For a fashion model, landing a Vogue magazine cover is a ~big deal~. And when you get that chance, even if it’s not a solo cover, it’s a career-defining moment.
This is the case for the seven models fronting the March issue of Vogue US: Liu Wen, Ashley Graham, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Imaan Hammam, Adwoa Aboah and Vittoria Ceretti, who were shot by Inez and Vinoodh. They’re all wearing matching black turtlenecks and high-waisted shorts, and they’re all pulling the same pose on the beach.
The cover lines shout ‘Women Rule!’ and, ‘The Beauty Revolution: No norm is the new norm,’ but despite the magazine’s attempts to make the cover all about diversity, people still aren’t convinced.
Why? Well, a couple of things.
First, there’s the Photoshop job, which plenty of people have noticed. (Sorry, but this is never gonna change with luxury magazines.)
Others also think the mix of models is not diverse enough – they would have liked to see a darker girl in the line-up.
But most of the criticism has been about Ashley Graham’s appearance on the cover, from the way she’s posing to what she’s wearing.
Like, why is she wearing black bottoms, when everyone else got bright, colourful ones? Why did the magazine add a white stripe to her pants that clearly wasn’t there for the original shoot (there are paparazzi pics to prove this)? Why is Ashley the only one with her hand on her thigh? Is this an attempt to make them look slimmer? WTF is going on with Gigi’s hand, which looks like it’s been stretched within an inch of its life and is covering Ashley’s waist?
The main point: if the magazine is trying to celebrate diversity and women in all forms, why is Ashley, one of the biggest advocates for beauty in all shapes and sizes, posing in a way that covers her body, and doesn’t show it off in all its fabulousness?
Ashley actually clarified the situation to critics on her Instagram post of the cover, which she called a “Dream. Come. True!” When someone pointed out her pose, with her hand on her thigh, she replied in the Instagram comments, “I chose to pose like that.. no one told me to do anything.”
Also, this isn’t Ashley’s first time as a Vogue cover girl – she was on the cover of the UK edition at the end of last year, and even that was controversial because there were heaps of designers who refused to dress a model outside of their sample size range.
At least everyone else knows how much of a babe Ashley is, and doesn’t need high-end mags to confirm it.