Jada Asks: Shouldn’t White Women Cover Essence, Too?

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  • Jada Pinkett Smith made an interesting commentary about race and media recently on her Facebook page.

    She proposed to the world that perhaps there’s a bit of a double standard when it comes to black representation in the media. We see black women on non-black mags all the time, but where’s the equality for white women?

    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.

    J

    What do you think of Jada’s comments? Let us know in the comment section below.

    (Photo: Facebook)

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    13 thoughts on “Jada Asks: Shouldn’t White Women Cover Essence, Too?

    1. Pingback: Jada Pinkett Smith Missed The Mark…. | Creatively Brown

    2. 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…

    3. Uh…no. Essence is for black women about black women. Glamour and em make no such claim. For white women about white women. White magazines, pagents etc have never made that claim though they are what they are. Yes these magazines now include blacks but it was the exclusion that caused the black products to be created. And so now we are supposed to dump them cause jada says so. No. We need ourselves fully represented, talked about, shared and examined. A couple of pages and shadow discussions of us won’t do. We need fullness Essence does this. So. No white women on the cover of a black publication. If the question is whether we need black publications. Yes. Jada is living that life and is now forgetting what it’s like for everyday black women and how they still have us crammed on the fringes. Or in the shadows.

    4. Why do we have to always share? When it became fashionable for women of color to be on the cover of white magazines, is when it happen; why not before? Essence is a black magazine for us and I would like for it to stay that way”

    5. Essence magazine was founded specifically for and about black women and in my opinion, it should remain that way. There are many commonalities that black women share with women of other races, social classes, and cultures, but black women experience very unique and complex circumstances that set us apart from any other group of women in the world and it is important that we have platforms that are tailored to address our specific needs and concerns. Therefore, it is completely rational for Essence to be a magazine that is solely for and about black women. To allow it to be anything different totally destroys the intended purpose.

      To answer the question: Is it possible to share in the spirit in which we ask our white sisters to share with us? No, it is not. The key word is “ask”. If the bond of womanhood is universal and beyond skin color, culture, and social class, and if this mindset was prevalent and should be prevalent throughout the world, as Jada is suggesting, then no one should have to “ask” to be included. Furthermore, people’s differences sometimes require different approaches. The “one size fits all” approach is not applicable in every aspect of life.

      I understand Jada’s sentiment, but we need to be careful of being overly gracious and accommodating to others that do not extend the same generosity to us.

    6. I 100% disagree with Ms Smith Essence is for Black woman and our Issues Why must we always give in to white people they have there own Books and I don’t see any Black Woman issues in any of those book no let Essence Stay Essence

    7. I totally disagrfee with you Jada; can we have somnething to call ours. There’s Cosmopolitan and a host of other magazines that display what you want. I have been a subscriber for years …don’t make me cancel cause I’m close to it with the changes that Essence has made anyway. What did they pay you to make these comments? Stay in your lane and don’t speak for me.

    8. SM. on March 20,2013 at 9:29am said one thing bout our color culture we always looking out for other culture but no other culture look out for us jada let just keep frighting for us ok. thanks

    9. Well Jada, when a group (white) has 95% of the news magazine and all other media, they are not going to care about our 5% (blacks) on a cover.

    10. Pingback: Jada Asks: Shouldn’t White Women Cover Essence, Too? | Praise 1300

    11. I am not aware that white women want to be on the cover of Essence magazine. Is there a protest brewing somewhere and White women are clutching Essence in tears because they are not on the cover. I don’t know if this is something that Essence is considering to boost newsstand sales but I am sure this will back fire. Essence has a specific market they target, Today’s Black Women (unless that’s different now). Doesn’t make good business sense.

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