The editor of UK Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, gave an interview this weekend and revealed very candidly how people who create fashion magazines like Vogue think. In an interview on BBC Radio 2, Shulman — who has been editor of UK Vogue since 1992 — spoke about what makes for a successful magazine cover. Here she is quoted by the UK’s Telegraph:
“If I knew exactly what sold it would be like having the secret of the universe, but I’d say broadly speaking, if you’re going to talk about a model or a personality, it’s kind of a quite middle view of what beauty is. Quite conventional, probably smiling, in a pretty dress; somebody looking very ‘lovely’. The most perfect girl next door.” … People always say ‘why do you have thin models? That’s not what real people look like’ But nobody really wants to see a real person looking like a real person on the cover of Vogue. I think Vogue is a magazine that’s about fantasy to some extent and dreams, and an escape from real life. People don’t want to buy a magazine like Vogue to see what they see when they look in the mirror. They can do that for free.” Keep reading »
How awesome would it be if we could hand a kid a doll that didn’t have absurdly unrealistic proportions like Barbie does?
You may remember last year’s 3D print of a Barbie created using the average measurements of a 19-year-old girl. It made waves on the internet because, spoiler alert, the original Barbie’s shape was nothing like the average-sized doll. Artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm, the genius behind that project, got bombarded with questions about where parents could buy a doll like his creation. Lamm couldn’t point to any doll on the market with a realistic look, so he took things into his own hands. Keep reading »
Marie Claire Australia asked six of the country’s top ad agencies to create a print ad encouraging women to love their bodies. They wanted to see what advertisers could come up with free from restrictions placed on them by their client (“Don’t make the woman trying to lose weight look fat!”) Big agencies like Ogilvy and Publicis submitted entries and, well, I kinda wish this project were real.
After a jump, see a couple of the fantastic, body positive ads: Keep reading »
Last year, the Dove Real Beauty campaign made waves with its “Real Beauty Sketches,” when it hired a forensic artist to illustrate how women see themselves according to their own self-description. This year, Dove has turned to the selfie, adolescent girls and their mothers.
In their eight-minute video called “Selfie,” directed by Cynthia Wade, we meet tween girls in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, who are participating in a project by Dove. A photography instructor speaks with the girls about their body insecurities and then suggests that, rather than zeroing in on all their perceived flaws, selfies can be used to illustrate raw beauty. The girls and their moms are then invited to take selfies, which are displayed in the end at a photography show. Keep reading »
“I know that I felt really like Vogue supported me and wanted to put a depiction of me on the cover. I never felt bullied into anything; I felt really happy because they dressed me and styled me in a way that really reflects who I am. And I felt that was very lucky and that all the editors understood my persona, my creativity and who I am. … A fashion magazine is like a beautiful fantasy. Vogue isn’t the place that we go to look at realistic women, Vogue is the place that we go to look at beautiful clothes and fancy places and escapism and so I feel like if the story reflects me and I happen to be wearing a beautiful Prada dress and surrounded by beautiful men and dogs, what’s the problem? If they want to see what I really look like go watch the show that I make every single week.”
Slate caught up with Lena Dunham for her reaction to the non-controversy of her Vogue cover and the minute Photoshopping which occurred therein. You can read Lena’s full reaction over at Slate. I think the “Girls” creator/star handled questions about this well — although Slate blogger Katy Waldman is criticizing her for upholding “punishing, unnatural body norms” or something. Uh, did we look at the same pictures? Lena wasn’t airbrushed to the point where you didn’t recognize her anymore; as the before-and-after images show, there was minor slimming. It was truly Lena-Dunham-as-Photographed-by-Vogue. Frankly, I’m really happy to see someone who looks more like me than yet another twig-thin starlet (cough Allison Williams cough). We always ask to have a more “normal”-sized woman on the cover of women’s magazines. We finally got one. Seriously, let’s not complain about evvvverything, people. [Slate] [Photo: Vogue]
Lena Dunham is naked, or partially naked, fairly frequently on “Girls.” (So is Jemima Kirke. Both Allison Williams and Zosia Mamet keep themselves more covered up.) Some of Lena’s nudity is during sex scenes, while a bunch of others are when her character is changing clothes, sitting on the toilet, or in the bath or shower. They are intended to be awkward, uncomfortable, or even humiliating. As is a fair amount of real-life nudity, frankly.
Yesterday, during a Television Critics Association Panel, The Wrap’s TV writer Tim Molloy asked Dunham why her character is naked so much on the show. The manner in which he “asked,” led to a curt response from Dunham, and a bit of a tongue lashing from producer Judd Apatow, who called Molloy “sexist,” “misogynistic” and “offensive.” Molloy then wrote an entire article complaining about the exchange. Keep reading »
“I think it’s important to look good and feel good about yourself, but I got both ways with it. I feel it’s cruel how the world puts so much emphasis on our looks. I was just watching ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ and I see Kim and what she went through when she was pregnant — the tabloids were so mean to her because she was big. At one point on the show she was upset and said something like, ‘I would be lying if I said that the criticism from the paparazzi while I’ve been pregnant hasn’t taken a toll on me.’ And I was like, ‘Bless your heart,’ because I remember that time. First of all you are already emotional and then the paparazzi are taking pictures of you pregnant. That should be the time [in you life] when your body is the most treasured. I loved being pregnant for so many reasons, not to mention the sex is awesome then. But in this business you make a deal with the devil. I’ve learned you kind of have to go with it. What I do calls for me to look good. People expect that. I kind of take it as my job.”
Britney Spears isn’t known for thoughtful commentary on, well, anything, so I was pleasantly surprised to read her criticism of the entertainment industry in the latest issue of InStyle. I would have expected Brit to say something more like “I LOOOOOVE doing 6,000 crunches a day!” But she shows a lot of empathy here for the vicious beauty and weight pressures faced by female celebs. It is, of course, a subject she knows all too well. Even if I understand what women like Britney and Kim get out of their “deal with the devil,” it’s still extremely sad this deal has to exist. [InStyle] [Image via WENN]
Last week, I wrote about Jen Selter, a 20-year-old Long Island woman who supposedly has the “best butt on Instagram.” While Jen does indeed have a fantastic derriere, I was more interested in what she told the New York Post about her booty pics: they are inspiring. I quote: “If [my Instagram account] motivates people to get their butts up and go to the gym, why not?” Jen Selter’s mom echoed the same sentiment. “I’m very proud of her because this is a girl who didn’t want to go to college, and she was able to build up this social media in such a way that she has become famous and she is an inspiration and motivation for so many people,” her mom said.
There are a few other fitness buffs who’ve called themselves inspirational to other women. A few months ago, Lea-Ann Ellison drew the Internet’s ire for posing for photos doing Crossfit training while eight months pregnant, specifically lifting heavy weights. In a post on Facebook, she wrote:
I can’t believe this photo has caused this much stir but it makes me hopeful that it will inspire other strong healthy moms to continue on doing what they love. Pregnancy is not an illness! Get it Moms!
Then, of course, there is Maria Kang, a mother of three young children who posted a picture of herself in a bikini alongside her kids with the tag line, ‘What’s your excuse?’ “I wanted to inspire people,” Maria told Yahoo Shine. “I wanted to say, ‘I know you think you don’t have time if you have kids. But if I can do it, you can do it, too.’” Keep reading »