Covers & Content: September 2017

The September Issues are the most important issue a fashion magazine puts out during the publishing year. This being said, let’s see how Canada’s three biggest fashion magazines fared diversity-wise this month…

The Magazine: Elle Canada

The Cover Star: Jessica Chastain

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: White

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: Yes, there was one fashion editorial in this issue and it starred one thin, black model (Herieth Paul!)

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: Nope


The Magazine: FASHION

The Cover Star: Lorde

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: White

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: There were two fashion editorials in this issue. The first starred one thin, white model. The second, like Elle Canada, starred Herieth Paul!

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: Nope

Covers & Content Annual Review 2014, Part 2: Fashion

2014 has come to a close, so it’s time to look back on every issue printed this year by Canada’s three top fashion magazines: Elle Canada, Fashion, and Flare, to see how diverse they were overall and compared to last year.

This review will be divided into three parts (one for each magazine), just like we did last year. Posting will be done alphabetically, Part 1 focused on Elle Canada can be found here.

For a review of this project, please check out the FAQ page here.



Unlike its competitor, Elle Canada, Fashion, Canada’s top fashion magazine (seriously–Fashion has six times the Twitter followers than Elle Canada or Flare does) actually managed to have a cover star of colour this year–Zoe Saldana starred on the cover and got a proper cover story for their August issue. This is actually one less than what they had last year, so a bit of a step back. That being said, at least Fashion didn’t do a yellow-face spread this year!


Fashion never puts out an individual January issue, instead they combine their December and January issues together. As such, the stats for their Winter issue, comprising December 2013 and January 2014 will sound familiar. It’s a Whiteout Issue, with Courtney Love on the cover, and two editorials, both starring thin, white models.


February was a Whiteout Issue, with two editorials starring thin, white models and Lady Gaga on the cover.



Above: Mackenzie Hamilton representing in the March issue of Fashion

The March issue starred Canadian actress (and out-loud-and-proud feminist!) Jessica Paré. This issue had two editorials. The first was status quo, the second starred mixed-race model Mackenzie Hamilton.



Above: Told ya so!

The April issue had two editorials. The first starred one thin, black model, and a white male model in the nude. So that was mildly entertaining. The second editorial starred one thin, white model. Cobie Smulders was on the cover.


Above: Another image from the same April editorial–this one’s a little questionable, hmm?


A crying shame the May issue was a Whiteout Issue, because it was really good! Teen heroine/feminist Lorde was on the cover, and there were two editorials. Both were status quo, except the first starred Linda Rodin who is in her sixties. While Rodin may be much older than the models we usually see, its important to remember that she is still both thin and white.


Above: Linda Rodin models for the May issue of Fashion

Elsewhere the May issue shines for its reporting on fashion for women who are physically dis/abled. The Teen Titans special, focusing on young women making a difference is also an excellent read.


Fashion combines its June and July issues into a “Summer” issue. Too bad this Whiteout Issue was on the stands for two months being so woefully status quo, with Elle Fanning on the cover and one editorial starring one thin, white model.


It wasn’t until August that Fashion finally decided to put a woman of colour on their cover, and that woman is Zoe Saldana.


Above and below: No, it’s not my typically-lazy scanning practices, the models’ faces are just cut off in the pictures

Saldana’s presence seemed to inspire more diversity, as there were two editorials. The first was a little tricky–the models were unnamed in the magazine, and for the most part their faces were cut off in the editorial except for two occasions where you can see one thin, black model, and one thin, white model. There seems to be other models involved, but as you can see from the scan above its a little hard to tell.


Above: It’s hard to tell if this editorial was a Token Diversity Spread, but we’ll give Fashion the benefit of the doubt and say no, its not.

The second editorial starred two models, both of them thin and white.


The September issue was a Whiteout Issue, and its pretty transparent that Fashion didn’t want to have another cover star of colour because Lana Del Rey was on the cover, and she was on Fashion’s cover in the Summer issue of 2013 as well–not that long at all between covers on the same magazine.

The rest of the issue was thin on inspiration–just one editorial (for a September issue, no less!), starring one thin, white model.


Fashion‘s October issue was particularly laughable. It was a Whiteout Issue, with Blake Lively on the cover and two editorials, both starring one thin, white model each.


Above: A scan of the Stella Jean article in Fashion’s October issue, which should have been the cover story in my opinion.

Lively’s “cover story” was particularly damning for Fashion because, like the September issue, it shows the lengths to which a magazine will go to to avoid hiring a cover star of colour. To wit:

1. Lively’s cover story is unusually short for Fashion, which generally has the longest pieces of the three major Canadian fashion magazines, and Lively’s story is a page.

2. There are no unique pictures of her in it, just a collage of existing photos.

3. The beginning of the interview reveals that the reporter literally had very little time with her, it seems like they spoke with her for a 15-minute window amidst a crowd of other people.

4. The article doesn’t actually have Lively’s voice in it much at all–it’s reads like a short bio of her


Above: Also of note, Fashion did this editorial x Cirque Du Soleil spread, but all I could think of was this article

Bottom line, Fashion threw together this scanty cover story rather than, like, go out and find another celebrity to interview. It’s a crying shame they will go to these lengths to make an entire cover story out of nothing at all for a celebrity with blonde hair and blue eyes rather than pick up phone and book someone else. Interestingly, the October issue features an interview with Stella Jean, a supremely-talented fashion designer who always comes across as very well-spoken, engaging, and articulate. Why didn’t they just give her the cover instead? Probably cuz racism.


November saw to another Whiteout Issue for Fashion. Taylor Swift was on the cover, and there were two status quo editorials–yawn. The only saving grace of this issue is that they did an Oscar special and talked to a bunch of cool feminist actresses like Keira Knightley, Julianne Moore, and Felicity Jones.


Fashion finished their year how they started it–with a Whiteout Issue. As this “Winter” issue comprises both the December 2014 issue and January 2015 issue, it means that Fashion started 2015 with a Whiteout Issue, too. Evangeline Lilly is on the cover, and there is one editorial starring one thin, white model. All’s status quo that ends status quo, it seems.



Above is a table of how each 2014 issue of Fashion fared in terms of diversity this past year.

Fashion put out eleven issues this year, though only one featured a cover star of colour.

Of these eleven issues, eight of them were Whiteout Issues.

Fashion put out 18 fashion editorials in 2014. There wasn’t a ‘plus’ size model any where in sight this year for Fashion. Of these 18, 3 editorials starred models of colour. August might have had a Token Diversity Spread, but as we can’t see all of the models’ faces, we’ll give Fashion the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s not a Token Diversity Spread.

Overall, Fashion‘s diversity stats are definitely lower than last year–In 2013, Fashion had two cover stars of colour, and 5 editorials featured models of colour. Let’s see if they can turn it around for 2015.

7 More Feminist Fashion Icons

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Show

Stylish celebrity feminists are a lot more common than you would think. Our original post lists Keira Knightley and Janelle Monáe as proud feminists with head-turning wardrobes, here are seven more feminist style icons.



If you don’t want long curly hair and wine-stained lips, you’re doing it wrong. Not only is Lorde and amazing musician, she’s a die-hard feminist with a strong vision of her craft. She graced the cover of what is basically Canada’s Vogue, Fashion, before her 20th birthday, putting gender roles and double standards on full blast. Go Lorde, go!

KERRY WASHINGTONkerry-washington-printed-skirt-textured-black-t-shirt-h724

Does it really come as a surprise that Kerry Washington, the woman who plays Olivia Pope in Scandal is a feminist? The shows breaks records, being one of the most-watched shows ever to star a woman of colour as the lead actor. Washington looks sharp on and off the red carpet, is a super activist in her precious spare time (including charities like VDAY), and she’s been interviewed on Feministing, so ’nuff said.



Zoe Saldana has been lampooned by feminists and non-feminists alike for what may be considered some pretty naïve views on race, gender, and colorism, especially with regards to her role as Nina Simone in the eponymous movie, Nina. That being said, she is 100% girl power–every interview she does it seems she has something to say on the matter, whether it be Fashion or Flare.



Lily Allen seem so to have been on a journey in the last year in terms of her identification as a feminism and understanding of feminism, but she claims the label now and has said some pretty darn feminist things, so there’s that. Our hearts ache for her prom-dress-and- Nike-runners style from when she first came on the scene, but no one can deny her polished, Chanel-friendly looks are more than a little enviable.



It seems that if you’re in the limelight, you must be  a fashionable feminist–Zooey Deschanel, Zoe Saldana above, and here Zoe Kazan all identify as feminists! Kazan has made our site a few times for her feminist leanings, and with her filmmaking career continuing to rise (she wrote and starred in Ruby Sparks) we are always keen to hear more from her.



Sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg of the band First Aid Kit aren’t shy about their views on feminism, having made several appearances on Rookie alone. The amazing music and bohemian style have us crushin’ hard.



…needs no introduction.



Covers & Content: May 2014

How did Canadian fashion magazines fare this month in terms of diversity? Read on for further details.


The Cover Star: Lorde

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: White

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: 2 editorials, both starring white models, making this issue a Whiteout Issue.

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: No. However, one editorial features 60-something model Linda Rodin! There was lots of other stuff we liked about this issue here.

Rose Byrne Elle Canada cover

The Cover Star: Rose Byrne

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: White

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: No. There were three editorials this month, and none of them featured models of colour. This month was a Whiteout Issue.

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: No.


The Cover Star: Eva Mendes 

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: Latina/mixed race

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: No.

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: No.





Surprisingly REALLY Good: Fashion’s May 2014 Issue

It’s no secret that Fashion, “Canada’s No.1 Fashion and Beauty Magazine,” is a bit of a slacker in terms of diversity–they did an explicitly yellow-face spread in the April 2013 issue, yet only had two cover stars of colour. They also tied for last place with Elle Canada for having the fewest models of colour in their editorials during the 2013 publishing year.

However, the May issue of Fashion is actually (relatively) super-impressive. When it’s all said and done, this issue is still a Whiteout Issue–that is, it has a white person on the cover, and the two editorials star white models; persons of colour do not figure into the creative aspects of this issue at all in the sense of visual representation. That being said, there are interesting aspects of this issue that deserve some special notice. Here they are:

1. It stars Lorde on the cover, who is identifies as a feminist.

Above: Lupita Nyong’o’s speech on ‘dark beauty’ at the annual Black Women in Hollywood luncheon is discussed in Francis’ column.

2. Article, “Beyond the Pale,” (p.106) by Jacquelyn Francis is focused on colourism.

3. Section “Teen Titans” (starts on p.125) focuses on young female activists and artists who are changing things up and making a difference. We’re especially excited about the brief piece on ballerina Michaela DePrince, which was quoted earlier this morning in Gloss over This.

4. Brief interview with actress Meghan Markle focuses on race and representations of women in television (p.136)

5. “Revolutionary Style” by Rea McNamara focuses on style for women who use wheelchairs.


6. Their first editorial (pictured above), “White Collar Time” stars Linda Rodin, who is in her sixties.

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