers that performed the worst. So newsstand sales aren’t a strong indicator that ethnic covers would fare poorly. Canada, despite its boasts of diversity and multiculturalism, doesn’t feature much colour on its magazines either. In a society that is supposed to be so culturally inclusive, our media are not exactly doing the best job. So maybe what’s been happening in the U.K. recently is the beginning of something significant. Maybe in a few years, everyone can stop talking about what colour the person on her magazine is and go back to talking about how skinny they are instead.

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About the author

Alexandra Theodorakidis was the Departments Editor of the Summer 2012 issue of the Ryerson Review of Journalism.

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