It‘s ironic that cultural “norms” rarely include or give credit to the very cultures that created the norm. Luckily, we’re experiencing a shift in the dynamic and we’re starting to see people of color making more of an appearance of social media, in magazines, and occasionally on television and in movies. Although there is change happening, there are still fewer outlets that are solely for and by people of color in comparison to the outlets that aren’t.
Zarna Surtí, founder of Tonal Journal, writer and content creator for the likes of Vogue India, Alice+Olivia, and MAC Cosmetics, has been aware of the issue of underrepresentation and took matters into her own hand with the creation of Tonal. Zarna realized how women of color were constantly overlooked and excluded from many paying positions. She was in search of a way to put these women in the forefront.
Surtí decided to start a print publication nearly two years ago — one that is for women of color, by a woman of color. Tonal is set to publish two issues yearly with their first issue launching on April 6th, containing 288 pages of editorials and essays. Each issue of Tonal will have a thematic tone which will create the base for the issue, the first time will be a nude that explores all kinds of skin tones.
Surti is hoping to reach an audience of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities and genders. With personal stories about family, history and activism, there’s no doubt that Surti’s passion project will be a win on all fronts. She’s also made the conscious decision to not include advertisements in this first issue of Tonal Journal to ensure the issue’s identity is properly established. In future issues of Tonal Journal, advertisements might include events, playlists, and podcasts, which will be an important shift from what’s accustomed to being seen. Tonal Journal is promising and a bright look into the future of publications. Don’t forget to RSVP to the launch party, which will take place on April 6th in Los Angeles.