On Monday actress Jada Pinkett Smith posted a mock-up issue of Essence Magazine with Charlize Theron on the cover to spark a conversation with her Facebook followers. Pinkett-Smith posted the image and asked her more than three million followers if black magazines should be more inclusive and include white women on their covers.
Pinkett-Smith also included a mock-up cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine with Queen Latifah to put things in perspective.
“To my women of color, I am clear we must have something of our own, but is it possible to share in the spirit in which we ask our white sisters to share with us?”, Pinkett-Smith asked.
The 41-year old actress who grew up in Baltimore told her followers that she was genuinely interested in having that conversation because she didn’t have an answer for herself. Her question, originally published on Facebook on Monday, is published in its entirety below.
Will there ever be a day in which women will be able to see each other beyond race, class, and culture?
There is a question I want to ask today. I’m asking this question in the spirit of thinking outside of the box in order to open doors to new possibilities. These possibilities may be realistic or unrealistic. I also want to make it clear that there is no finger pointing here. I pose this question with the hope that it opens a discussion about how we can build a community for women based upon us all taking a deeper interest in one another. An interest where skin color, culture, and social class does not create barriers in sharing the commonality of being… women. With love and respect to all parties involved, my question is this…if we ask our white sisters, who tend to be the guardians of the covers of mainstream magazines, to consider women of color to grace these covers, should we not offer the same consideration to white women to grace our covers? Should women extend their power to other women simply because they are women? To my women of color, I am clear we must have something of our own, but is it possible to share in the spirit in which we ask our white sisters to share with us? I don’t know the answer and would love to hear your thoughts.
The question has sparked some controversy amongst Pinkett-Smith’s followers. At the time this story was published the Facebook discussion included close to two-thousand comments with mixed feelings.
The opinions varied but the commenters who think ethnic magazines should keep their covers ethnic were more forthcoming with their thoughts. Check out some of the responses below.