Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Is This 2007?

Ms. New Beauty had no intentions of posting today. Absolutely none. She's been working out like a fiend and not eating enough so she is ridiculously tired today. She's not intentionally starving herself, more like forgetting to eat. And, after churning out Monday's post and an additional post over at Imperious Ent., MNB needed a break. But, today she opened up her email to find some very disappointing and disheartening news about the antics of an editor at one of her favorite magazines.

your roots are showing

'Glamour' Editor To Lady Lawyers: Being Black Is Kinda A Corporate "Don't"

glamourcover081407.jpgThe latest issue of Glamour advises readers use Kimble leave-in conditioner followed by a flat iron followed by a curling iron followed by spritzer and augmented with hair extensions to achieve "Mary J. Blige's loose beautiful curls." Um, how about time better spent solving the mortgage crisis? Well, a recent slide show by an unidentified Glamour editor on the "Dos and Don'ts of Corporate Fashion" at a New York law firm shed some light on the topic, according to this month's American Lawyer magazine.

First slide up: an African American woman sporting an Afro. A real no-no, announced the 'Glamour' editor to the 40 or so lawyers in the room. As for dreadlocks: How truly dreadful! The style maven said it was 'shocking' that some people still think it 'appropriate' to wear those hairstyles at the office. 'No offense,' she sniffed, but those 'political' hairstyles really have to go.

Um, hey, 'no offense' taken -- my hair has been totally apolitical ever since I learned about the dangers of "Republican highlights" -- but next time you tell a group of professionals they'll need to submit to extensive regular treatments if they expect to survive in the corporate world, maybe try a crowd that isn't so familiar with, like, the law?

The story ends happily, with the law firm Cleary Gottlieb's managing partner Mark Walker, who wasn't at the lady luncheon, sending everyone an email pointing out the stupidty of the Glamour editor and of fashion magazines and yeah pretty much all the things we here at Jezebel hold so near and reviled.

As for the identity of the editor, neither Cleary Gottlieb nor Condé Nast Publications Inc. (publisher of 'Glamour') would say. Indeed, almost all of the half-dozen 'Glamour' editors contacted for this story professed not to have ever set foot in a law firm. 'Cleary what?' asked several. And Walker says he has no idea whether the editor who sparked all this controversy is a well-known fashionista. Not that Walker would know, even if Anna Wintour herself crossed his path. 'Who is she?' Walker asks. 'I really don't know people in the fashion industry.'
Ah, to be a white man.
Source: Jezebel

I have to ask - is it 2007 or did I wake up in a time warp and it's really 1907 outside? Are people this clueless and insensitive that they would admonish women that their natural beauty, the assets that God gave them are not appropriate in the workplace? An afro is a political statement? Has this Glamour editor, someone who is professionally charged with being on top of fashion and beauty trends, been asleep for the past thirty years and missed the fact that natural hair is not about politics? I swear the world takes one step forward and then two steps back.

I normally look forward to reading my Glamour issue every month but this is really leaving a bad taste in my mouth. I'm off to right a strongly worded email to the editors at Glamour and the higher ups at Conde Nast. I fully expect to see a written apology in the next issue or my subscription will be canceled. I encourage you to do the same if you were as equally offended as I was.

Voice your opinion on this subject, let Glamour know that this is unacceptable, and don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

P.S. I hate that the 100th post on Ms. New Beauty had to be taken up with something as foolish as this!


Christine said...

This is totally crazy, I can't believe that this editor said such things. Hello???

As a white girl, I can't say that I've ever thought of my African American friends' hair as a political statement in this day and age....

I think of their hair as a personal statement about how they want to look, pretty much exactly as I think of my own straight blonde hair.

I think any of these hair styles are appropriate in the corporate world, and I know plenty of fellow doctors at my hospital who sport these looks and are definitely professional and well thought of. As long as your hair is clean and you are well groomed, all of these styles are appropriate.

I think I've bought my last issue of Glamour off the newsstand!

Nemesis said...

I'm waiting to see if they print an apology or a retraction. I wear my curly fro with pride and I have had some sideways looks but it really doesn't bother me anymore...but this article bothered me to no end

Ms. New Beauty said...

This is the response I got from Glamour's EIC

Thank you very much for your letter about a Glamour editor’s reported comments
on hairstyles for work. We want to take this opportunity to assure you: Her
remark—that Afros are not office-appropriate—does not represent Glamour’s view.

The junior staffer in question was speaking without her superior’s knowledge
or approval. We at the magazine strongly disagree with her comments; they go against the spirit of inclusion Glamour stands for. We are proud of our diverse readership, and strive to ensure that all women can find themselves represented in the magazine. Obviously, this is a grave matter, and this staffer has been seriously censured; in addition, Glamour has extended a full apology to the law firm she addressed.

We value your opinion, and hope you continue to read Glamour—a magazine that celebrates the beauty of all women.

Cindi Leive
Editor-In-Chief, Glamour

aulelia said...

that was brilliant of you to send a letter to the editor. i agree with what you said on afrobella about them issuing a printed apology. is it on glamour's website?

i'm going to air my own views on one of the glamour fashion blogs (if they even show my comment)

aulelia said...

i just left a comment on 'suze on style' blog of glamour magazine. let the fireworks begin!

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