As Vogue's March issues lands on stands, the magazine landed itself in a controversy over the cover photo, after internet users suspected it tampered with the image to make model Ashley Graham look thinner.
The magazine that claims to be diverse aimed to “celebrate modern American women” with its latest issue. It featured models from various ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds including Liu Wen, Ashley Graham, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Imaan Hammam, Adwoa Aboah and Vittoria Ceretti.
However, when the magazine cover was shared on the company’s Instagram page, many social media users pointed out that Hadid’s hand seemed like it was covering up Graham’s torso to make her look slimmer.
One person called out the magazine for using only one plus-sized woman, and then wrote: “Shame on you, Vogue! Modern American women aren't looking like that...they r too skinny for real, and all look the same.”
Graham was the only model who was wearing plain black shorts and had her hand on her thigh, which also raised questions in people’s minds.
“Why hide Ashleys leg?? I don't appreciate the mixed msg Vouge. U are not truly admiring diversity,” wrote one commenter.
“Have you purposefully placed Ashley Graham's hand down, unlike all the rest, as to partly cover her thigh?,” said another.
One person also pointed out that all the women looked the same, and nothing about them was “diverse” except for their heritage.
“Appreciate some of these progressive steps shown in this cover shot, such as lots of ethnic diversity shown in these models (which is wonderful but nothing new) and one model, the fabulous @theashleygraham representing regular-size women. BUT. Don't pretend like this image represents much more than that in terms of diversity. This is a group of very tall women, all the same height, as per usual. No average-height ladies represented here. This is a group of very skinny and dark-haired women. This is a group of very young women, as per usual. No older ladies (older as in 35+?) represented here. It's strangely uniform, with all hair slicked back and everyone wearing the same outfit. You've made them all look extremely similar to each other. All in all, not a great image showing "diversity" or celebrating the "modern American woman" in my opinion. Doesn't speak to me,” one Instagram user pointed out after studying the image in great detail.
This is not the first time Vogue has landed in this sort of a controversy. Last year, Vogue Brazil used two perfectly able-bodied models for its photo campaign promoting the Paralympics.
People called out the company, demanding answers as to why real Paralympians were not included in the pictures, even though they were present in the studio at the time of the shoot.
While aiming to embrace diversity, Vogue must realize, in today’s day and age, the only norm is that there is no norm. People with different heights, skin colors, sexual orientations, religious backgrounds, physical features and those with disabilities should be featured in the magazine’s photos. It is about time they stopped using models and women who look like clones of one another to represent “all types” and the “modern American woman.”
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