Time Out, non-white kids

by marjorieingall on November 30, 2010

TONY, here is an adorable non-white child. call me.

Hey, Time Out New York Kids? It’s awfully nice of you to keep sending me the mag free when I’m no longer on the masthead, and I hate to sound churlish, but JEEZ: You couldn’t find ONE BLACK KID to put in the December issue?? NOT ONE?? Last I checked, the city is 25.1% Black or African-American. And while it’s pointless to go around guessing everybody’s ethnicity, except when it isn’t (I cherish Jezebel’s posts pointing out the lack of diversity on fashion runways, even though the blogger notes that she winds up having to make some judgment calls about which models to call what, ethnically speaking, and I apologize for the blazing syntactical awkwardness of this parenthetical) — but let me put this out there: TONY Kids, your magazine is only slightly more diverse than a Tea Party rally.

In the issue’s biggest story, the one hogging the feature well, the one with the 7 pages consisting solely of photos with wee captions, there are 16 pics of adorable children. ONE depicts a non-white child. Math was not my subject, but even I can work this out: 15 of your 16 photos depict white kids. (Christopher, 7, of the Upper West Side is Asian. And rocking that little guitar.)

Now let’s go to the front of the book. Ooh, a small photo of an Asian-looking girl on page 7! And two out-of-focus probably-Latina girls in that blurry pick-up photo — meaning it wasn’t shot specifically for the magazine — provided by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan!

You know what? Let’s sit down and count! I see 52 children’s faces in the editorial pages of the magazine. This isn’t counting ads and promo pages, which are a whole other megillah. Of those 52 faces, 49 are white. That includes ALL the children in illustrations commissioned by the magazine. You couldn’t even hire someone to DRAW a Black kid??

Yes, there are one or possibly two teeny faces in other pickup photos that MIGHT belong to Hispanic or Latino kids. And maybe some of those kids who look mighty white are actually not. But come on, TONY Kids. We live in a diverse city — though one that’s getting less diverse all the time — and yes, I know your readers are probably not representative of the makeup of the five boroughs. But COME ON. And don’t you dare blame the pickup art you get for free. You hire photographers and illustrators (though apparently your parent company doesn’t always pay them) and you’ve done a decent job of depicting LGBT and single-mom families. Now I hope you’ll consider doing the same for non-white ones.

Take a little time out to think about it, OK?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim Phillips December 1, 2010 at 10:03 am

That lack of diversity would be insensitive even where I’m from. And stock photos come in all colors. Preach it.

Celia V. December 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Hmm…now where in the world might they find a diverse group of kids without having to hire a bunch of models? Let’s see… oh, I know – your kids’ school! Or my kid’s school!

Margaret December 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Um, fact: your little girl is so cute that someone could try and sell me a poopy diaper using her face and I would probably go for it. TONY would do well to feature kids so adorable.

marjorieingall December 2, 2010 at 11:14 am

Aw, thanks, Margaret! She’s a friend’s kid, not mine — alas. She is dang cute.

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