Vogue’s September issue is bar none the most anticipated glossy published in the calendar year. Oftentimes, because of its critically imminent debut, it can also be one of the most controversial issues of the year as well. Vogue is no stranger to controversy; remember the hype — good and bad — their Kimye cover received just back in April? Every subscriber, reader and celebrity alike took to twitter to share their stances on the mega stars gracing the cover of the fashion bible. Some were so offended, they declared they would be immediately cancelling their subscriptions.
But this was far from a unique affair for the publication. Over the years, the magazine (all of its international editions) have come across a few bumps in the road and been on the receiving end of some pretty harsh backlash. Take a look at the top 5 most controversial Vogue-isms over the years.
5. Lena Dunham’s Vogue Cover is Photoshopped
So what? What page in any magazine ever hasn’t been photoshopped? The difference here is that Jezebel offered $10,000 for the un-retouched photos of the “Girl’s” star/creator, as it was a severe departure from her usual role-modelling ways of embracing imperfections and refusing to adhere to the Hollywood size 0 standard. She defended her cover spot, saying she “never felt bullied into anything,” and “felt that [I] was very lucky and that all the editors understood my persona, my creativity and who I am.” Fair enough, Ms. Dunham.
4. French Vogue Puts a 5th Grader on the Cover
10 year old model Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau posed for the French edition in the January 2011 issue, and while beautiful, the child looked rather disturbing and rang alarm bells when provocatively modelling designer pieces that have no place on the playground.
3. Racism in Japanese Vogue
Vogue Japan’s (in)famous Editor-at-Large Anna Della Russo often stirs up controversy, but one of the most memorable eyebrow raisers in recent history was a shoot (that ironically featured (in)famous model Crystal Renn) showed a behind the scenes photo of Renn’s eyes being taped to slant upwards and make her look like she was of Asian descent. Which leads us to…
2. More Racism
Vogue editions from all over the globe are often slammed and criticized for displaying blatantly racist shoots and comments, like when Vogue Italia ran a fashion feature on it’s website where it showed a model wearing large hoop earrings that they called ‘slave earrings’. The accompanying text read ‘If the name brings to the mind the decorative traditions of the women of colour who were brought to the southern United States during the slave trade, the latest interpretation is pure freedom.”
Repeat offender French Vogue created an outrage when they literally painted Dutch stunner (and notoriously pale) model Lara Stone, well, black. Technically, she was painted dark chocolate brown, but the point was made.
Not to be outdone, Vogue Italia stirred up controversy when they released an online edition entitled Vogue Black, creating separate issues for the races.
And who can forget the US edition’s cover that featured megastar baller LeBron James clutching supermodel Gisele Bundchen around his arm with his game face on? Immediately compared to King Kong, the world was outraged that the first black man on the cover of the magazine depicted him as dangerous and brutish.
1. Australian Vogue editor fired after 25 years, writes ‘Paris Thin’ tell-all
The sudden dismissal of Australian Vogue’s Editor-at-Large Kirstie Clements was a bit shocking, but Clements simply dismissed it as nothing more than a “regime change”. Shortly after her departure, however, she penned her first book, entitled ‘The Vogue Factor’, in which she divulges disgusting and disturbing insider information about the sad and sick lengths models go to maintain a ‘Paris thin’ figure. The book thinly veils blame on the magazine, if not by the title of the book alone.
Now tell us:
Which controversial cover do you believe is the worst?
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