Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Essence: Another Month, Another Dull Cover

So Will and Jada will be on the cover of the December issue of Essence Magazine. He's the biggest movie star in the world and she is his lovely and incredibly stylish actress wife. What's not to love, right? 

I think they're a great couple too and I love seeing them walking hand in hand on the red carpet but c'mon, Essence! Is this the best you can do?

I've written before about how the magazine likes to play it safe and boring month after month but I was keeping my fingers crossed that with all the electricity buzzing in the air lately, that Essence would shake things up a bit.

A Barack and Michelle (or even just Michelle) cover would have been the obvious choice but if Donna Brazile (one of Essence's "Most Inspiring" people,) Condi Rice or Obama senior campaign advisor Valerie Jarrett was on the cover, I'd snap it up in a heartbeat.

Looking at this cover, I feel like I already know how the interview with Will and Jada will read and I know for sure that any beauty, health or money advice article will be a carbon copy of what was in the magazine last month.

Maybe at the very least they could take a cue from People Magazine and start running multiple pics on the cover.

Last gripe: the cover banner with "win a $100 gift card"? $100? Damn, the recession really has hit the magazine industry hard.



Project Christopher said...

This does look a bit more like "Women's Weekly" or some middle of the road "appeal-to-the-masses" cover doesn't it. Will & Jada are the type that could wear a potato sack and make it stylish as hell! Not only is the cover tame, but their appearance is as well.

However, I DO have to give Essence big kudos for the cover tag of "Black Women & the HIV Crisis" I'll pick it up just for that.

sdg1844 said...

I've given up on Essence. It's deadly dull and has been for while. They're not saying anything new and there's no leadership and no shown willingness to take the magazine in a new direction.

It's sad because they have a great platform to truly reflect the myriad lives of Black folk all over the world.

Safera said...

I really liked ESSENCE circa 2006/2007 because it was SO different from what I remembered from when I was much younger. I hadn't read it in a while but purchased the previous issue (a la Sasha Fierce)out of boredom. I don't know what else to say. Brigitte you've summed it up pretty well.

I mean damn, even if they tried something completely new and unexpected and it FLOPPED I think most of us would appreciate the effort.

When I think of ESSENCE the sayings "Don't fix it if it aint broke" and "Ride the wheels until they fall off" come to mind. No disrespect to the hard working staff who put it together but I'm just OVER it already. Plus the recession isn't helping their creativity either.

You'd think with the resources they have and, as sdg1844 said, the platform they have each issue would be something to look forward to, but no we get Jada & will, Beyonce and Monique every other issue.

lapetitediva said...

If I didn't know any better, I'd think that was Sanaa Lathan(sp?) on the cover. Jada's face has been airbrushed into unrecognizability.

Maybe Obama and Michelle will be on next month's cover. I would buy that issue for the historical significance.

kaliber said...

zzzzzzz. ESSENCE is usually a snoozefest w nary a surprise thrown in. i tried it after SUEDE folded and it wasnt a good replacement (not that SUEDE didnt have its issues)

- flipped thru that 'sasha fierce' issue by accident. happy accident i fell in love w one spread.

-i did BUY the will&jada issue bvc i LOVE them and am putting the cover on my 'vision board' like Oprah's dress for the Obama acceptance. lol

Anonymous said...

I'm a subscriber--my cover was just Jada (and just as dull).

Nu Girl said...

The combination of Time Warner buying the mag and Susan L. Taylor leaving has taken a lot of the soul from the mag. I still read Essence, but I now get what I need from blogs such as this one. Blogs are the new way to go!

Ondo Lady said...

Essence never lets me down and always produces a bland and generic issue. Sad to see that nothing has changed, I live for the day when they will ramp it up and put Grace Jones on the cover.

Wordweaver21 said...


Why isn't black media circuits giving that woman more coverage? she pretty much rocked election season with her on-point commentary and non-biased analysis. I love her hair, her style and she spicy sass, tossed in with just the right dosage of intellectualism and approachability. Work Brazile, work!

Anonymous said...

Just FYI, Barack & Michelle will be gracing the covers of Essence's January 2009 issue, in line with his Inauguration.