Cosmo’s Racist Beauty Guide

There is no doubt that lifestyle publications tend to favor white America. You can pick up any household magazine and instantly notice the lack of diversity. Though some magazines will attempt to favor women of color and praise their beauty, they slip up due to their lack of knowledge or sometimes pure ignorance when it comes to portrayal.

Recently, Cosmopolitan “slipped up” and received a ton of backlash regarding an old beauty article titled, “21 Beauty Trends That Need to Die in 2015: Bye Felicia!” The controversy started when people began to notice that out of the 20-something beauty trends, the black models were the ones used for “trends that need to die.”


Though it was not the writer’s intention to discriminate, she could’ve used different photos that showcased those same outdated trends.

This is not the first questionable incident Cosmo has dealt with when it comes to race. The last Black woman to cover the publication was Nicki Minaj, back in November of 2011.

Yes. Almost 4 years ago.

The editor-in-chief has since updated the piece to include an apology:

“A note from the editor: This article focuses on beauty trends with images that represent those trends. Some images have been taken out of context, and we apologize for any offense. Celebrating all women is our mission, and we will continue to work hard to do that.”

It seems like the editor should have noticed the error when the story was originally posted back in January.

Publications continuously choose to highlight portrayals of mainstream white culture that reinforces Eurocentric beauty without taking into account the isolation of people of color.

As far as Cosmo’s “Beauty Trends that Need To Die,” this is the only trend that I’m noticing that we can all live without.