Tuesday, March 13, 2018
After seeing another Kardashian cover coming to a news stand near you I had to sit down and offer my digital two cents to the cyber space goddesses. I wanted to reach out to the Editor's of the top Fashion publications for answers or some kind of clarity.
Dear Fashion Magazine Editors,
I am writing to request that you broaden your scope for cover stars and ask why they have become so limited. You have left behind the supermodel (or any model) for more than a decades faux-love affair with people whom our homogenized society refer to as "celebrities". I understand that they are selling magazines because of societies fascination with them and lives everyone wished they had until they really had them. I also understand fashion is about fantasy, which is what many of the cover starts offer and project.
To me, fashion magazines are about breaking rules, innovation, evolving forward and what I have seen is the same scenario, same people, same stories, recycled over and over again.
Kim and Kanye on the cover of VOGUE?
The Weekend on an anniversary issue of HARPERS BAZAAR?
I don't understand.
What about a revolutionary idea? What about casting cover models who have a real story, who have contributed to our society and the progress of humanity in a positive, real and forward manner? those who have various body types/sizes? with no restriction or limit on age?
Where are the women my daughter is supposed to look up to? to aspire to? to connect with?
In the midst of the #MeToo Movement, I am confused by a crop top (no disrespect to Jeremy Scott - I adore his work) and leather leggings being a high fashion magazine cover worthy look? I understand the subjectivity of fashion as an art form and I adore it, but really?
I don't understand.
What if your magazines became places women could go to become inspired about social justice, activism, female community AND beauty, style, and fashion all at the same time? This is why I subscribe and read them. This is also why I am letting my subscriptions lapse. If I would have seen this cover last week when I renewed ELLE I would have passed on renewing. It is nothing personal against Kim, I don't know her but it is what she represents from a cultural perspective. People being held in high regard for nothing, literally. The endless quest for money, fame, 'power' when at the end of the day when one does not use it for good or for service to others it also means nothing. The herd mentality that our society appears to be operating from.
Why can't women who are accomplished; scientists, activist, advocates for marginalized communities, social justice warriors, environmentalists, writers, business owners, hard working mothers, champions for change, women fighting for equality, survivors of violence, those who have beat breast cancer, etc be given couture or high fashion, styled looks, a glam squad and a PLATFORM to share their stories, inspire your readers and look good doing it. I would applaud a ground breaking cover like that.
You could still sell advertising in a magazine that doesn't have a celebrity on the cover every month. It would be refreshing to see a face that I did not know on the cover so to inspire me to purchase the magazine to learn more. It could be a stylish vehicle to promote change and forward progress not just consumerism by putting educated, accomplished, brave women on a pedestal and show young girls that aspiring to a meaningful career they are passionate about, participating in service to others or standing up for what you believe in never goes out of style!
My peace sign (L) &
My daughter and I walking in the Women's March - Jan 2017
Some "celebrities" are doing a lot of good for women and social justice causes like Angelina Jolie, Oprah, and Michelle Obama. What gorgeous cover stars they are, with substance and a story behind them. It is something that readers can really be inspired by.
I think of the pioneering editors like Diana Vreeland who I would imagine would be rolling in her grave to see how boring and generic everything has become. The endless parade of celebrities, more advertisements in magazines than articles or artistic editorials. No one taking risks, pushing the proverbial envelope, trying something NEW or re-inventing the past in a new and fresh way. She chose models who looked different, she highlighted and accentuated those differences, she started conversations, she invested in artistic editorials and moved the industry forward.
What I seem to be continually asking myself as I let each subscription run its course without renewing them ...
Shouldn't fashion magazines become part of the larger global female conversation? become a tool to also educate and inspire women on more than what to wear? Could advocating and change making in style become a trend? Why can't 'ordinary' women doing 'extraordinary' things be celebrated on Magazine covers? are we forever stuck in an over air brushed, celebrity, one dimensional culture?
Please help me understand.
Speaking at the Women's March Voices of Resistance Rally about Disability Rights, January 2018