Published on July 16th, 2012 | by kdiddy19
Ready-Made Headlines For The Clueless White Magazine Editor
If you were hanging out the internet last week, you might have heard about the epic HURR DURR of the editorial staff at Utah Valley Magazine. They did a fashion spread of some of their female staff members who were all wearing vibrant shades of pink, red, green, and twee. The models were all white, which wasn’t really relevant until they thought real hard to come up with a title for the article.
If you’ve spent any time actively trying not to be racist, the problem with that headline will probably jump out at you immediately. But if “not being racist” is still lingering on your to-do list, along with “clean dryer vents” and “neuter dog,” then let me bring you up to speed. The phrase “people of color” is one of the traditional, conventional ways to refer to people who are not white in civilized discourse.
The brighter minds at the magazine quickly changed the headline and explained that it wasn’t an “ethnic comment,” which…thanks? Anyway, they obviously felt kind of dumb and I’m sure the magazine’s style guide was quickly amended.
Was this the worst thing that white people have ever done? Obviously not. But the reason why so many people found it face-palm-worthy was that it was just another example of people still not being aware of what they’re saying or doing beyond their own Wonder Bread existence. It seems incredibly likely that another publication will run more plays on words with some civil rights-related phrases that they’ve plucked from the foggy zeitgeist that they know that they’ve heard before but can’t think of why. So I’m going to go ahead and do some of the editorial heavy lifting for them.
For your upcoming feature on the benefits of canning, use the obvious “Yes, We Can.” Your readers will love the cheery advice on saving the fruits of their square foot garden or stocking up their doomsday bunker. Plus it has so many meanings, right? Like it means, “Yes, we can fruits and vegetables to preserve them,” but it also means, “Yes, we are able to do this.” And it’s inspirational because of some…big achievement…fairly recently? I don’t know, run it. Jam!
Your readers are young, white, and are earning decent livings through jobs that they achieved entirely on their own without any kind of privilege helping them along or giving them a leg up. But they have goals that they need to start saving for, like a house in a gated community or that really big trip to Super Target. They might have to make some uncomfortable cuts in their spending, but golly they will get all of their Christmas shopping done by 5 a.m. on Black Friday…by any means necessary! Somebody said that once. And they were emphatic…just like how we are about bargains.
Halloween will be here before you know it so you need to start coming up with clever decorations for your readers to imitate…or pin to their well-intentioned “For the Home” board on Pinterest. You know you’ve heard the name “Jim Crow” before…maybe he was a cowboy? Dunno. But it’s the perfect headline for your sidebar on putting fake crows all over your house.
Sophomore year of college is, like, such a drag. Rush isn’t looking too promising this year and all of the PiKA guys are barftastic. Plus what the eff is up with having stats at 8:30 a.m? Some cute new brown outfits can be just the thing to perk up the fall return to school. Education should be fun or something!
Air travel used to be a special occasion. Passengers showed up dressed to impress and not a single pajama pant or Croc was to be found. Wouldn’t it be lovely to bring back some of that old-fashioned glamor while still being comfortable for your flight to the Hamptons? These white ensembles will have your readers rushing out to White House Something Market.