FAE Magazine and the Disapearing POC Fairies: A Mystery

The Renaissance Faire was this weekend and I forgot about it so I was unable to attend. ūüė¶ 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.

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Magic box viewings

Alas, I keep forgetting to write up those reviews. Here are my thoughts on some historical related media I’ve been meaning to talk about.

American Horror Story, season 4: After much pestering from several people I finally caved and watched this season. I came in not knowing what to expect and was pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t expecting it to be set in the 40’s, nor was I expecting the accuracy that I saw. I’m used to the half-hearted attempts at grasping at period aesthetics, with gowns that vaguely look Victorian or weak jazz to indicate the 20’s. Not so here, the research put into this show is top notch. Everything was spot on from the flashbacks to attitudes and even the circus performers themselves. Since viewing this I’ve started the third season and will work my way through the other seasons, so expect more on those at a later time. Expect me this fall, FX. 4/5

Game of Thrones, season 5: aka everyone’s Problematic Fave. I am so fed up with this show and yet here I am, waiting for the next season. At this point, I just want to see my girls find happiness. They’re treated so poorly and it’s very upsetting. Before anyone busts out the “b-but that’s how it was back then!!1!” excuse, this is fantasy. You can make your own rules and have these girls not be used as plot devices. If what I heard from book fans is true, a lot of these changes and omissions weren’t necessary. Representation was pitiful as always.¬†In FIVE seasons the only Asian person¬†seen was a former prostitute and seen for all of a couple minutes in one episode. Yikes. Not even going to talk about the black slavers, this show irritates me enough.¬†Just give¬†my girls a good ending and call it a day. 2/5

Penny Dreadful, season 1: A very fun and entertaining show, although culturally inaccurate at parts. Considering the amount of detail that goes into every scene and character (ex.¬†Dr. Frankenstein’s creature being true to the book and not the movies) I feel this is intentional. I heard this anachronistic mix as done on purpose but I haven’t been able to verify since I don’t want to spoil the second season. 3.5/5

HTTYD Race to the Edge: Its set in the Viking era, it counts. Aside from a couple Norse gods being mentioned and some Celtic knots, there is virtually no accuracy here. You don’t watch this show for political warfare¬†and accurate depictions of daily life, you watch for the dragons and action scenes. ūüėõ In all an entertaining season, although it would be nice to see some¬†the girls interact with each other more. (rolling eyes at each other doesn’t count!) 3.5/5

I need to find another new historical show to enjoy during the summer. I’m watching lots of sci-fi but I need something a little lighter and possibly whimsical.

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Review: Captive Prince

Finals are finally over and I am free for the summer. I didn’t have time to read for pleasure this past quarter due to my Gothic Lit class. It was a very fun and enjoyable class but there wasn’t much room for pleasure reading between analyzing themes and gothic vs sentimental works.

The instant I turned in my final exam I got started on Captive Prince by C. S Pacat. I’ve heard a lot of praise for it and was eager to see what it was about. The basic premise is Damen, a¬†warrior prince, is captured by his half-brother and sent off to be the slave to the prince of an enemy country.¬†While here he plots his escape while navigating treacherous court life and the sadistic prince while keeping his true identity a secret. It sounds a little generic but there is plenty of political intrigue and a little romance.

I wanted to enjoy it since everyone raved about it but I had difficulties getting into it. My main issue was the portrayal of race. Specifically, the darker-skinned protagonist lusting after pale blonde people. Then there is the fact that he becomes the personal slave to the palest, blondest person in the book. If you didn’t guess by now this did not sit well with me. It didn’t help that his preference was brought up constantly. I read fantasy to see what could be, not for existing harmful values and ideologies to be impressed upon a place that would, theoretically, not have a concept about it. This book reminded me about all the issues I have with the fantasy genre. There also needs to be less “darker-skinned nation viewed as barbaric or backwards by paler nations” but that’s for another time.

Despite that the book was entertaining and a quick read.¬†The plot was sound, characters varied. The world building was adequate enough, although the lack of explicit detail on things like clothing made it harder to imagine what the author had in mind. Calling an outfit simply “silks” doesn’t tell me much about an outfit other than the material its made of. In all, an okay read. 3/5

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SIFF 2015 Roundup

Mid-terms are over and I can say I am properly beat! I am enjoying my Gothic Lit class very much, although the workload can be heavy at times. I dropped my Italian Sculpture class, however. I wanted to enjoy it but I just couldn’t get into it. The teacher sounded like she was reading from a script which made the whole thing awful. Instead I am taking an Intro to Architecture class where we are currently studying ancient Roman and Byzantine buildings.

SIFF is starting soon, which is a popular film fest that shows films from all around the world. There is a decent amount of period pieces, although I get the impression they only put dramas in that category this year. This has made it harder to find anything, even things set in recent decades or comedies. Of all the films I saw only Liza the Fox Fairy caught my eye.

It is set in the 70’s, and about a girl who is obsessed with Japanese culture who takes care of the widowed wife of a Japanese consulate. She’s also very unlucky in love, with all of her dates ending horribly due to the fact she might be possessed by a demon. I was going to say it was messed up that a film with a heavy Japanese influence had only one Japanese actor.¬†However, the movie in Hungarian and I can’t even find ethnicity demographics that mention non-European ethnicities, so the point it moot. Its looks like it’ll be a lot of fun.

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Spring break is nearly over and I haven’t worked on a single review. Whoops! My next quarter is looking good, with a class on Italian Sculpture and another on 1700-1900 Gothic Lit. I’m hoping they go well. In the meantime a list of historical movies coming out in the next two months:

  • Woman in Gold- Based on a true story about Maria Altmann’s battle to reclaim a portrait of her aunt taken by the Nazis. Not sure when it is suppose to take place (40’s or 2000’s?) but I imagine there might be flashbacks.
  • Little Boy- A little boy wants to end WWII so his dad will come home.
  • Far from the Madding Crowd – A woman attracts three vastly different suitors¬†in Victorian England, based off the 1847 novel.

If it wasn’t apparent, it is very slim pickings for the spring season. The only other movie I can think out thats come out this season is Cinderella. Looks like I have to turn to tv and lit to get my historical fix, or find an older series.

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*rises from the pile of papers and projects*

Hello everyone! I feel terrible that I’ve been so neglectful! I’ve been slacking on a lot of things but thankfully I am almost done with finals. The taste of freedom and my St.Patrick’s day meal is sooo close! ūüėõ I haven’t been watching too much tv or any movies (I missed my chance to see Jupiter Ascending ūüė¶ ) but I have been reading lots! Expect a couple book reviews on those. In keeping with the blog theme I have been reading mainly historical novels. Some really good, some disappointingly bad.

In preparation for Spring break I have the first season of Sleepy Hallow on DVD and brought some supplies¬†to start on my cosplay project.¬†I’m going to end this post with a moment of silence for Lapis Lazuli, she deserved better.

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NYE 2014

I can’t believe the year is almost over! It seems just like yesterday everyone was getting yelled at for getting excited about Halloween in July.¬†Looking back, this year was sorely lacking in historical costume goodies. I saw and read only a handful of period pieces, gained a few vintage pieces, and didn’t make an costumes.

My goals for the upcoming year in relation to this blog is to watch more period pieces, obtain at least one fantastic vintage outfit, make a historical costume, and maybe even get a Gunne Sax dress? ūüėõ I’ve already put holds on historical novels at the library so I have that front covered.I also want to work harder at introducing people to historical fashion, and get them interested.

To progress, peace, and a great 2015! ūüôā

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