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The Color Divide: Representation of Skin Color in American Fashion Publications

by Elizabeth Vikhrenko

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Vogue a monthly, high society fashion journal and Glamour, a women’s fashion and lifestyle magazine, both published by Condé Nast Publications, do a disservice to women of color by inadequately displaying the color diversity of the American woman on their cover pages. Through the evolution of Glamour and Vogue, there remains limited representation of women of color on their covers. Cultural gender-codes, the interest of the male gaze and institutionalized branding techniques are examples of several influential elements fueling the idealized image of female beauty. This ideal image of American beauty excludes many women of color. When ethnic models are represented, oftentimes they are hyper-sexualized in the interest of the male gaze portraying succinct gender norms. Glamour and Vogue have incorporated models of color. Their efforts to illustrate inclusivity typically conform to the paradigm of fetishized diversity.

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