Doing Good

A Note on Diversity in D Magazine’s Style Pages

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Last week, an article I wrote about over-40 fashion bloggers struck a chord with some readers when they noticed the glaring similarity between the women featured (they’re all white, wealthy, and live in the Park Cities area). Oddly, just like the last Facebook-based controversy I found myself wrapped up in, not a single person has reached out to me directly. I encourage anyone, after reading this, to please contact me. My info is below. But first I want to discuss three things: my approach to the article, diversity in D Magazine’s Style section, and how you can help D Magazine do better.

About the article on over-40 fashion bloggers:

The short article I wrote in our June issue titled “Instagrammers of a Certain Age” was centered on women who are specifically marketing themselves as middle-aged bloggers (check out their About pages here, here, here, and here). These are bloggers posting about Botox and facelifts, breast cancer survival, and fashion that is appropriate for women over the age of 40 (i.e., they don’t post pics in itty-bitty cut-offs). They have significant followings (the blogger with the least amount of “influence” in the article has nearly 20,000 Instagram followers). And blogging has become a legitimate career: they are writing multiple blog posts every week and staging professional photo shoots, generally requiring 20-plus hours of work per week, and they’re making a significant amount of money doing it.

After asking people in the PR industry, bloggers, professional photogs who work with fashion bloggers, retailers who collaborate with bloggers, and the team at rewardStyle, and after scouring Instagram on my own, no, I did not find any fashion bloggers of color—not even women outside the Highland Park area!—who share these same bullet points. (One could maybe make an argument for Tina Craig, but D already covered her rise to blogging fame, which happened many years ago.) The fact that there was a trend of Park Cities housewives taking on careers later in life, in the fashion blogging industry no less, struck me as funny-slash-interesting. Take note, the tone of the article is purposefully neutral. Aside from the online headline using the term “Rocking It” (I did not write that, and it did not appear that way in print), there aren’t any other adjectives, negative or positive, used in the article. I figured some would be inspired and some would roll their eyes. I wanted readers to make their own judgments about these bloggers.

About diversity in D Magazine’s Style section and beyond:

As editors, showing diversity in our magazine is always on our minds, sometimes in the back, sometimes in the front. But it’s always there. That doesn’t dictate every story, however, and not every page is going to show diversity. Here is a sample of the diversity that has been represented in our Style pages recently: in June (the same issue in which the fashion bloggers appeared), the opener for our Style section featured the stunning black model Dean Robinson. In May, we had two Asian-Americans modeling looks among the four pages. In April, we featured Regina Merson, a Mexican-born, Dallas-based cosmetics entrepreneur (who we also did an awesome podcast with recently). And in that same issue, we did a page about a trunk show hosted by the world’s foremost Indian handloom revivalist, plus an item about a local Pakistani-American designer. In March, we did a spread on Nini Nguyen, who recently sat down with us to talk about her childhood as a Vietnamese refugee, and the issue before that, we printed a Q&A with streetwear designer Smith II. Again, this is just in the four- or five-page Style section.

But we editors at D are always trying to do better. So I’m asking you to help us. If you have a story idea, or know people we should know, or uncover an issue that needs attention, or see someone doing amazing things in our community, or notice a lack of perspective that you can provide, or discover a cool product or shop or artist or musician or fashion trend, please send a pitch or a website link to [email protected] We’ve got pages to fill, and the endgame of each monthly issue is to make the style-obsessed, beer-brewing, creative-thinking, mural-dotted, multicultural city that we live in even better.