To be honest this issue never occurred to me, ever. But then that’s probably because I’m white. Every magazine I see has a white woman or man on the front. But Blogger Yaz O’Connor recently began a campaign to bring the topic into the forefront of peoples mind and to get Irish Media to sit up and pay attention.
Yaz, who is an Irish woman of colour, has spent her life never seeing anyone like her on the front of magazines or being used for advertising campaigns. And in 2019, it’s pretty outrageous that it’s still the case. We live in such a multi-racial community now, it seems strange that people from all ethnicities aren’t used regularly in print media.
But then if you look further into it you will see a lack of diversity in all walks of life. Panels at talk shows, or media events are almost always full of white, able bodied persons. But look around you, that isn’t real life in Ireland anymore.
And to be honest, it stretches even further then colour, where are the different sizes, disabilities, ethnic minorities or LGBTQIA community being represented? Occasionally you will see a big article about a particular person that fits in these categories but is that enough? No, of course not!
Some companies have made strides to bring change about, the likes of ASOS using plus sized models and not photo shopping and Dove using different bodies in their TV adverts, but there is still so much work to be done. You may be sitting there thinking, ‘big deal, there are bigger issues to deal with’ but then chances are you aren’t effected by this because you are white, or straight, or able bodied and in a position of privilege.
If you see a problem and think it’s not a problem because it doesn’t effect you, then you are privileged.
Yaz can’t do this alone and she shouldn’t have to, so please head over and sign her petition, and call out inequality. Just because it might not effect you, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get involved.