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Vogue’s “Diverse” Cover Falls Short

Vogue’s March 2017 cover features several models meant to represent the goal to celebrate diversity. However, many have criticized the magazine of falling short of this goal.

The cover does feature Ashley Graham, a plus-sized model. However, many have pointed out that Graham is the only model posing with her arm against her leg, seemingly making her appear slimmer. The magazine also was blasted for supposedly editing model, Gigi Hadid’s hand to cover Graham’s stomach. Graham did take to social media to report that she was not told to pose any particular way. But, the rumor that Hadid’s hand was photoshopped to cover Graham’s stomach has not been confirmed nor denied.

Twitter users took to social media to call the magazine out for more than possible intentional posing and photoshopping. The “diverse” cover has been under fire for not being diverse at all. The models are all tall and thin, unwavering from the typical model build, aside from Graham who is the only diverse body type on the cover. As for diverse backgrounds, the cover does feature several nationalities. The models are all suspiciously light-skinned though. There is not a clear black model or other dark skin tones. So, aside from lack of varying body types, the magazine is accused of not embracing cultural diversity either.

The magazine cover as mentioned earlier did feature Hadid as well as Kendall Jenner. The two are known for being Instagram “models” brought up in wealthy homes. While many do argue that the two do work incredibly hard at what they do, there is not much diversity in two teens both brought up in the limelight conquering the modeling world. Could Vogue have featured more lesser-known models with varying backgrounds? Probably.

While the magazine has been applauded for attempting to embrace diversity, it seems social media has claimed this to be a complete fail. Was the lack of diversity intentional? Or was it just not overlooked as closely as it should have been? Vogue is not a stranger to scrutiny for controversial photo shoots. They recently were under fire for a Geisha themed photo shoot featuring Karlie Kloss, a blonde and white model.  So, perhaps, with this “diverse” cover, Vogue should have had a closer eye on this cover and how true it rang to diversity.

The magazine cover celebrated its 125th year, so perhaps, the magazine cover has been around too long for it to suffer this type of blunder. The cover represents the existing parameters in the modeling world. Diversity is only accepted to a certain point.

What do you think? Did the magazine feature enough variance in body type, facial structure, or skin color? Or did their attempt to embrace “diversity” demonstrate what is wrong with the modeling world’s celebration of “differences”?


Senior Secondary Education English Major | Creative Writing & Education Technology Minor | Co-Managing Editor for BUnow.com