Hollywood’s Cinderellas: How Vanity Fair’s Photo Spread Got It Right — Unfortunately.

Ok, so I’m a bit upset.  Wait. No. I changed my mind. I’m livid at the new Vanity Fair cover featuring the latest young actresses.  Ordinarily, I never bother to think about who’s on the cover of what magazine.  For me, it’s always been about what is in vogue.  George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston and all the other celebrities headlining a magazine, even a tabloid, don’t mind the limelight.  They may say they value their privacy.  But at the end of the day, when a celebrities ‘star power’ in Hollywood is calculated, the number of times they’ve appeared on the cover of a magazine, on gossip television shows or even the tabloids adds up.  The more exposure, the higher your worth.  And for sponsors and advertisers, exposure means money.  So why am I so angry about this Vanity Fair cover?
Look at it!  Is it me or do they all appear to be born from the same mother.  If these actresses were part of a film’s ensemble, then my anger would have been annoyance that they could not find an actress of color.  Even as an activist I would not have minded seeing a Latina holding a broom in the background so long as there was some representation.  But in this case, for this particular spread, Vanity Fair selected the crème de la white crème and called the issue “A New Decade. A New Hollywood: Starring the Fresh Faces of 2010”.  Let me repeat that in case you also missed the whole point of this rant: A New Decade. A New Hollywood. Starring the Fresh Faces of 2010.
Can someone explain to me how a photo of nine white women represents an ever-changing society in a new decade.  And is this really representative of a new Hollywood?  Is this the future editors at Vanity Fair know Hollywood is headed towards or is it wishful thinking?
I suppose I should not be that upset about this whole thing.  Perhaps my cinematically-challenged friends are right and I should just ignore the piece.  Most of them are immigrant rights activists and so to them, this just proves that we still live in a country that discriminates openly, especially so in the entertainment industry.  In hindsight, they’re right.  I’m not naive nor do I live in some fantasy world where all I see on my television set are the kinds of shows I saw growing up like “The Cosby Show”, “227”, “American Family”, “L.A. Law”, “Hill Street Blues”, “A Different World”, “Different Strokes” or “Alf” — you know, shows with people that looked like me with lives similar to mine.  I know Hollywood is still an all ‘white’ club, and this spread is a true reflection of the status quo.  But when considering the great level of talent by talent of color, especially this year, I am left wondering if the system will ever change.
Yes it’s a new decade.  But no, it’s still very much the old Hollywood.  And the women on this cover may be fresh faces of 2010, but they are certainly not from the world I live in, especially in the world of entertainment that I naively continue to love.
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