Flicking through my wife’s current issue of OK! magazine, I surprisingly found an article on page 33 that I would have been proud to write myself. I congratulate whoever wrote it for their social commentary in what is (let’s face it) an otherwise superficial celebfest. Print media are having to look for new business models in order to survive in a saturated market now online magazines are their competitors, so social engaged commentary could be a good angle for OK! – subtly giving their readers something they weren’t expecting. (Of course I will now have to read every issue of OK! from now on for research purposes, to see if this was an isolated, or increasing, phenomenon.)
I have reprinted the article in full below for prosperity, and to show my support for whichever writer & editor put this in. (I wonder if it was Betty Soires???). I know this story was in other newspapers, magazines and blogs before it reached OK!’s pages, but the fact they ran it in their magazine regardless of originality is impressive enough.
Here it is in full then. (Below it, if you’re interested, I give a bit of my analysis on the article.)
Original copyright remains.
[start of quote]
GABOUREY’S NOT PRECIOUS – Oscar nominee shrugs off cover controversy
Gabourey Sidibe has shrugged of the controversy surrounding the Vanity Fair cover which features nine of Hollywood’s hottest young actresses – although not one of them is black or ethnic. The cover, which features Brit sensation Carey Mulligan, caused uproar with observers asking why Mullighan was included but her black, overweight fellow Oscar nominee Sidibe wasn’t.
‘At first I thought, hmm, should I be there?’ admits Sidibe, who has been nominated for her star turn in Precious. ‘Then I very quickly got over it. I think if I were a part of the shoots, I would have felt left out anyway. I mean, I come from a world where I’m not on covers and I’m not in magazines at all, so I was happy to get a mention inside.’
Vanity Fair says the cover shot was part of a long process dependent ‘on availability and schedules’. A bit odd that every single young black actress in Hollywood was busy that day.
[end of quote]
A different version of the article is on the OK! magazine website here.
Even though Gabourey says she’s not bothered about it, it breaks my heart when I read her saying, “I think if I were a part of the shoots, I would have felt left out anyway. I mean, I come from a world where I’m not on covers and I’m not in magazines at all, so I was happy to get a mention inside.”
The reason why she sees the world she comes from as separate from the Vanity Fair world, is precisely because she has grown up realising that the ‘normal’ look of the fashion world does not look like her. This Vanity Fair photo shoot simply vindicated her sense of being an outsider, even when she’s worked herself ‘in’. It reminded me of the depressing child psychology experiment ‘A Girl Like Me’ that I spoke about in a previous article, see here. Basically, black children stating that all the white dolls were “good”, and the black dolls “bad”.
I won’t go on a rant about all of this, as like Gabourey, I just can’t be bothered. It still breaks my heart.
In 2010, this still breaks my heart.