The Renaissance Faire was this weekend and I forgot about it so I was unable to attend. 😦 In lieu of that, a personal antidote: Earlier in the year I went through my collection of FAE Magazines for some fairy inspiration. It’s a British faerie lifestyle magazine with news, photo shoots, articles, astrology, all that fun stuff. I was disappointed that in the 6 issues I had there was only two brown faces, one in a screenshot from Game of Thrones and another in a promotional image from a Tinkerbell movie. I was baffled that a magazine from a country as diverse as England had no poc anywhere in their magazine.
After my “discovery” I politely asked them if they had any plans to include non-white models. In essence, they responded that they rely on submissions and don’t plan what skin tones the models have. In other words, they don’t go out their way to be inclusive or seek this material out. If you couldn’t guess it, I was underwhelmed and miffed by this response. I skipped buying that quarter’s issue.
Fast forward to present day, I stumbled upon the FAE Magazine published after I sent my question. Hoping they took what I said into consideration I scan the magazine. In the entire 50+ page magazine, I saw only one black woman with bonus plus-size model (another unrepresented group in the magazine), with three other thin white women. In a standard bikini photoshoot on a beach that wasn’t even fantasy themed. This is unacceptable and felt less than half-assed. Representation isn’t doing the bare minimum, checking it off like something on a to-do list, then moving on, which this felt like.
If women in generic corsets, Hot Topic tutus, and funky dreadfalls can make the cut, they most certainly can feature someone who’s skin is darker than “peach”. If they’re not receiving any poc submissions then they need to ask themselves why a magazine with worldwide circulation can only pull in lily white people, and realize the problem might be with them rather than their audience.
If in 2015 there can be black ballerinas on the cover of dance magazines and poc leads in fantasy media (Galavant, etc), then there most certainly can be a non-white fairy, even one with brown skin. Needless to say, they are no longer getting my $9.99 plus tax until I see some non-white models. If that bikini photoshoot is the best they can do, I’m not going to bother holding my breath.
EDIT: I went through the photos on their facebook account and in all their images I counted less than 10 non-white faces, including crowd scenes. Combined with the fact that Cornwall (the city this magazine is base in) sees tourists from around the world and even has a small poc population, this is disappointing. 10 non-white faces over the course of five years is unimpressive. There have been more posts with poc in the past few months, which is a start.
**Please note, I’m not ragging on the people who submit this type of content or are featured, but rather the magazine staff themselves since they’re the ones who sort through the submissions and approve what gets published.