Black Men in Magazines: Why I don’t like Essence’s Cover Feature on Idris…


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Idris Elba is the cover model for the August ’09 issue of ESSENCE. He’s also from Hackney, east London which is a stone’s throw from where I live in E17, so he gets a LOT of love in London & from this blog. However…did anyone else read the cover feature written by Jeannine Amber in this month’s ESSENCE? Am I the only one getting the impression that ESSENCE focus a little too hard on how Idris looks? It’s obvious that he is absolutely stunning but he is such a talented actor.Seems like such a shame to have the chance to interview Idris Elba but instead, the feature did not focus on his skills or his aspirations for acting etc but instead on how fine he is and how women find him fine.

I’m starting to get jarred with this. I am in ESSENCE‘s readership as a black woman, but I want more cerebral insights too. He’s a hot cup of chocolate, but why can’t we read about how he got there organically?

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5 thoughts on “Black Men in Magazines: Why I don’t like Essence’s Cover Feature on Idris…

  1. Remember Essence is a heterosexual black female magazine so the writer probably had to write the article geared towards the market. I don’t think Elba is attractive but that’s just my personal opinion. However, I am sure Essence knows a lot of their readers find Elba attractive and they have to gush on his looks to appease their readers.

  2. i agree. it was written like a school girl crush. seemed like she couldn’t focus on anything else so she spent the time talking about how fine he was and her fantasy of being his girl. i wanted more. the article should have had more depth. the article made it seem like she only spent 5 mins with him and had nothing to say.

    • @deela: You said:

      it was written like a school girl crush. seemed like she couldn’t focus on anything else so she spent the time talking about how fine he was and her fantasy of being his girl

      I completely agree! The tone of the article made me wonder what the whole point of the feature was.

      It would have been nice to know about how he is in terms of being an actor.

  3. Damn he IS GORGEOUS 🙂 ….. I agree with you though. I’ve come across this a few times in Essence and some other mags. If an actor or singer is attractive, that is basically what they will focus on his looks. The article on the person is usually bland, it often discusses what the guy likes in a woman, how women find him attractive, how much of a bachelor he is, and how he is looking to settle down etc., they need to go deeper.

    • @Asha: These kinds of features are so boring though to me.

      I understand that E’s readership are black women and we all know as black women that we do like to look at a fine black man….but does the whole article have to focus on looks?

      Just disappointing. At this rate, I will subscribe to Ebony before ESSENCE.

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