Out of Vogue
I'm not a reader of Vogue magazine. Go figure. I don't look like that; I don't dress like that; I can't afford that. I have strong opinions about the magazine's influence on how women view our bodies and our worth -- but it's part of such a pervasive, ridiculously unattainable culture, Vogue really doesn't come across my radar even when I glance at the magazines while I'm in line at the grocery store.
Except today. Evidently the editors of Vogue's international editions signed a pledge they're calling the "Health Initiative." Basically they've given themselves new rules to live by -- as if they didn't make the rules before.
The first and last of their position points seem like a definite departure from business as usual.
"1. We will not knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder. We will work with models who, in our view, are healthy and help to promote a healthy body image.
6. We will be ambassadors for the message of healthy body image."
So Vogue is going to show us what healthy, normal women look like, huh? Instead of starving children in ridiculously expensive, not to mention ugly, clothes? Do you really believe that?
Here's how some of them kicked it off. This article shows photos of the Healthy Initiative covers. Doesn't look new to me. Most of those arms are thinner than my index finger! I'm not sure what looks healthy about any of those covers. But OK, they're covers. What's inside is what matters.
Each of the international issues ran their own version of a healthy body pictorial. Here, for example, is a photo from the German issue. It's one of several black-and-white photos of nude women that haven't been Photoshopped.
We're supposed to be impressed because it's not airbrushed. Seriously? (There are other photos in the story, including some of the editor. This one stuck out though -- like a bone.)
Fuck you, German Vogue, if you think this represents healthy. No offense to you skinny women out there, but this initiative is supposed to represent a change. This girl does not represent healthy -- whatever that is. She might be healthy, but she doesn't represent it in a magazine that says it's changing its image.
Italian Vogue went a different direction. Here's one of their photos. Except that her hair is so big it will probably put her in a neck brace, she looks healthy, and so do the other women in the pictorial. It's better, right?
Nope. They called this their "plus-sized" issue. That right there, ladies and gentlemen, is your fat model. She was hired for the fat issue of Vogue. Not the healthy issue, the fat issue, because don't kid yourself, that's what they mean by "plus-sized" at Vogue magazine.
Fuck you, Italian Vogue.
I haven't seen all the other issues, but I don't buy their shit for one minute. Here's what I have to say to Vogue: You've been complicit stealing and distorting women's body images for decades. Don't pretend now that you're promoting images of healthy women. You're not. Your lawyers have told you you've taken it too far and now you're trying to do damage control, and make money by pretending you've changed. You still don't get it.
So if you're going to make a big deal about showing healthy women and doing it without Photoshopping them, first do it in color. That's right. Don't hide behind black and white photos. And second, do it without making a big fucking production of how you're showing "healthy" models who are ::::applause::::: over 16 years old. Start there. But until then .....
Fuck you, Vogue. You don't represent me and I'm am a healthy woman.