Curly-girls and brown-skinned beauties: why it’s important to see us in magazines

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diversity beauty makeup harper's bazaar vogue afro curly hair black model

In this post I’ll be commenting on three magazine editions covering fashion and beauty. Some of the looks will be going into my neglected beauty scrapbook. I need a new one and these images would be perfect to start it off.

Vogue (September 2016) had a fashion feature on diversity on the catwalk. I love to see curly hair on the catwalk where before it used to be straight hair only. I like to follow designers who embrace ethnic diversity and keep the curls so it was lovely to see that Louis Vuitton had Natalie Westling with her gorgeous red curls and Luisana Gonzalez with her covetable afro curls walking down the runway. Gonzalez’s curls were described by Emily Sheffield as “a mass of untamed frizz”, ugh, which is not true. I would love for magazines to get rid of this negativity around curls. There was nothing untamed about it. Her afro was perfectly shaped and curly-smooth. Where’s the frizz? How about we think of some better words to describe her gorgeous, voluminous, curly hair?

diversity beauty makeup vogue afro curly hair black model


I have been following Balmain on social media since Olivier Rousteing joined because to me he lives and breathes diversity. I have spotted age and ethnic diversity in his campaigns so he received a well-deserved mention in the article. Enough fashion, this is a beauty blog!

I have been a subscriber to Harper’s Bazaar for a while now. The subscriber-only covers and the stunning imagery within are too difficult to break way from, even when in the past I would say brown beauty representation was not great. In 2016, there were two months where black or mixed race women featured prominently. Needless to say, I was delighted!

In May 2006, there was a deliberate effort to celebrate diversity in a feature called “Shades of Beauty: a multicultural celebration of the many hues of beauty and couture” by Carine Roitfeld.

diversity beauty makeup harper's bazaar curly hair black model
Harper’s Bazaar: Shade’s of Beauty

The first image (Ari Westphal) immediately spoke to me – medium brown skin like mine (or how I think it looks!), brown eyes like mine (ok, mine are darker). Off-white nails, green eyeshadow and lilac lipstick? Yes, that will work on me because it works on her.

Next page (Alecia Morais): golden brown skin, the afro I want to have in the hair colour I already have, turquoise nails, blue eyeshadow and coral lips? Yes, that will work on me because it works on her.

Another image (Ari Westphal): Soft curls in a brown shade I’d like to try, copper and green eyeshadow, coral lips, peach and coral manicure? Yes, that will work on me because it works on her.

Next (Cai Lee): brown skin (ok, maybe a little darker than mine but maybe our undertones are the same) the red hair I’ve always dreamt about trying, glossy green lids, lipgloss the same colour as the hair? Yes, that will work on me because it works on her.

Finally  (Ysaunny Brito): Brown skin (darker than mine but who cares?), dark brown or even black hair like mine (kind of). Golden glitter lids, black glossy lips, pink glitter nails? Yes, that will work on me because it works on her.


I think you will now understand the point I am making. If I can identify with what I am seeing, if I can see it on myself in my imagination without too much effort, I will buy it. If I bought everything listed above just based on the models, I would have just spent hundreds of pounds in Dior, Dolce & Gabbana and Giorgio Armani.

The November 2016 edition was even more creative and but the focus was not on ethnic diversity. It was on art. The important thing about this feature was that race was supposed to be a non-issue. You are supposed to focus on the fashion, makeup and the art inspiration. It’s this kind of feature I want to see more of and it comes up quite regularly in Stylist magazine. One model throughout the whole feature to speak to everyone. This to me is inclusivity.

diversity beauty makeup harper's bazaar curly hair black model
Harper’s Bazaar: The Art of Make-up

If you described the model, as far as I’m concerned, you would use the same words to describe me (just add in the freckles). This is why the feature spoke to me and when it does that, I feel included.

This is also part of the reason I started “Tasha’s Face”. I wanted to show you what makeup looks like on me so you can decide if it suits you. I will try not to let a lack of camera (it broke), lack of sunlight (well it is the UK) and lack of time (I just need to find it) stop me this year.

I will be looking out for more diversity in the magazines I read. Let me know if you want more posts like this, or even a video or live chat.

diversity beauty makeup harper's bazaar curly hair black model
Harper’s Bazaar: The Art of Make-up

3 Replies to “Curly-girls and brown-skinned beauties: why it’s important to see us in magazines”

  1. I love this blog post ,its so nice to see someone passion about magazines like me.I am studying graphic design ,so its rare to see someone analyze the photos and makeup in a magazine.It so nice to see brown skin beauty celebrate in mainstream white women magazine.Its very true ,when you say they need to describe curly hair in a better way then untamed .I love Olivier Rousteing too .I enjoy watching hes fashion shows and watching hes interview.Even hes complained about how white fashion industry is in the west.Its amazing even when a brown skin person get to the top there still feel alone in a world surround by whiteness.


    1. Hey, thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you like the post! I actually had a whole series planned (I have a bunch of magazines to get though) but a number of events occurred which meant I had to put all that on pause. I love buying magazines and seeing how different magazines sell the same things. I also love the art of it all. I hope your course is going well!

      Liked by 1 person

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