If you were the editor of Utah Valley Magazine, and you needed a headline to accompany your editor's note for the "Women's Issue," and you had selected this photograph of your female staffers to illustrate it, what would you pick for a headline? How about the one thing the photo most certainly does not depict?
"Women of Color" is what editor Jeanette Bennett settled on for the July/August issue Utah Valley, which was pointed out to us by a tipster. Because look at all the colors! Red, yellow, green—is that melon? Oh and white.
"That was not intended as an ethnic comment," Bennett told me when I called to ask her if she was familiar with the traditional understanding of the adjectival phrase in question. "It was just clever wordplay. It was that women add color, and there's more than one meaning of color."
So does her magazine employ any actual women, or even people, of color? "We don't. I definitely don't think we're ethnically diverse. But we did have an article in this issue about the first African American Miss Utah Teen USA." So there's that.
UPDATE, 7/12: Utah Valley has changed the online version of the editor's letter to read "Colorful Women."
Bennett tells the Salt Lake Tribune that "no harm was intended," and that while she would welcome a more diverse staff, "I can honestly say that I have never had an African-American apply for a job or internship with us. Our staff reflects the demographics of Utah County, for better or for worse." [Salt Lake Tribune]