1.25.2007

What Do You Want, a Cookie?

I didn't write this letter, but I would have gladly co-signed. Thanks, Figlet!

Cancel My Subscription

Dear Editor in Chief of Cookie Magazine:

Yuck. Look, I'm not opposed to conspicuous consumerism. I'm a conspicuous consumer myself, and I'm sure my stats fit in nicely with your target demographic. I'm happy to buy my little darling expensive Italian leather shoes and trousers made of the finest, softest cotton. I won't apologize for my Yuppie Trophy Stroller, and if they ever make a double stroller, well, I might be inclined to invest in one of those as well. I'm all about organic and 100% cotton and the odd luxury hotel myself. And yes, I'm willing to spend $10 on bubble bath for my kid because I can convince myself that it's better for her sensitive skin.

But.

But.

But.

I'm flipping through your latest issue and I can't help but notice that the only people of color in the entire "American Beauty" issue appear in a handful of ads. I went back and scanned every single page three times. Lots of sweet looking blondes and carefully coiffed white moms. Yo! Rocawear. Props to Guess and Dillard's Department Store. They at least pay lip service to the notion that conspicuous consumers come in all colors.

But I can't enjoy a parenting/lifestyle magazine that doesn't even attempt to speak to anyone outside upper middleclass white yuppiedom. Last I checked there were black yuppies, Asian yuppies, and of course Hispanic yuppies. The thing is, yuppiedom and conspicuous consumerism aren't the exclusive domain of white folks. Not every black woman pushing a Bugaboo is a nanny.

As a child I used to sit myself down with my mother's magazines and pore over recipes and parenting tips, and my favorite column, "My Problem and How I Solved It." I would be ashamed for my daughter, when she's old enough, to idly thumb through your magazine and realize her mother reads a magazine written for upper middle class white women with white children.

Since your editorial offices are based in New York, it's unforgivable, to my mind, that your staff wouldn't have caught this egregious omission. And I wonder if your advertisers noticed, or if they even care.

Sigh. To the bin it goes. Ick.

Sincerely yours,

Figlet

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Was just browsing, and found you! Wonderful site! Sweet, sassy, informative! Major Kudos on being ultra hip, mami!

Mrs. J said...

Thanks, anon – hope to see you here again!:)

daddy in a strange land said...

Dang! Will Figlet let us reprint that on ARP? ;)

Aly Cat 121 said...

that's the thing we try and watch out for in magz and books we buy, making sure that colored folks are represented. Especially for our children cuz you never know what images and ideas they may get from not seeing or being able to identify with others who are "like them".

Raquita said...

I got the first issue from a friend browsed the second in store but left it there for the same reason - I really liked it too, i was just a little bit bummed.

Nerd Girl said...

Thanks for the info! They just sent a "free trial subscription" card, and I was tempted. So over that!

gingerbreadlatte said...

Mrs. J,I love your work. The Bugaboo post was great, even though my husband would never part w/ the cash. I'll make do with my Combi.
Amen Figlet! I am always amazed at how easily white folks simply "overlook" us (blacks/browns/tans)and our money. Stupidity on their part because is they saw the prices on the Carols Daughters bottles and the Miss Jessie's tubs, they'd now we like high-end luxury beauty products too.

Keith said...

Um, when last I checked none of the major parenting magazines were particularly integrated. While I can't relate to being a black yuppie (organic is not in my budget, my son's last stroller was free with a $50 purchase at a major toy store chain, and I live in Queens) I can say that I will not eat a "Cookie" that doesn't have a little chocolate in the recipe.

Mrs. J said...

aly– I know exactly what you mean. The media in general is not helping us with these matters.

raquita – You know, I felt the same after seeing the first couple of issues too. Like the idea, but something just wouldn't let me send the subscription card in. The last straw was the cover at the top of my post, that's whe I was like, "Okay, enough already!"LOL

nerd girl – you're a smart woman.:)

gingerbread – Welcome! That Combi's a nice ride. Do you have the one with the speakers built in? They make one like that, don't they? I saw it in Child Magazine, I think.
Thanks for stopping by, hope to hear from you again.:)

ibex67 said...

OMGoodness, yes, yes YES!

I scribbled a similar comment on the free sample pages they mailed me and sent it back with the subscription card explaining why I wouldn't be subscribing.

Ginny said...

I had the same problem with Embassy Suites summer snap happy contest http://album.embassysnaphappy.com/winners/past_winners_grand.cfm . All of the 5 Grand Prize winners are very very white and I spotted maybe two asian families in the entire pack of winners. The overlooked some great pictures, including ours :-)
Too bad, I might be looking for a new chain of hotels for business and pleasure travel.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Angela said...

Hey, just found this site thanks to the Dan Zanes newsletter. What a great post! Now that I live in a place that is very white (NW Montana) and am white myself, I find myself noticing these things much more since my daughter isn't see much color in her real world. My other difficulty with Cookie is it is beautiful but a little too much conspicuous consumption for me.

I will back to your blog. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Check out a new magazine called "Baby Couture" There distribution is limited. I think just NY/LA but you can subscribe on line. They do not discriminate!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

came upon this site thanks to dan zanes. i love figlet's letter, and i would love to see a column...or something...entitled "not every black woman who pushes a bugaboo is a nanny." so well written.

Just a thought said...

Hmm . . . Maybe they should change their name from "Cookie" to "Cracker."

Anonymous said...

Came here through Dan Zanes. The problem that I have about Cookie is that it is truly a useless magazine and beyond the scope of reality. if their angle was to create an elitist magazine they have been succesful. I admit I have purchased several of their issues because of the ideas that I thought I could use. But for my daughter's first birthday I really didn't think buying her a swarovski tiara was really that great of an idea. And the insipid useless "real life" parenting articles are just another platform to brag about their kids. The best one was the mother who said her child is such a super genius the doctors thought her kid was autistic. Makes me want to to gag. Live and learn.

Anonymous said...

well, "cracker" would make it a scotch/irish/welsh poor immigrant parents who settled in the Southeastern US magazine, so I'm sure that group doesn't fit into their marketing demographic either!
Of course a useless magazine like this wouldn't bother to consider if any of its ideas were realistic, including the selection of models.

Anonymous said...

Found this site through Dan Zanes. I have never seen this magazine, but won't even bother looking for it. I feel fortunate to be part a white family raising my daughter in a growing-ly inclusive neighborhoor in the far suburbs of Chicago. If you'd like to see a nicely done magazine, representing all types of families from diverse backgrounds, try Wonder Times.

Sarah said...

Ugh...Cookie. I can't stand that magazine. The first time I flipped through the magazine they had featured a photo layout for clothing that had an exchange student in Europe theme. The children were maybe 9 years old and had a boy and girl in very sexually suggestive situations.

YUCK yuck yuck. That topped off with a little ethnocentrism and racisim...what will they come up with next?!

Anonymous said...

The only parenting magazine I've ever bought is Brainchild, and no, it's title isn't about your brilliant child. Its content feeds the parent's brain. Check it out. Ads are minimal and they're all for mom-and-pop, alternative-type goods and services. Unlike mainstream parenting magazines, it celebrates diversity, feeds your mind, talks about real parents and kids, and trusts that you have better things to do with your kids than shop.

Kelly

Anonymous said...

found this link from Dan Zanes. I actually subscribed to the inance mag you write about. I did not know anything about it and thought I would get some fun ideas of yummy cookies to bake or something. Instead I got a rag that I could not relate to AT ALL. Loved your post - thanks for articulating so well!

Anonymous said...

wow. i complete agree and am so glad to find others who find that magazine disgusting. I knew I couldn't be the only one. there are many reasons why it's bad and too white is on the top of the list!

Anonymous said...

hey blog administartor,
thanks for taking out my comment. why bother with a comment section if you take comments out. freedom of speech.

Anonymous said...

I am a "charter subscriber" of Cookie. I'll never forget how special I felt getting a secretive little note before the first issue was published about how I fit into their selective demographic of cool parents I should join ASAP because Cookie is so "now." I imagined a mag devoted to smart and sassy parents not seeking admission to the "Cult of Mommy." Boy, was I disappointed. What a completely useless piece of garbage. I don't even read it. There's not really much to read. Just pages and pages of ads for overpriced items I'm not at all interested in buying. I've wondered how in the world I got on their original mailing list and, after a recent move, I know. When I called Wired mag. to change my address they asked if they should forward Cookie to the new address as well. They're owned by the same company. However, I actually enjoy Wired.

I LOVE this Blog!!! YOU should be running a magazine, not the idiots over at Cookie.