In Screaming Color: My Thoughts Teen Vogue’s Diverse February Issue

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Hey guys! I have another fashion related opinion piece to share with you today! I am very pleased with the response that I received from my last post  (you can check it out here if you missed it) and will continue with a series of posts dealing with a controversial subject matter relating to fashion. Our topic of discussion today is the February 2016 issue of Teen Vogue and its cover star, civil rights activist and feminist Amandla Stenberg. Yes, she is also Rue from The Hunger Games.

I have been a subscriber of Teen Vogue since 2010 and always look forward to delving into a new issue to catch up on the latest trends and see what’s been happening in the world of fashion. While Teen Vogue (as the name suggests) is primarily a teen fashion magazine, its pages have so much more to offer than just runway trends. This was especially evident in this year’s February issue.

 

 

As soon as I found out who would grace the next cover of TV, I knew it was going to be good. Amandla Stenberg has been on my radar ever since her video discussing cultural appropriation surfaced and I was so excited that she’d gotten this great platform to share her message and beliefs. Before it even showed up on my doorstep, I saw the issue on two of my favorite Instagram accounts belonging to Solange Knowles and Julia Sarr-Jamois, two successful black women in the fashion industry who are absolute icons to me. I quickly checked Amandla’s account to see if she had posted anything. Her most recent photo was the cover and in the caption, it said she had been interviewed by Solange and styled by Julia in the issue! At this point, I could not wait to get my hands on it.

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As soon as it came in the mail, I ripped it open. The cover photo was even more beautiful in person: Amandla wore a knowing expression, her brown eyes leveled in a confident gaze, her glowing face framed by a halo of thick, curly hair. The caption to her right read: The Voice: Activist Amandla Stenberg by Solange Knowles and to her left: Color Pop! Finally, The Best Makeup for Dark Skin. I quickly began leafing through the issue, taking note of all the people of color I saw on each page. I had never seen so much diversity in a major publication of TV’s caliber or entire pieces specifically tailored to darker skin. I find it so disheartening and concerning that this was so drastically different from the other magazines I see on the shelves. I mean it’s 2016 for God’s sake, diversity should be wayyyyyyyy more common.

I finally made it to the article about Amandla and devoured it in five minutes flat. Her responses to each of Solange’s questions were both profound and poignant, and I related to every single one of them. Whether she was talking about receiving snide comments for wearing her hair natural or the limitations set for her due to her race/gender, I completely identified with each of the experiences she described and the feelings that she had. She has such a strong presence and sense of self that it’s hard not to be inspired by her words. Her beliefs and actions transcend the mold that she”should” fit and she’s rejected stereotypes altogether. Living every day as your most authentic self is of the utmost importance to me and her journey has shown that it is completely possible to exist in such a way. If there is one thing I want my readers to take away from my blog it’s that it is vitally important that you live as the truest form of yourself no matter what others may say. Just do what you love and love what you do. That’s something Amandla and I absolutely swear by. Do you see how philosophical and self-lovey I sound right now!? It’s the article, I’m tellin ya!

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The interview is by far my favorite feature in Teen Vogue to date and the entire issue will always to me be the most important issue ever printed. This may sound like a total plug in TV’s favor but I seriously loved this issue.

I urge you all to procure a copy and read the article. It’s eye-opening and overall just a great read. I really don’t think it is possible for me to give you any more incentive to read it at this point. Just do it. You’ll be glad. You can also read it online here. Now you have no excuse!

Thanks so much for reading and please feel free to comment down below with your thoughts. I’d love to talk with you all about this topic! Keep sharing and checking back for more! Xoxo- Pointe Shoes and Prada