I flipped open the latest issue of Vanity Fair this morning and was struck with a sudden thought about the first few pages. I've an art degree, and one of the things you learn as an art student is the power of images as communication. That's obvious, I know, but I wanted to set up my thought process for those who didn't go to art school. Images are their own language. Art galleries spent a great deal of care in setting up the order of images patrons experience for this reason. Professionals are employed for this very purpose.
Now, back to Vanity Fair. The first advertisement I came to was of the cast of Empire.
In case you're not American or you are an American but you've been living under a rock, it's a great television series about the music business, and involves a powerful man who owns a hip-hop music label and is his family. The image above isn't the exact image in the magazine. I just wanted to give you an idea of my experience. Okay. The next image was from Star, another television series about the music industry. I can't find the exact image which is sad because in this case it does matter. It's a two-page ad showing a majority of PoCs (five out of seven) -- one white man and one white woman. Cool. Another success fantasy. I'm down. Flip page.
Imagine emblazoned across the top the words: "Find your gift. Find your power." This is from the new series The Gifted. It's about a normal family with children who have super powers a la the Marvel Universe.
My brain went straight to: people of color fantasy about success = reality-based dreams. White people fantasy about success = gods. I did a double take.
Yeah. That. Just. Wow.
 Just as people will argue that words don't have deeper layers of meaning--an absurd argument from my perspective
 In that the various definitions of individual words are implied even though they aren't directly used. For example the word dilettante. Merriam-Webster's definition is:
or dilettantiplay \-ˈtän-tē, -ˈtan-tē\
Now, look up the word "man" and tell me that it's 100% gender neutral. It isn't. It's impossible to use that word without masculine context. Context matters. And yet, someone will still step up and insist that it isn't the case. [eye roll]
 Oh, and of course the women are blonde which only adds an extra layer of white supremacy.
 Yes. I'm aware that isn't the intent. Nor is it a universal interpretation. But the subconscious message is there.
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is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.