Thursday, September 25, 2008

US Demographics vs Vogue Demographics

[In answer to Rebekka's comment.]

The Wikipedia article, Demographics of the United States, calculates:

The U.S. population's racial distribution in 2006 was as follows:[22]

The article cites the US Census Bureau's detailed tables of estimated 2006 Demographics.

So 100% white in the editorial content is very out of proportion relative to the rest of America. The ads use 92% white (non-celebrity) professional models, which only looks progressive when compared to Anna Wintour's vision.

But those are breakdowns for the total population, not the fashion-consuming public. Fashionistas are younger than average. Older Americans are much whiter than younger Americans. The younger you look, the browner we get. In some states, non-Hispanic whites are a minority in the under 25 population. Very soon, that will be true for the US as a whole. Models are drawn mainly from the under 25 population.

That fashion advertisers and Anna Wintour don't see this is a sign of their total cluelessness. Or maybe they are worse than clueless? Either interpretation is not very flattering to them.


  1. Thanks! That gives us non-Americans some context for just how distorted the Vogue numbers are.

    To be reflecting the actual demographics (leaving aside the younger generation thing, because while the models themselves are under 25, the readers are not necessarily, and besides, my brain hurts at the thought of maths that complicated), around 7 of the models could have been white, with one Hispanic/Latino model and one Black/African American model.

    And the advertisments are doing my head in, because I just thought I'd calculated my percentages but then my final numbers added up to 304 instead of 261... I give up. Let's just leave it as the numbers being distorted.

  2. That's because I made my calculations only with non-celebrity professional models.


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