Richard Prince, writing for the Maynard Institute of Journalism Education, has some harsh words for the March issue of Essence. He says that the majority of the women in the magazine are wearing wigs or weaves – and the deeper message behind that, that black women aren’t beautiful unless they have artificial hair – is upsetting.
He writes that Essence must have been only thinking about one thing when doing this: the bottom line.
“The images seem guaranteed to bolster the $247.7 million American market for ethnic personal care products — which comprise the majority of the Essence advertisers.”
Essence Spokesperson Dana Baxter replied to Prince’s claim, and said generalizations are never wise. “Making such a broad generalization based on just one issue of the magazine obscures the brand and its inclusiveness over the past 40 years,” she explained.