Earlier this week, Vogue released its March 2017 cover, marking the magazine’s 125th anniversary. The photo features 7 models – Adwoa Aboah, Liu Wen, Ashley Graham, Vittoria Ceretti, Imaan Hammam, Gigi Hadid, and Kendall Jenner in Prada turtlenecks and printed shorts posing together on the beach. The cover was aimed to celebrate modern American women by representing diversity in fashion and promoting the idea of beauty in all forms.
Despite their intentions, Vogue didn’t seem to impress much of their audience. Social media users have criticized the magazine for photoshopping plus-size model, Ashley Graham, to make her appear thinner. Some have also noticed that Graham was the only model to pose with her hand over her thigh, suggesting that she was instructed to drop her hand to appear slimmer. Others pointed out that Graham’s torso was hidden by Gigi Hadid’s arm, prompting speculation that Hadid’s arm was purposely lengthened to cover Graham’s body.
In addition to photo manipulation, many have spoken out about the lack of inclusiveness, claiming the cover in fact”isn’t all that diverse” due to the little representation of different body types and skin colours. Of the 7 models, only Graham is plus-sized while the others are tall and thin, and all the women have light to medium skin tones. Social media users left comments on Vogue’s Instagram and Twitter pages, voicing their desire to see the cover include more women of different body shapes and colours.
Since the backlash, both Ashley Graham and Liu Wen have spoken on social media in support of the cover. We’re sure Vogue likely meant well with the photo and did not anticipate for controversy. We’re definitely in support of greater representation of the diversity of women in the media, but we can’t deny how gorgeous the models on this cover look. Regardless, the message of female empowerment and uniqueness is steering us in the right direction toward non-conforming ideals in the fashion world.