Gabourey Sidibe Covers ELLE, But Doesn’t Make the PR Email…

I love Elle magazine, though to be fair my amore doesn’t compare to my undying devotion to British Vogue. Still, I love the E‘s mix of high and hipster fashion and the articles don’t pander to my intelligence like some of the other mainstream women’s magazines. Not to mention, Elle loves to keep a pre-ordained black girl on the cover, that’s how they got my first little bit of money at the newsstand. Or was that Jane (RIP)?

I digress, here’s the point.

I was thrilled when I initially saw an email from Elle’s pr staff promoting bites from Gabourey Sidibe’s cover story (my fave magazine knows about Parlour?!?). However when I looked at the images attached… no Gabby. Hm… Maybe I overlooked her image? *checks again* Nope, she’s not there, just images of Amanda Seyfried, Megan Fox and Lauren Conrad (the latter of whom has a fan base that both confuses and annoys me) who are also covers stars for the magazine’s 25th Anniversary issue. Fortunately, the pr folks at least sent me a bite or Gabby’s interview:

On celebrating her twenty-fifth birthday: “Part of me thought it would be weird if people knew I was a grown-up playing a teenager in Precious. So I had a twenty-first-birthday party. We had drinks and went to a strip club called Shotgun Willie’s.”

Ultimately, I’m left to assume that either most websites wouldn’t publish an image of Gabby over Amanda, La-La or Megs (in terms of SEO and clicks the other actresses—I use that term loosely with Lauren Conrad— garner more traffic, so I get that) or it’s because Gabby’s the most non-traditional cover. Either way, I’m reminded of the conversation I had with Washington, D.C. blogger @BlackSnob this morning about how the fashion community is “dumb.” Blackness and attributes of blackness like full lips—or in this morning’s case, a gap between one’s two front teeth—are awe-inspiring on non-black folks or alternatively palatable in doses, ie. Elle and other women’s magazines trend of sliding in black or brown women a few times per year. I said the whole concept of African-American fashion against the backdrop of Vogue style is odd because we’ve always created our own trends. I love fashion, my own version of converse with everything fashion anyway, and I mix what I see on celebs, around Brooklyn, London, California and what I hatch in my head into my idea of trendy. But that doens’t stop the rest of America from seeing my fashion sense as black and inherently different, which is what today’s Elle highlighted.

So congrats Gabby, you made it! You are one of the few brownies that mainstream women’s fashion magazines have allowed through 2010’s door, now let’s see if you can make it to the actual body of the email next time.

*googles image for this post*

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