Allure Magazine just released its June “Hair Guide” issue, and this year’s edition is making history. The publication’s cover features three Asian models: Fernanda Ly, Soo Joo Park, and Fei Fei Sun, with each enjoying a separate cover. In Allure’s almost 28-year-long history and 327 issue run, only two Asian women had ever graced its cover before: Chinese-American actresses Olivia Munn and Lucy Liu.
Allure’s editor, Michelle Lee, explained her motivation behind the cover, describing the lack of representation she experiences growing up:
This June Hair Guide is an important one to me for a variety of reasons. My preteen self couldn’t even fathom seeing an Asian face on the cover of a mainstream magazine or leading a TV show or headlining a movie. So being able to feature three game-changing Asian models, especially after a pretty sad track record, has significant meaning to me…and I hope to you, too.
Lee also emphasized that diversity cannot consist of mere tokenism. “I’d love for people and brands with a platform to stop viewing diversity as throwing a token Asian person into a group or a token Latina, etc., and calling it a day,” she said. “Diversity isn’t having a group of 10 people and only one POC.”
She intends for the big change to be the norm rather than a special or temporary promotion.
In the landmark issue. Ly, Park, and Sun all go into detail about the choices they have made regarding their hair, with each representing a different trend. Sun prefers going with her natural dark shade, whilst Park is credited with popularizing platinum blonde hair and Ly with putting the more eclectic pink in the spotlight.
The women also describe their struggles with inclusion on the way to success.
Sun, who also made history as the first Chinese woman to appear on the covers of American, Italian, and Japanese Vogue, says, “We need more and more girls from different countries on the runway and in magazines and in global campaigns.”
“We’re the fastest-growing minority in the country, but you hardly ever see one of us on the cover of a major American publication,” Park adds, while Ly recalls: “Australia has so many Asian people, but when I started out, pretty much every model was white. It’s an alienating experience.”
Here’s to making our way to a more diverse modeling industry!