When Black Boy Joy Stretches To British Vogue

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Some months ago the editor of British Vogue stepped down. I’ll admit that I cared little for the news update as I’d since associated Vogue with uppity white women with little regard for the little guy. 

You see, I’d written off Vogue entirely because in my mind, it wasn’t for people like me. Having written an entire dissertation dedicated to the lack of representation of women (and men) like myself, I’d removed myself from the title entirely. I mean, what did British Vogue have to offer me other than tips on bleach blonde hair and clothes I was too poor to afford. Much as I hate to admit it, the lack of representation in these glossy magazines often made me feel less than, as though my stories would, or rather could never be told through beautifully curated editorials.

So of course, when the news broke of Alex-what’s-her-face leaving, I waved an arm in the air and screamed, “don’t care! get a woman of colour in there to sort shit out”. Now, often my friends liken me to a witch as I’ve a tendency to speak things into existence, and right they are. I of course took to Facebook to elicit my rage and lack of care for yet another white woman leaving the throne, only to be replaced with another white woman. This time around however, I’d written that she need be replaced with someone of colour…. Like I actually wrote it into existence. One letter aside…

Yesterday, Edward Enninful was appointed as the new editor of British Vogue and it took everything in me not to cry happy tears at my desk. Some would call it dramatic, but as a black woman in the industry I’m in, a win for a black person – any black person – is a win for us all. Every. Single. Time. I see a person of colour succeed in my field I feel like I can go that extra mile and that maybe someday, I too can change publications like Vogue to meet my tone of voice. Think about it, an openly gay black male is head of one of the biggest publications worldwide. Has that sunken in just yet? With Edward – bestie of my other mother, Ms. Naomi Campbell – in the head chair I just know it’ll open doors for the rest of us and that we’ll all soon have a seat at the table. #NoSolange. It’s no secret that the fashion industry is wildly uninclusive, and this is just the beginning.

Having worked his ass off for twenty-something years, he deserves nothing more to be sat in that seat, leading the fucking charge. I care little for peoples opinion on him “not being a woman”, as far as I’m concerned his predecessors were all women and the title remained about as interesting as the labels of cleaning products. Truth is, everything Edward touches is golden and I’m almost certain that British Vogue is about to receive the much needed kick up its ass that it needs. That it’s been needing for some years now.  This is not only a call for diversity in an industry solely catered to white women and men, but also a win for all of us. Not only that, it’s a reminder that we’re fucking great and black (girl and boy) magic stretches beyond our golden skin, plump lips and the overall online melanin aesthetic. We often need to be reminded to keep going, because we’ve got to work harder than others. Something I’m certain many of our parents have drummed into us. This is just that reminder and I for one am going to take it, run with it, fly with it and be one with it.

I don’t know about you, but I feel fucking empowered.

Follow Lauren on Twitter @lawrenrae_
(Artwork via @thepoopculture)