We’re all aware that fashion magazines aren’t getting it right when it comes to diversity.
The majority of the women featured are slim, white, and able-bodied. It’s easy to flick through page after page and see no one who looks even a tiny bit like you.
But here’s some sort of promising news: things are improving. Slowly, sure. But things are moving forward.
The Fashion Spot has just released their 2017 diversity report, analysing all the international fashion magazine covers over the last year, and have found that 2017 was the most inclusive year for magazine covers of all time. Hooray.
Reviewing 782 cover appearances across 49 top international fashion magazines, The Fashion Spot found that 32.5% of covers featured people of colour. That’s an increase of 3.5% from 2016 – which isn’t massive, but it’s a move in the right direction.
This is the first time the diversity rating has passed the 30% mark, so that’s pretty good, too.
Some magazines are working harder than others. Vogue Arabia, Vogue Taiwan, Vogue India, i-D, Paper, Allure, and Dazed were found to feature the most racial diversity, with Vogue Arabia coming out on top with 12 out of 12 people of colour as their cover stars – two of whom were over the age of 50.
Seven out of 19 of LOVE’s cover models were models of colour – a big deal considering that for the past three years not a single nonwhite model appeared on the cover.
Meanwhile, British Vogue included six women of colour on their covers.
Models who appeared on the most covers in 2017:
- Bella Hadid
- Gigi Hadid
- Imaan Hammam
- Anna Ewers
- Irina Shayk
- Lara Stone
- Vittoria Ceretii
- Adwoa Aboah
- Mica Argañaraz
Of course, inclusivity goes beyond race, and while magazines may be improving in one area, they’re lagging behind in another. In 2017, only 1% of celebrities and models on magazine covers were a size 12 or over, and of those, five of the eight covers belonged to Ashley Graham.
In terms of age, things are fairly steady. No massive shift, with 4.7% of covers featuring women above the age of 50.
Inclusion of transgender and non-binary people didn’t budge much, either. Just five of the covers The Fashion Spot examined featured a transgender or non-binary model.
Overall, progress. Maddeningly slow progress.
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