Glamour Magazine Article Follow Up: Race in the Comments

by Racialicious Special Correspondent Latoya Peterson

Just a quick follow up on an older post, as I noticed something of interest.

Of the thirteen comments on the Glamour article we spoke about a bit earlier, two were made by Native Americans:

Feb 26, 2008 8:12:59 PM
katurtle says:
I would first like to say, Hurah for putting yet another race-loving-be-yourself-being-black-is-beautiful idea out into the world. People need to know that, when it comes to different races, there are different styles and natural things that come with being said race. No, I am not raciest, however, I am not black, asian, or hispanic. And I would like to say, given all this “minorities are important and we need to stop racism” stuff that is out in the world, many Americans are forgetting the smallest minority, in my opinion the most important (seeing as I am in this minority.) of all. Native Americans, we have been on this beautiful land the longest, I’m sorry if I offend others, but we have been the most shunned apon, and down-casted race in America. Look up the trail of tears, how many of my people have been killed for this land, we don’t even get recognition. I think it is high time everyone stopped thinking Blacks are the only minority, becasue to be honest they aren’t even a minority anymore. Look how many black people are in this country, how many times people think they need to stand up and be heard, blacks are the most popular and heard of minority in the world. Forgive me, but I think Native Americans deserve to have collums in magazine’s dedicated to their hair, we need articles about how living on a reservation and being one of the poorest races has affected us. Do you know all that Native Americans have been put through, does anyone, No, and it is time we are thought of, it is time I get tips on how to make my hair shine(not that it needs to, it is Native American after all). I have never been able to take any of the tips in magazines and put them to use. Sure every other race gets their say, but what about us. It’s time Blacks step down from thier thrown, it is time they get over the horrible treatment they have endured 200 years ago and let us be heard.

And this one:

kryscoo says:
I love my hair. I love the color of my skin. I love my curves. I have friends from many races. We’ve all had a lil taste of negativity due to our “differences”.

I’m Native American, and I have yet to figure out why I’ve been mistaken as asian or mexican(ppl have said it to my face or mumbled it behind my back). I get a lil angry, but I’m not one to hold grudges. I simply reply “Oh, I’m Native American…”. Sometimes that can turn into a deep convo or be ignored. Hey, as long as they know what I am!

I used to have very long hair, as in, I had to put it over my shoulders when I sat down so I wouldn’t sit on it(but when I turned 18 I got a fresh new look and gave it to Locks of Love!) When I had that hair, ppl loved it! I worked it too. haha. I didn’t chop it off bc I was tired of ppl touching it all the time, or bc if gave me headaches, but I think sometimes you need a BIG change in life. And I feel my hair is the only thing I can control in my life.

Glamour is my fav magazine(I like to read, and they actually have stories with meaning!), and I get all kind of fashion and make-up tips, of course I change things up a bit to my advantage.

I’ll admit, it would be pretty cool to see a Native American woman in the mag!
So I can show my fam and friends.
“Hey look! they have a ndn woman!”

Great perspective here:

Feb 26, 2008 11:48:37 PM
kimbolive says:
I am another reader who thought the roundtable was insightful and much-needed. I am, however, a bit reticent to offer Glamour such high praise. After all, this important story wasn’t in the headlines on the cover, and the cover model, Naomi Watts, is just another in a long, long line of thin, white actresses that Glamour chooses feature, month after month after month, to tout as those we Americans of all colors should glorify.

While the pullouts of ethnic women were really great, it did seem a bit disingenuous that a white woman was featured moaning about how thin she was, while the other women spoke of issues that belie deep-seated insecurities women in this country have as a result of being told that as a Woman of Color, they are inferior: double-lidded, “round eyes”, dark body hair, hair that, in some cases, does not hang below our butts and swing when we walk.

It seemed as if editors were trying to assure white readers that they were being addressed too, despite being a magazine that in the hair and makeup tips, addresses them always. A white woman reinforcing stereotypes of the black body and “accepting” the very thin, white, “sexy” (in her words) body minorities are told to emulate, strikes me as a poor substitute for another American of Color or a mixed-race American that could have been featured in her place.

All in all, I think it was an awesome effort – but it fell a little flat in terms of seeing how Glamour actually changed. Judging by the ads, cover and storylines, it was incremental.

(Lastly, while it is understandable to lament the lack of coverage on Native Americas/American Indians, attacking another minority group to prove a point is divisive and doesn’t get at the problem. The problem is not that blacks are taking up attention, per se, but rather that the US media is choosing to focus on blacks and ignore other races.)

Unfortunately, Glamour editors have not posted any follow up to this article, nor have they been present on the comment thread.