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Last year I turned the big 3.0 and got married - I thought that was my milestone year. As it turns out, 2009 quickly overshadowed 2008 when my husband and I found out we were pregnant. I'm going to be experiencing everything for the first time as a woman and an expectant mother which is why I'm calling this my year of firsts. I'm senior editor for Marie Claire South Africa.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Where are all the black babies?

I work on an international glossy - content on Marie Claire is king. It's our strongest selling point. And the topics that we tackle - whether international or local are universal. We can all relate right? But content does not work on its own - photos are needed - gorgeous photos which almost reach out at you, threatening to step off the page they're so gorgeous. From fashion to beauty to styled editorial shoots to gritty snapshots illustrating a story, even the pictures themselves are king.

Which brings me to my point... we all know that baby magazines all have a universal theme - one that all moms and moms to be can relate to in one way or another. The photos of the moms and the babies featured in them are lovely. The preggie moms look so perfect (with or without Photoshop) you want to kill them and the babies look like, well, cute babies. Now I'm not pointing fingers at any particular magazine even though I've posted a pic of 'FitPregnancy' but my problem with the local ones though is that I don't see any pictures of what my baby is going to look like? Or my belly? Where are all the black moms and babies in these magazines? And no, I'm not talking about cappuccino models who look like black American or Brazilian expats who have flowing mocha-coloured locks and green eyes. I'm talking about South African black women!
And as lovely as the Mocha Manual and Nubeing magazines are, I don't want to read a magazine that's 'tailormade' for black women. We're not all the same! How about a crisp magazine with fresh content featuring all types of moms and babies representative the South African population? And no - one or two in a 96-page mag is not enough. Is that too much to ask?


  1. i think i see a great magazine idea here! i know u said u don't want a magazine that is 'tailormade' for black women, but that seems to be the only solution. magazines that aim to be representative just don't cut it most of the time. when it comes to make up ideas, there is one page out of five with a women with my complexion. when it comes to hair, there is one page out of 10 that talks about styling 'natural' (read: 'mocha-coloured locks') hair, another page dedicated to weave inspired looks, then the other 8 talk about things my hair can't do either. when it comes to issues of hair...make up...fashion (specifically the bottom half with the hips and bums and what what) magazines that are tailormade for a specific kind of women are GREAT because flipping through the hundreds of pages, the odds of u finding something for u/something u identify with are way greater!

    'representative' mags are great for issues of love, work and health. but clothes (sometimes) and definitely skin and hair? tailormade baby!

  2. Mom says she remembers someone trying to launch one a few years back but I can't recall... I hear you! These magazines don't know what a gold mine the black hair industry is. I've been trying...