Vogue isn’t exactly known for its sensitivity to, um, sensitive issues, and that’s fine. It is, after all, a fashion and society magazine, not The Atlantic. But every once in a while the international publication comes at us with something controversial, something so tone-deaf (see: longtime contributor Joan Juliet Buck’s complimentary portrait of Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad just prior to the Arab Spring) that the public at large just can’t help but take note. As for this Hurricane Sandy-inspired editorial, which was just released today, I can’t decide where I stand: am I cool with it because they’re honoring the first responders and other such “heroes,” or am I outraged because a) they’ve juxtaposed top models in designer dresses with members from the neonatal ICU at Bellevue Hospital who were forced to evacuate their patients when a backup generator gave out or b) people are still suffering from the impact of the storm? Well, I’m not easily offended (I don’t think), and Vogue and the CFDA did in fact raise close to $2 million for relief efforts… So I don’t know. It’s not glaringly irresponsible, it’s just, as one commenter put it, “kinda tasteless.” What do you think? [Fashionista]
“I understand the desire to make a child feel beautiful at any weight. I truly advocate for size acceptance. The culture of body image upsets me and has tortured me personally. I do think we should be able to be different sizes but I draw the line at when it starts affecting her health.”
– Dara-Lynn Weiss, who was ostracized after she published an article in Vogue all about putting her seven-year-old daughter Bea on a diet. Weiss has a new book out, titled The Heavy, which expands upon that article. Here, she attempts to explain why she put her child on a diet. Elsewhere in the NYMag.com interview, Weiss notes that she was afraid of giving her daughter a complex because of her own discomfort with food. But she also painstakingly explains that the Vogue photos were misleading, because they don’t show Bea’s midsection, and how fat she really is. UGH.
If nothing else, this interview — which focuses heavily on Weiss’s own body issues — sheds light on the vicious cycle of body image problems that mothers pass down to children. Will you give The Heavy a read? [NYMag.com]
Vaunted Vogue editor Andre Leon Talley doesn’t suffer fools — either at his magazine job, or as a former judge on ”America’s Next Top Model.” Which is why it’s so sweet to see him shuffle so uncomfortably in his interview with pint-sized “Beasts of the Southern Wild” phenom Quvenzhané Wallis. Talley had the nine-year-old Nicki Minaj fan over to the office to discuss pop music, puppies and the color pink.
Fei Fei Sun, a strikingly beautiful Chinese model who has appeared in campaigns for Calvin Klein and Louis Vuitton, made history this week when she became the first Asian model to appear alone on the cover of Vogue Italia. To Fei Fei, I say “Congratulations!” To Vogue Italia, I say, “About damn time!” Click on the gallery to check out some more photos from Sun’s gorgeous spread, shot by Steven Meisel. [Vogue Italia via People]