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Why one blogger is calling on Irish magazines to feature more diversity on their covers

She’s asking Irish magazines to commit to the cause.

WHEN WAS THE last time you saw a person of colour on the cover of an Irish magazine?

If your answer is something along the lines of “not in recent memory” or “never”, you’re not the only one. Yasmin O’Connor, of Glitter Mama Wishes blog, is calling on the Irish media to start a conversation on diversity.

With support from NotAnother Agency and fellow influencer Emma Murphy,  O’Connor started a petition to get Irish media to commit to 50/50 coverage for under-represented groups on covers going forward. At the time of writing, the petition has 288 signatures out of its goal of 300.

“Ireland is a diverse country, not representing that on magazine covers is harmful,” O’Connor said on Twitter. “Growing up a woman of colour and not seeing anyone like you on magazine covers makes you feel unseen and unheard.

“It’s damaging for kids growing up only seeing one type of model on covers.”

Can’t see the video? Click here.

The blogger is calling on magazines to move away from tokenism and encourage real change throughout the industry.

One token model of colour a year is not good enough [...] I’m asking Irish media to make a more conscious effort to include women of colour on their covers.

“I’ve brought this up before and felt silenced and ignored as is the way when people of colour speak up, so I hope this won’t be the case again,” she concludes. “People of colour matter and deserve to be represented, seen and heard also.”

Speaking to DailyEdge.ie, Yasmin detailed her own experience of how this blanket coverage of white women affected her.

“I grew up in Ireland not feeling like I fit in because all I ever saw was white people on kids magazines, the teen magazines and women’s magazines as I went into adulthood,” she said.

“I felt like I had to look a certain way to be respected or listened too,” she added. I’ve often felt dismissed based on people’s snap judgement of me because of the colour of my skin.

She also gave her thoughts on why outlets is slow to embrace diversity, despite it being such a prominent topic within female media. 

“I have talked about this with magazine editors before and the main reason they give is that the market isn’t there,” she said. “I don’t think that is a proper explanation for not giving space to women of colour.

“There is more than enough room for diversity on our covers, after all our country is multicultural and ‘the land of a thousand welcomes’, as they say. If showing diversity was the norm I don’t think sales would be affected.

I also think there is aesthetic reasons why mainly only white women feature on magazine, it seems to have become the norm that we all have to aspire to be white… And slim.”

Prior to the, one outlet contacted Yasmin to say they featured a wide variety of models within the pages of their magazine. Another outlet told her the lack of diverse covers was down 

“I have brought this issue up before over the years and I was mainly met with defensiveness and told I should have gone to them privately about the issue instead of publicly and “working against them”,” she said.
“I don’t want Irish media to see this as an attack,” Yasmin continued. “All we are asking is that a more conscious effort be made to include more people of colour on their magazines.
Listen to the people who have lived experience of not feeling represented in Irish media.”

If you want to sign Yasmin’s petition, you can do so by clicking here.

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