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A Magazine About Whiteness

Is White Beautiful? with Niva White

9 Things White People LOVE

Sexy Shoes Shoes that Speak For You!


at the Harbor Top 10 Songs to Blast While Driving

Comfort starts with the right foundation.

Table of Contents ON THE COVER

Volume 1 NO. 1 Summer 2010


Shoes! 3 Looks that will say everything you have never been able to articulate.


Top 10 Songs to Blast While Driving! M ake a new mix for your next road trip.


Things White People Love You’ll know them when you see them


Oblivia at the Harbor Consumed by her own musings, Oblivia seems unaware of the impact of her “cracker-ness” on those around her.


White Is Beautiful? An Interview with cover model Niva White.


Editor’s Letter

Niva White on the cover and above Photographed by Natalie Tranell


Memorable Photo Check us out on the web at

Summer 2010 | IVORY



Finding IVORY I always fall victim to the alluring fashion magazine covers as I stand in line at the grocery store. How can one resist powerful, famous women with perfect hair, in

glamorous clothes surrounded by titles that speak directly to what is missing in

What does it mean to have

white skin?


IVORY | Summer 2010

my life, or at least what I think is missing? After flipping through countless fashion magazines, receiving endless advice on make-up, the right outfit for my body type, recipes and diet tips, one question remained unanswered. While there were routine articles about skin care, moisturizer, wrinkles and cosmetic surgery, not one addressed the whiteness of my skin. What does it mean to have white skin? Should I consider my white skin when I am picking out clothes? Should I take it into consideration when choosing a neighborhood? What do people without white skin think of my white epidermis? It almost seemed as though the editors of my favorite fashion magazines were in denial of the whiteness of their white audience. In my fruitless effort to find answers to my questions, I founded IVORY. I have set out to address the questions that I could not find answers for. IVORY exists to investigate whiteness and its implications in various capacities. –Nora Howell Founding Editor Write a letter to the editor:

Contributors Kathy Callahan-Howell Copy Editor and Consultant Expert copy editor and consultant on white writing, CallahanHowell has been copy editing her white children’s work for over 20 years. Growing up in white suburbia, her move to the ‘hood’ gave her a new perspective on skin tones.

Cloe Redwick Gevantier Advertising Contributor Principal of Elite Media & Advertising Consultants and nine-time awardee of the Clone Awards for excellence in selling ideas that sell more of the same ideas, this hybrid of mixed European heritage states, “Understanding how to assert your Caucasianality is absolutely essential. The White Card campaign centers on a woman who knows what she wants and knows how to use her racial advantage to get it. Men want her and women want to be like her.

Natalie Tranelli Photographer: Cover and “Oblivia At The Harbor” Accomplished fashion photographer for elite magazines around the world, her distinct and infamous obsession with light and her white aesthetic has made her a leading photographer in the industry.

Sarah Edelsburg Ethnomusicologist Artist and award winning ethnomusicologist, Edelsburg is based in Baltimore where she continues to conduct her research. In an exclusive interview she explained, “I find in my extensive research that the music enjoyed by white people is characterized by the voice of white singers accompanied by musicians of other races. Ultimately, music creates a safe pathway to experience aspects of other racial cultures.” Summer 2010 | IVORY 5




S o c o m f o r t a b l e , y o u w o n ’t e v e n k n o w i t ’s t h e r e .


IVORY | Summer 2010

Flaunt your race savvy with shoes that speak for you.


Soulful Steps “I Live in a Black Neighborhood” Black studded with white highlights. $700, at Vanille, Baltimore

“White Comfort”

Complete with built in privilege that allows you to be comfortable in ny situtation. $950, at Vanille, New York

“I Have Black Friends”

Creamy white with black accents. $850, at Vanille, Various USA locations

Summer 2010 | IVORY 7


IVORY | Summer 2010

White Pride

Black Power

Summer 2010 | IVORY 9



Beautiful? Nora Howell founding editor of IVORY magazine holds an open Conversation with Niva White, an expert in the field of white beauty. 10

IVORY | Summer 2010

Nora Howell: I am sitting here with Niva White, featured on our cover, to ultimately answer the question, is white beautiful? So Niva, is white beautiful? Niva White: I have answered this question many times in many different ways, but the simple answer is, yes. White is beautiful. But I have an inclination that you don’t think so, which makes this question far more complex. Howell: You’re right. I don’t. As a white woman, I think white skin is very revealing, you blush a little and everyone can see, any sort of soreness, it shows up, if you have really pale skin all someone has to do is poke you on the arm you can see a red mark! White skin in and of itself reveals its imperfection. It is hard for me to find it beautiful in and of itself. Yet despite the pastiness of white skin, white skinned women are seen as the epitome of beautiful. They define what is seen as beautiful. It is contradictory. White: I have heard white skin described negatively as pasty. But at the end of the day, what it comes down to for me, is this is the skin that I have been given. It is given to me by God and therefore it is good and therefore it is beautiful. Howell: That sounds ‘nice’ and perhaps the ‘right way’ to think. But do you honestly believe that? It seems overly simplistic and ignorant of the very realistic and complicated implications of skin tone and the social construction of beauty. I personally have a hard time separating my skin from its social context. In fact, as a white person, for me to openly say that I think white skin, or even my skin is beautiful, I’m being racist, since our narrow definition of beauty is at the expense of those who do not have white skin. Since white has been constructed to equal beauty and beauty equals white, beauty becomes a racist construction. In believing that my skin is beautiful I feel that I am buying into our racist system. White: That’s a slippery argument. Regardless of the social history of white skin, you’re pretty much stuck with your white skin for

the rest of your life! Of course, with cosmetic surgery, there are exceptions, but you see my point. Operating with the believing your skin is ugly, regardless of your skin tone, isn’t healthy! It’s absolutely unacceptable. Which is why I have spent most of my life helping white women to see themselves as beautiful! I guess that brings me to ask, Nora, do you think you are beautiful? Howell: Hmm. Pretty maybe, but not beautiful. But to be completely transparent, I think when it comes to assessing my own sense of beauty, I really evaluate based on specific features: lips, eyes, hair, body shape as opposed to the physical skin that covers each of those features, there is sort of a disassociation of the two, which may be why I don’t consider my skin beautiful. White: I find that to be common among white women. For the most part I don’t think they consider their skin tone as an asset or not, but when they do think about their whiteness, it becomes problematicPerhaps this disassociation is a coping mechanism you use to reconcile your own sense of self with your discomfort or the guilt associated with your skin color? Howell: Haven’t thought about it in that way before. Maybe. White: I think that guilt of any kind, in particular white guilt, can really get in the way of authentic human interactions in the same way that ignorance can. Howell: But, the guilt is nearly unavoidable. The only ones who escape white guilt seem to be those who have a limited understanding of the history of white racism globally and even more importantly its contemporary form and residual influence. White: I would argue differently. It is possible to strike a balance between acknowledging the social implications of whiteness without being oppressed by white guilt itself. I believe that it is within this balance that white can be defined as beautiful. Howell: So I can safely assume that you, Niva, think you’re beautiful? White: Yes [laughter]. Yes, it’s not necessarily something I woke up believing when I was thirteen, but now it’s a way of appreciating who I am. Seeing yourself as beautiful is essential, it’s part of being confident in yourself. Self-confidence promotes and contributes to healthy interactions with other people, whether they be intra or interracial. Comments? E-mail us at Summer 2010 | IVORY 11

Having trouble reading this ad? You may be one of many Americans suffering from an inability to see variations in skin tone. Don’t miss out on all America has to offer!

Get Your Eyes Checked Today! Provided by the National Association for the Awareness of Colorblind People [NAACP] 12

IVORY | Summer 2010

1 3

. What’s My Age Again? link 182 | Enema of the State

. Waiting On The World to Change ohn Mayer | Continuum

. Pride (In The Name of Love) 2 | The Unforgettable Fire


Si n gi n g a l o u d t o h i p - h o p s o n gs . At least when black people are around.

Loc ki n g t h e i r car d o o rs .


No One’s Gonna Love You and of Horses | Cease To Begin


Salsa d ance lessons.



Discussing methods to s a v e t h e wo rl d .

O rga n iz in g m u l t i - c u l tu r a l p o t - l u c k s. But what to bring?

(Over wine and cheese).

about how ‘others’ look at them trying.

Talk i ng ab out what the y do.

The kind with a Starbucks, Trader Joe’s and a Chipotle.

Enough said.


. Ants Marching ave Matthews Band | Under The able And Dreaming


H i p u rba n n e i gh bo rh o o d s .

Editor’s Picks

White People Like...


Ge t t i n g t a n . But Why?

H av i n g a bl a c k person c a l l them a N * * * * * . Is that a good thing?

1. What’s My Age Again? Blink 182 | Enema of the State


2. Waiting On The World to Change John Mayer | Continuum

3. Pride (In The Name of Love) U2 | The Unforgettable Fire


4. Ants Marching Dave Matthews Band | Under The Table And Dreaming

5. No One’s Gonna Love You Band of Horses | Cease To Begin

6. Rockin’ The Suburbs Ben Folds | Rockin’ The Suburbs

7. Fight For Your Right Beastie Boys | Liscenced to Ill

8. Born in the U.S.A. Bruce Springsteen | Born in U.S.A

9. It’s the End of the World As We Know It R.E.M. | Document

10. Dirt off Your Shoulder Danger Mouse feat. Jay-Z Summer 2010 | IVORY 13



at the harbor

Consumed by her own musings, Oblivia seems unaware of the impact of her ‘cracker-ness’ on those around her. 14

IVORY | Summer 2010

Photographed by Natalie Tranelli More pictures at

Fountain of Bliss. Oyster Cracker top, Saltine Cracker skirt, $1,502; custom order from Vanille.

Summer 2010 | IVORY 15

Looking Up and Moving Forward. Oyster Cracker top, Saltine Cracker skirt, $1,502; custom order from Vanille.

Buttering Her Up. Oyster Cracker top, Saltine Cracker skirt, $1,502; custom order from Vanille.

Summer 2010 | IVORY 17 17 Summer 2010 | IVORY

Memorable Photo


IVORY | Summer 2010

What They Don’t Know Won’t Hurt You.

The White Card the only card that lets you pass Providing you with privileged access to all your desired destinations since 1492. I M P O S S I B L E T O L E AV E H O M E W I T H O U T.

Summer 2010 | IVORY 19


IVORY | Summer 2010


IVORY exists to investigate whiteness and its implications.


IVORY exists to investigate whiteness and its implications.