Should White Women Be Featured on the Cover of Magazines Geared Towards Black Women? Jada Pinkett-Smith Thinks So

March 19, 2013  |  

Source: WENN


Actress Jada Pinkett-Smith has been utilizing social media to speak out against what she believes to be social injustices, unfair practices and society’s questionable behavior a lot lately. Recently, she tackled the subjects of blended families and the media’s bullying of teen stars. Now, in a statement posted to her Facebook page, the 41-year-old mother of two is expressing that in order for mainstream magazines to consider putting Black women on their covers, publications geared towards Black women should also consider putting White women on theirs. Her statement reads:

“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.”

Source: Facebook

“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.”


Would you say that Jada has a point?

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  • TES

    Women are women color & class should not have a bearing on how we support eachother Yes of course there are differences coming from Historical perspectives, but the value of a woman’s Input & wisdom is no Less or more because of history….that being said of course unless they actually lived it…then that personal perspective would have a much richer authenticity. We must rise from the Ignorance of History as women and support Hard Headed Men to get in Gear and do the same. Its time to stop seeing class color difference and just be women. Who want to stand up and support other women. Then raise our children to be in support of a world where they are recognized by there merits as people, character. In a time that recognized the value of all our ancestors and claim the value respect its differences and BE PEOPLE HUMANS .

  • maggie

    Someone needs to tell Jada that she gets paid to act, not to be a professional ‘black apologist.’

  • Nina

    She need to ask why the white magazines are reluctant to put African American women on their cover unless they look like Beyonce or Alicia Keyes? We as African american women don’t have very many options just let us have the two or three magazines that catered to the African American experience. She’s been living in California too long.Interracial women dating?? Black women looking for white men??? Black women loving white men???_______blackwhiteplanet.com_______is the #1 black women white men dating site. No one night stand. serious relationship

  • IllyPhilly

    Didn’t Will use to have trained to be seen and not heard for such reasons? Oops…


    “Blacks were freed from Slavery in 1865…got off the “Back of the bus” in 1955…..Was JUST given the right to vote in 1964. The right to eat and stay at any hotel in the 60’s. Blacks are 200yrs behind everybody else. Lets not also forget discrimination in housing, and employment. The Whites had 200yrs of passing down weatlh and educational opportunities to their kin. So American whites go to the best schools and graduate top of their class and get excepted in the business world easier then blacks. Whites don’t have to worry about not being called back for employment because their name sounds to “Ethnic” on a application. White’s don’t have to worry about showing up to rent a house or apt. to only be told the property has been rented out only 2hours after you called to see the rental property. Or if a blackman has a regular name like “John Smith” on a Job Application, he gets called in for an interview, only to show up with Black Skin and be told the posistion has been filled. “A Hard Days Night” was released in 1964, that’s the year when the Civil Rights Act was passed outlawing discrimination. So blacks only had full citizenship rights in this country shortly before we released “Rubber Soul”. That’s a God-Damn Shame. So sorry, it’s gonna take longer then a couple of decades for the blacks to be “Over it!” Dont forget the “Crack Wars” of the 1980’s which targeted Blackmen and gave them twice as much prison time then their white counterparts charged with the same drug offenses. Leaving the Black women and kids to fend for themselves while the men were in prison. Racism and Discrimination is real! Not a Myth my friend!”

    • Kma81

      Well said!

  • adanie12

    Jada Pinkett is bored. How can you be this bored when you have kids to raise? One doesn’t know if she wants to be a boy or a girl, have braids or a fade. Your kids are super confused, please give them direction and guidance and stop asking dumb, irrelevant questions that aren’t changing the world, impacting people, or helping anyone. Waste ‘O Time.

    • cb

      lol…very confused

  • autumn

    Jada Smith lives in lala land as far as i’m concerned. She has somehow become oblivious of the fact of what being a black woman in America is. Just because she can buy the love and adoration of white friends does not mean the rest of us will. Let’s take away the money and clothes and see if Martha Stuart is still inviting her over for brunch… It’s somethings a white woman will never relate to as far as a black woman is concerned.

    • Senait Ashenafi

      Preach on that for real. I”m sick of Jada’s whining with her whitewashed hollyweird self. She’s in another world from the rest of us black women and she needs to stay there.

  • truthBtold

    While Jada has been my girl for many years, I’m not feeling her question on this. Why is it we fail to know that who we are is enough? Enough just to be us, to have things for us, celebrate us without the inclusion of “others”. We need to know we don’t always have to invite others in or beg to become a part of what “others” are doing. I think we just need to do our thing and stop concerning (wasting valuable time) ourselves w/why “others” don’t want to include us? or Let’s let everyone in on what we’re doing. Guess what? You don’t want/need us? We don’t want/need you! We need to know WE ARE ENOUGH and get on with what we’re doing and do it WELL!!!

  • Guest360

    I get what she’s saying. However….let’s be real here. “Mainstream” magazines don’t put black actors/actresses on their covers and the ones that do, either have to do something absolutely ASTONISHING (such as be the first black lead in 40ish years) or be Beyonce. It’s very rare that you’ll see a Viola Davis in these mags like you would Jennifer Lawrence or Nia Long as frequent as you would see Scarlett Johanssen. And until THAT changes, I don’t see why we have to change our publications to accommodate white actors who get regular mentions in “mainstream” magazines anyway. Let things get equal first before throwing away our only publications dedicated to us.

  • Essence was created because black women needed a voice. Black people want to be represented in media just like everyone else. We are bombarded with white women and their standards of beauty. Why can’t we have sonething of our own?

  • It always fascinates me when others accuse, however subtly, Black people of being discriminatory and unwilling to cooperate, placing all of the blame on our shoulders. There is a long history in this country of mainstream magazines not acknowledging our existence; not considering our feelings and acting as if we weren’t worthy of being marketed to. The fact that in the 21st century, these magazines are still “considering” women of color to grace their covers, or that we can count the number of times said women have been on the covers, demonstrates that there is still a serious problem. Magazines like “Essence” and “Ebony” were created to fill the gap that mainstream magazines left, so it’s natural that Black women should be on the covers. Jada is missing the entire context of the issue. It’s true that we are all women, but our experiences are not the same.

  • Nana Quaison-Sackey

    Charlize Theron is from South Africa right? That makes her African American right?

    • hollyw

      Uhhh..I don’t think she actually gained citizenship lol…

    • Kenedy

      I doubt it…Alot of Africans that immigrate here, even if they have gained citizenship, still consider themselves just Africans….speaking from experience, I consider myself just African although I have dual citizenship

  • Lisa D.

    Jada Pinkett needs to get her damn life! The issues is not a lack of African American
    women including white celebrities on the cover of our magazines but rather our sisters being denied the right to grace the covers of theirs. So what did we do? We created our own publications full of women in multiple shades and sizes with multiple hair textures to reflect our
    beautiful culture. Jada needs a history lesson and should find more constructive causes to put her time into. As far as I’m concerned her words while well intended depicts her as unintelligent, uninformed, unaware and are plain unacceptable.

  • JRoc85

    Jada has definitely asked a question that is long overdue!!!!!!! However, in my opinion, White magazines should reach across the border even more & have more black women grace their covers, and not just Beyonce or Halle!!!!!!!!! How about Tika Sumpter, Brandy, Kerry Washington, Kelly Rowland, or Keisha Knight Pulliam (you know like Brown or Chocolate girls, not just Naomi Campbell)!!!!!!!! Thank God for Essence, Jet, & Ebony because they recognized their very own in a respectful & classy way when White Magazines DID NOT respect us!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Taj

    Lately, Jada has been sending out these commentaries with this last one which I hope will be her last. Has she soon forgotten that she got her start on “A Different World” which has been produced and directed by Debbie Allen? If it wasn’t for her break out role in “A Different World”, no one would have been checking for her and she certainly would not have caught Will Smith’s eye. The reason why I state this information is because she and others like to pretend that we live in a post-racial society when that is far from the case and none of these “mainstream” magazines for which she posed for wouldn’t have even given her the time day “Pre-Different World”. While I applaud that they have done some charitable work, I think she can do more for the community by working to become a producer and director so more Black Actresses can have roles. Otherwise, she needs to have several seats.

  • shame on you

    What ever black actresses is on the raise are on the ‘white only magazine” Ebony Essences &Jet by black women for black women…it should ”NOT” matter but it dose deal with it…Jada

  • guest

    Jada can start her own magazine and leave the established Essence alone. She might want to reading a parenting magazine or too because her children appear to be displaying some inner turmoil..lip gloss wearing son…the daughter…just confused

    • cb

      yes, so true

  • Cocokitten

    Why is this a color issue? I’m fr the Caribbean and honestly, I think Americans put a lot of focus on color. Enough is enough. Time we stopped looking at ppl’s color an just see them. This exclusion and inclusion thing is a pain.

    • Cynthia

      I am from the Caribbean as well and I think it is totally understandable to feel that way. However, what if magazines/publications in the caribbean only focused on light-skinned individuals?

      America may seem like they focus on race ( or color as you put it) but the Caribbean has a painful history with shadeism….We can’t look at things through our lens, we must look at the history and question why things are a certain way..

      No hate here just an observation

    • TRUTH IS

      While I agree with you as an island native also….this how white folks designed it here and it’s never going to change!

    • Kenedy

      Unfortunately, the foundation of America was built upon social, economical and racial divides….So I think that’s just how it will always be, race will always be an issue

  • Laverne

    I think what she is forgetting is that these magazines were created for
    African-American women (and men) b/c of the fact that there is a gaping,
    wide hole in “mainstream” magazines to address the Black audience.
    So…it’s not the same. While these mainstream magazines have a focus
    geared to fans of fashion or relationship advice (etc.) Essence and Jet
    have a mission specifically tied to covering the issues of the
    African-American community. If your mission is tied to fashion or
    relationship issues, you need to address that as it pertains to all
    races, cultures, etc. But if your mission is tied to a specific race or
    culture, it’s understandable why you only have that race on your cover.

  • Natalie

    No thanks. they can grace every single other cover in the world. that’s why white people think they own everything

  • sabrina

    She has a point. I wouldn’t mind seeing non-people of color once in a while on black women’s magazines. I think Charlize is a great option too, being that she is from South Africa. Just as long as it’s not ever Gwyneth Paltrow.

    • Morgan

      When white magazines start hiring black editors, photographers and etc and start putting black women on the cover that look more like Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, First lady Obama instead of Beyonce, Rihanna, Alicia Keys and etc. Black woman only have a limit amount of magazines that caterers to us, while White women have Seventeen, Glamour,Cosmopolitan, Vogue, W, WWD, Style, People and the list goes on and on. You see white women faces on every type of media from television shows, billboards, commercials, ads, music videos, catwalks and that list also goes on and on. When white magazines do have articles about black women they are only 1 to 2 pages long. Black women also need to create magazines that caterers to black girls because they only have Seventeen and Teen Vogue which hardly have black girls on the covers and in the magazines.

      • sabrina

        And that totally crossed my mind too. But if a white women can add to black women’s conversation, why not grace the cover of a magazine just once in a while? Charlize has a black son — it’ll be interesting to know how she goes about raising him. White magazines won’t have this conversation with her because they don’t care/don’t get it. Getting her perspective on that is a new conversation, instead of the same ol other ones. And like I said…I don’t mind from time to time (once/twice a year), not every other month!

        P.S. Some of those women you mentioned have been put on prominent magazine covers as well so…yeah. (i.e. Kerry and Michelle)

      • The Dyv

        I remember when I was an adolescent I had a subscription to magazine titled “YBS” that catered to young people of African Heritage. There is nothing like that anymore and it is a shame. Also, the shows like “Teen Summit” kept us aware of issues.

        As far as other mainstream magazines such as Elle, Style and Redbook, they don’t overtly cater to white women. It’s very subtle based on the topics and those that are on the cover a majority of the time. Unfortunately, PART of the problem is statistics. There are more white women in America than there are black women and at the end of the day, the goal is to sell magazines and they are going to market their product to the individuals that are buying them the most.

        I do not agree with Jada because, as others have posted, these magazines were created to cater to individuals who were not represented in mainstream magazines.Putting women like Charlize Theron, Angelina Jolie, Reese Witherspoon and any other popular white women on the cover of Essence, would not open up opportunities to African American women. Think about the effect that using a white bronzed model that a designer used in his/her the “Africa” campaign. Although not identical, it is a similar situation. Would that situation open up Black models being portrayed as Greek goddesses in other campaigns? Probably not. We buy magazines like Essence because we see positive portrayals of ourselves and our culture that are not often represented in a majority of print media.

  • I’m probably one of the most open-minded, culturally diverse , non-color barrier person..I’ve grown up a military brat, living all over, being friends with people of every different ethnicity or race possible, with parents who raised us to be loving and accepting of all people. Parents also instilled a deep love and appreciation of history but in particular that of African American History. To know the statement that in order for us to understand where we are or are going we need to know where we come from. To understand why even now in 2013 Kerry Washington’s Scandal role is still so important, or why the go to A-List Movie Actress of Color still is Halle Berry at the age of 40 something…its because we still live in a country where although some progress has been made, the same deep-rooted sense of white beauty and superiority exist Magazines are like news papers, a dying form, circulation of things in print are decreasing due to the wave of internet magazines push for more “mainstream” people to cover…take the word mainstream when you hear it and replace it with white and light, and that’s what it means. Essence, Jet, Ebony magazines were pillars of the civil rights movement, designed to give the many actresses, singers, entertainers a chance to be showcased the same as whites. Jada, Although I understand what your trying to say, you’re missing a point of why that will never happen..because until the day where we truly start placing more people of color in prominent roles in entertainment, more Oscars nods and wins (still say Viola should of won over Meryl) then that can’t happen.

  • stephanie

    How many magazines out there that are geared toward white women and how many are geared toward African American women? She need to ask why the white magazines are reluctant to put African American women on their cover unless they look like Beyonce or Alicia Keyes? We as African american women don’t have very many options just let us have the two or three magazines that catered to the African American experience. She’s been living in California too long.

    • rita

      I agree. Maybe there could be interviews with people like Charlize or Angelina in Essence(who have black kids and/or have some type of connection to a black-majority country and/or are popular within the black community), but I think there’s no need for them to be on the covers. Not least because I doubt they’d sell.

      • Guest360

        And I agree with that. I have no problems with black centered magazines doing interviews with white actors who contribute someway to blacks. Charlize, Angelina, Sandra Bullock, etc. And maybe you can put them on the cover if their story warrants big promotion like that, but otherwise I really don’t see what a white actor would have to offer in terms of contributions to the black experience.

    • Lia

      I agree, but please don’t put that on California like that. We’re pretty blended out here, but we’re not out of touch like some people have been led to believe…

    • Faith

      I agree. Why put white women on black magazine covers when they already dominated the mainstream women magazine market covers? The majority of stuff is already catered to white women.

    • Kangoods

      Jada is a foolish woman. She needs to stop trying to blur the color lines and focus on her crazy kids. Besides, she is only speaking this way because she has risen out of the hood and into a mansion. She now surrounds herself with different people who have money and power and most of them have been on the cover of some magazine. She is really getting on my nerves with this b.s she considers “deep thoughts.” Go play in the lake of Scientology with all of this mumbo-jumbo crap!!!!