Vanity Fair’s Annual Young Hollywood Issue Tucks Away Women Of Color, Renders Everyone Else Unrecognizable

Vanity Fair releases its Hollywood issue annually, but this year’s cover is unique in that it is the first of its kind to be shot by famed photog Mario Testino. His technique translates beautifully to the cover, though it’s not immediately apparent that it’s his work. The 11 young actresses featured are dressed impeccably, draped in silky pastels and exuding a sensuous, past-century boudoir air. Ever concerning, though, is the fact that hardly any of the starlets are recognizable. Aside from Rooney Mara, whose angular 1920s bob and sullen features make her easily identifiable, the rest of the girls bear little resemblance to, well, themselves.

They’ve all been styled similarly, with seamlessly curled coifs, smoky eyes, and brick red lips, and though there’s no question that they look lovely, at first glance I had no idea who they were. As seems to be the trend with Vanity Fair (and too many other magazines), the two actresses of color, Adepero Oduye and Paula Patton, have not been placed on the “power panel” (the actual newsstand cover) but rather the fold-out portion of the image (made up of the right half of the image above, as well as the image below). Sure, this is a small step up from 2010’s Young Hollywood cover, which highlighted only white actresses, but it’s still disappointing to see these two talented and lovely women of color tucked into the fold. Just saying, I would have much preferred to see one of them on the cover in place of Rooney Mara’s boring bitchface.

It’s seriously difficult to tell who’s who, so, across the panels: Rooney Mara, Mia Wasikowska, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Elizabeth Olsen, Adepero Oduye, Shailene Woodley (all above); Paula Patton, Felicity Jones, Lily Collins, and Brit Marling (below).