I remember hearing a few years ago from a former magazine editor that featuring First Nations women on the cover of Australian women’s magazines didn’t sell copies. As someone working as a journalist and who’d been advocating for wider cultural diversity and representation in our media, hearing this was understandably disheartening. But imagine what this message would’ve translated to in the minds of young Indigenous girls and women.
In recent years, women’s publications have begun featuring more Indigenous people on their covers, and while it shouldn’t be a ‘big deal’ when a new cover features someone from the First Nations community, I believe we’re still not at that stage where it’s a norm, and therefore it’s worth highlighting when progress is being made in an industry with a whitewashed history.
Reality TV star and Noongar-Yamatji woman Brooke Blurton is the latest cover star of Women’s Health magazine. The 27-year-old made history last year as the first bisexual Indigenous Bachelorette.
In her accompanying interview with the mag, Brooke said she’s become more comfortable with sharing aspects of her personal life on social media.
“I’m not afraid to share the ugly stuff as well,” she said. “Vulnerability is strength and that’s what I truly believe. If you can be vulnerable with yourself and also with others, I admire that over being physically strong because I think that, for me, is so admirable and the strength to share vulnerability is not credited enough in this world.”
Back to the topic of Indigenous representation in women’s media, here are some other recent magazine covers that have featured First Nations women.