Lucky Magazine’s Choice to Put Fashion Bloggers on the Cover is Not Revolutionary

Earlier this month, it was revealed that three prominent style bloggers had landed the front cover of Lucky magazine’s February 2015 issue. The featured bloggers include (left to right) Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad, Zanita Whittington of Zanita, and Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper.

While these fashion bloggers’ presence on the cover of a widely circulated fashion magazine is certainly notable in the sense that supermodels and successful celebrities are generally the cover subjects and bloggers are usually featured inside magazines, this should not be regarded as a noble or groundbreaking choice, although Lucky’s editor-in-chief would like to believe otherwise.

For one, the bloggers who were elected for the cover are non-Black women. One is Asian and the other two are White. And secondly, race and ethnicity put aside, the three women look similar in terms of size and shape (read: they are tall and svelte). They appear to be no different than the celebs and models that are routinely featured on the cover of Lucky and similar magazines. The only discernable difference here is their job titles; they’re style bloggers, not actors or models.

Of all the successful personal style blogs that are helmed by women of color, Lucky decidedly ignored them and instead contracted the three fashion bloggers who best fit the traditional mold of Eurocentric beauty — an intentional decision that should not be overlooked or swept under the rug.

Research has consistently shown that women of color seldom secure magazine covers. Take, for instance, this 2013 study conducted by Huffington Post wherein researchers found that 82 percent of magazine covers released from September 2012 to September 2013 featured White women (a mix of celebrities and models), while only 18 percent of the covers featured women of color. Though this is but one study, it is still a revelatory one. The disproportionate percentage between White women and women of color who land magazine covers suggests that there is an unsettling diversity and representation issue within the fashion and media industry, particularly in terms of race/ethnicity. And it is an issue that has yet to be resolved.

Just last week supermodel Jourdan Dunn was unveiled as the latest cover star for British Vogue’s February issue. When you consider Jourdan’s achievements, it is perhaps difficult to grasp that she’s the first Black person to be the sole cover subject since Naomi Campbell was on the cover back in 2002 (read: that was thirteen years ago) — but it’s true.

At this point in time, we (women of color) should find the whitewashing of the fashion, and more generally, the media industry, more offensive than shocking. What this Lucky cover proves is the fashion and media industry’s adamant refusal to push images of women of color to the forefront.

It has become glaringly obvious that magazines like Lucky are more invested in maintaining the status quo than they are in highlighting and celebrating racial diversity. Moreover, they are determined, with nearly every magazine cover, to remind women of color that there is nothing about us that deserves placement on the front of magazines. In doing so, they are reifying a narrow notion of beauty while simultaneously marginalizing the beauty of women of color.

While some have rushed to laud Lucky for their decision to feature fashion bloggers on the cover of the mag, I’m reluctant to consider this a revolutionary act. Revolutionary, by definition, means a dramatic shift has occurred; that. And, to me, Lucky’s cover seems to be following the same troubling standards as the rest of the magazine industry — except in this instance it’s not black and brown celebs and models they’re excluding, it’s black and brown fashion bloggers.

Photo Credit: Todd Cole for Lucky Magazine

  • Thank you so much, Sophia!

  • Sophia

    The story is beyond wonderful! Covers like this just prove that we as black style bloggers (or black women in the media in general) need to support each other. Kudos on a great post.

  • I must confess: my side eye came a few days later after I thought more about the cover and what it could have meant to fashion bloggers. Thanks for reading, Pascha!

  • Bravo. I gave the cover the side eye when I saw it. I am a contractor and it made me feel some sort of way. Unacceptable.

  • I believe Lucky’s editor, Eva Chen, chose these three fashion bloggers because they fit the mold of what we’re accustomed to seeing on mag covers (tall, skinny White women) and because they each have colossal social media followings. Chen even mentioned in her letter from the editor that collectively, these bloggers have four million followers. And of course that’s important to her because at the end of the day, Chen is trying to sell magazines, not necessarily start a revolution in the magazine publishing game. Thanks for reading and calling attention to another issue with this cover.

  • I wasn’t going to write about it at first, but then I thought about the BGB community and how many women of color are fashion bloggers and I felt that it needed to be said. I appreciate you reading, Nia. :)

  • It’s not crazy; it’s standard. And that’s the crazy part, if that makes any sense. Thanks for reading.

  • MoreThanJustAPrettyFace

    Great post! It’s really crazy that most bloggers are shown in the spotlight are not of color. Thanks for a great read!


  • Nia

    I’m so happy somebody wrote this piece. It was exactly my thoughts when I saw the cover. Great job. It’s exhausting tackling these topics but you did an amazing job. Kudos.

  • That’s also a good point!

  • Brigita

    I love that the ladies here that really have their own sense of style (egg: wholesale womens clothing), and make it work under the guidelines of Jewish law! I loved it when you guys did the piece on the Orthodox designers, too.

  • Fashionista Jenn

    Great article! I just don’t understand why they chose TWO Australian bloggers for an American Lucky issue and the other being a Milano blogger. There are plenty of American bloggers here that are excellent! Did they really think that the pool of bloggers was that limited? smh.

    Style On,
    Fashionista Jenn

  • That’s a great idea!

  • My way of changing is by being more deliberate in my choices as a consumer. I’m not going to boycott “Lucky” because that will most likely bring national media attention to the publication (because Internet folks love a good petition/boycott), which in turn, would lead more people to go out and buy the mag in support of the bloggers. So, I just won’t be buying the magazine anymore. Simple as that.

    You know, I’ve actually heard of that happening. I think it depends on who you interact with in the blogging community and who your core audience is. I know my blog is read in the UK (according to Google Analytics), but in terms of interaction (comments, follows on social media, etc.) the majority of my support comes from Black women based in the States.

  • Exactly! It’s sad. At this point, I want to know how can we change it?

    I’ll tell you what’s funny as well. As a black girl who blogs, I get more support from people in Europe than Americans.

  • We DO have as much to offer as White women! I seriously tire of having these same conversations and writing the same types of articles every single year and having mainstream media not care enough to challenge the status quo. It’s not shocking in the least bit, but it is just sickening to me at this point.

    And then on top of that, mainstream fashion sites helmed by White editors and writers are high-fiving and celebrating Lucky for putting these fashion bloggers on the cover, failing to acknowledge that these women were put on the cover for a very specific reason. That is, because even though they’re bloggers, they still look like Lucky’s previous cover stars – tall, model-thin, blonde, and White (with the exception of Nicole, the Korean-Japanese blogger who was adopted by Australian (read: White) parents!).

  • I totally agree! I wish more people realized this! And it doesn’t just affect magazine covers, it affects our followings on social media too. Look at how long it takes a brown girl to get Teen Vogue Contributor or a lot of followers on Chictopia. This is so sad. Honestly, I think we have just as much to offer as European beauties. It’s sad but we can change it!

  • Right! And to be honest, if it wasn’t for the news headlines announcing that these women were bloggers, I wouldn’t have known. I would’ve thought they were just three models or something – not fashion bloggers. Thanks for your comment, Shadae.

  • Shadae

    Somebody FINALLY said it! When I first saw the cover image my initial reaction was “Well where’s the one thrifty black girl and that plus sized beauty I’m in love with?” You cannot put bloggers on the front and only pay homage to the BS we’re always seeing. Give me something better. Something with variety.


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