Glamour Apologizes

In August I wrote a piece about an editor from Glamour and the racist comments she made to a group of lawyers during a women's luncheon.  The Glamour employee had stated that African-American attorneys should avoid wearing "political" hairstyles like Afros and dreadlocks.

Today, I received an e-mail from the Editor-in-Chief of Glamour, Cindi Leive, explaining and apologizing for the incident.  

I want to thank Ms. Leive for her e-mail and apology (published below).  It was a generous act for a high-profile company to assume responsibility for their employees' mistakes and apologize.

BTW, according to Ms. Leive, the Glamour employee who made these comments was "dealt with in a very serious manner."  Good!

I read your post about a Glamour editor's comments on hairstyles for work, and
I'd like to share with you our thoughts.  First, we regret the comments were
made. The employee (not a beauty editor) spoke to a small group of lawyers at a
private luncheon without her supervisor's knowledge or approval, and her
comment — that Afros are not work appropriate — does not represent Glamour's
point of view.

Secondly, immediately upon learning of it, we sought to rectify the situation.
The editor has been dealt with in a very serious manner, and the entire staff
has been reminded of the magazine's policies and procedures for making public

Glamour is proud of its diverse readership and celebrates the beauty of ALL
women. We have responded directly and openly with readers to assure them of this
fact.  We have also apologized to the law firm, and we extend the same apology
to you.

Cindi Leive,
Editor-in-Chief of Glamour  Stumbleupon  Technorati  Digg 

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  • September 7, 2007 8:24 PM Mes Deaux Cents wrote:
    I applaud you! And you are right usually big companies try to ignore things like this, hoping it will just go away. The unfortunate thing is that these types of things are not only said behind closed doors but put into action. I'm sure many African American women have not gotten a job because she chose to wear her hair as it grows rather than adhere to a European standard.

    Once again great job!
    Reply to this
    1. September 7, 2007 9:42 PM AskThisBlackWoman wrote:
      @Mes Deaux Cents,

      Thanks! Now I might actually read Glamour outside of the laundromat!
      Reply to this
  • September 9, 2007 11:56 PM misscripchick wrote:
    so VERY glad she responded and rectified the situation, i remember reading that on your blog and being disgusted.
    Reply to this
    1. September 10, 2007 12:29 AM AskThisBlackWoman wrote:
      Well technically she didn't her boss did.
      Reply to this
  • September 14, 2007 11:49 AM StillAngry wrote:
    The employee should be FIRED. Why? Because she commented in the SAME MONTH that Glamour produced a piece on women in Congo surving rape. I wrote a letter in support of the article and providing other information to Glamour before I heard about this. Then I was asked for permission to reprint my letter. My response? HELL NO! How dare they let one of their employees get away with insulting the very women the article was trying to help. Not to mention insulting their cover girl Queen Latifah. To Glamour I say - AN APOLOGY IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH! CondeNast needs to make a big contribution to help the hospital serving those women in Congo. (I'm half African and I'm REALLY pissed off about this.)
    Reply to this
  • September 14, 2007 12:24 PM StillAngry wrote:
    They did it AGAIN! Did you see the "fashion don't" of the week?
    The photo has a back-handed compliment on someone's backside who's pretty brown looking to me. What hypocrites given the images portrayed in their rag. Looks like time for another apology. Or a boycott? I'm walking with my wallet to Vogue.
    Reply to this
    1. September 14, 2007 12:31 PM AskThisBlackWoman wrote:
      There is some serious disdain for the Black aesthetic going on.
      Reply to this
    2. September 17, 2007 3:02 PM ConcernedBoutUs wrote:
      Ummm...are you serious??? Black, tan or white, that lady looked a mess in that outfit. Had nothing to do with her skin color. The comment made was in direct relation to the outfit..not her behind. Not every issue is "race" related, and even adding this link makes us look silly. The comment in regards to our hair texture seriously needed to be addressed.. please keep this kind of inflammatory nonsense, that has absolutely no basis, out of the discussion.
      Reply to this
    3. October 10, 2007 10:51 AM kia wrote:
      yeh this comment wasn't that serious... they even complimented her body type.
      Reply to this
  • September 15, 2007 4:40 AM Undead Light wrote:
    Why is everyone so upset? I'm sorry I just don't get it...
    Reply to this
    1. September 15, 2007 7:31 PM Angel H. wrote:
      Does your Mommy still burp you and wipe your ass too? FOLLOW THE LINKS, DUMBASS and learn what people are talking about!!!
      Reply to this
  • September 21, 2007 1:52 PM JB wrote:
    Hello AskThisBlackWoman:


    in the past week, a group of friends wrote to Glamour magazine regarding this very same issue, and each person received the EXACT SAME RESPONSE as the one you have posted. The response is a form letter which does not address the seriousness of the matter, and maybe I'll get criticized for this, but this is not enough.
    Reply to this
    1. September 21, 2007 3:16 PM AskThisBlackWoman wrote:
      You know... it smelled a little like a form letter. You're right, this is not enough and now it's even more insulting given the generic response from Glamour. What should we do?
      Reply to this
  • September 26, 2007 4:53 PM Suze Yalof Schwartz wrote:
    I just saw this post and I have to say it’s unfair for you to report that I made these comments, which I did not. I agree with you; the comments were out of line and unacceptable. In fact, I wrote a blog about it today, which I would appreciate your looking at.

    Also, I would like to ask you to remove my name from your blog since the story you are writing has nothing to do with me and is damaging to my reputation.

    Reply to this
    1. September 26, 2007 7:53 PM phoenics wrote:

      I don't have anything to do with this site or any other sites that mentioned the glamour editor "don't" of insulting an entire race of women, but I think that you need to get your magazine to deal with the issue in print (meaning IN a magazine issue). Why not push for an expose of how our culture pushes a eurocentric beauty standard on everyone? A standard form letter does NOTHING to prove that your mag has rectified the situation. You need to show that Glamour (and you) mean what you say. My problem is that it seems really hard to believe that a junior editor or whatever was giving a PRESENTATION to all of these women - when there were apparently higher ups at this meeting - and that during this PRESENTATION, she wasn't primed on what to say! She was standing in front of a slide during a presentation - not chatting around afterwards - so the form letter apology doesn't wash.

      If you want people to take Glamour seriously (used to love that mag - now I am campaigning to get every sister I know to boycott it), then Glamour needs to do more than form letter lip service and show us that they really have taken care of the matter. You've 'dealt with her seriously'? *laughs* She needs to be FIRED. If anyone in my company (one of the big 4 accounting firms) made a comment like that, they would be. That's why we have diversity training.

      Glamour should be ashamed - and since you work with them, unfortunately you get painted with the same brush. Everyone at Glamour is distancing themselves from this and refusing to out the name of the editor and showing us how it's been dealt with. Until we get that, then I can't in all consciousness purchase glamour magazine (which sucks because I loved it until I found out what happened).

      Why not put your money where your mouth is and stop giving standard 'everyone is beautiful' lip service and use this as an opportunity to educate and inform with all the power you wield.
      Reply to this
  • September 30, 2007 7:07 PM April wrote:
    It was not a racist comment. It was silly to get worked up about a comment that I believe was solely focused on appearing professional. Please use your time to focus on real issues of racism. Like these new immigration laws and the Jena 6 case.
    Reply to this
    1. October 7, 2007 11:14 PM theresa reed wrote:
      The reason that there is even a Jena 6 case or even the darker skinned women of the Congo being raped is because of of some people insisting that Dark skin is ugly and offensive and that natural Kinky hair is unappealing and in poor taste. (Just ask Super-Model Alek Wek from Sudan how darker skinned women are treated even in Africa.) If God created Dark skin...then it is beautiful. If God created Kinky hair...then it is beautiful. This persistent rhetoric allows the rude police officer, judge or school teacher, etc. to make life difficult for a dark skinned black person with kinky hair(which is their offense) to "suffer" because they think, " I can treat them however I please.Who's going to care about this nappy headed **?" as your pal Don Imus would say. Judging by your comment, you apparently think that a person wearing their hair naturally kinky is "unprofessional". You also say that this comment was not racist although people of a certain ethnic group are the ones being singled out in a racist manner. People like you only feel good about themselves when we pretend that racism doesn't exist. It exists in all form and disguises itself in many ways. I applaud all of the people of every ethnicity on this blog and other blogs that speak out so that we don't become apathetic about serious issues. This is the perfect way to avoid another Holocaust...Or do you think that that was not a serious issue either? Do you think that that was an extreme comment? It's not. One seed of ignorance can rot, fester and destroy a crop of good intentions. It is interesting that many American Jews staighten their Afro-textured hair in order to avoid those kinds of remarks.
      Reply to this
      1. October 10, 2007 3:34 AM noasalira wrote:
        The issue of widespread violent rape in Congo is far more complex and really isn't linked to some people finding dark-skin ugly. Alek Wek has some very important points on issues in Africa, but I am sure even she'd agree that there is far more to these kinds of situations in Africa. Even in Sudan - both north and south - dark-skin is not universally rejected -- so the blanket statement is inaccurate, and distorts the otherwise very good points you've made. Serious issue like rape are about many factors that need to be addressed; skin color isn't 'the reason'
        Reply to this
  • October 22, 2007 10:33 AM Kimberly wrote:
    How can we write the the editor-in-chief expressing our views? I'd like to be a part of that roundtable.
    Reply to this

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