The Skinny On Magazines

How do you take your fashion magazines? Model? Celebrity? Or neither? (Because really, those are your only two options).

The “let’s use more plus sized models” and “stop Photoshop” conversations are still happening but after an interview with Vogue UK‘s EIC Alexandra Shulman over the weekend, there’s a lot more to talk about.

cara delevingne, vogue uk

When Alexandra was asked why the models she chooses are so thin, she responded with this:

“That’s not what people look like. But nobody wants to see a real person on the cover. Vogue is a magazine about fantasy to some extent and dreams and it’s an escape from real life. People don’t want to buy a magazine like Vogue to see what they see when look at in the mirror. They can do that for free.”

Now Vogue isn’t the only fashion magazine out there but they all do the same sort of thing when it comes to who’s on the cover, in the editorials, etc. It’s either a celebrity or a model and most of the time, the celebrity is physically not much larger than the model. So really, the celebrities are as “real” as we’re going to get. But then again, everything is Photoshopped (even blogs!) so when Vogue says they’re about fantasy, they mean it.

rihanna, vogue editorial

There’s also been some backlash when designers do end up using plus-size models (especially on the runway) because people think it’s a gimmick and they’re just being used to get people talking. Of course, when a girl larger than a size 2 shows up on the runway, people will notice but come on now…will this conversation ever end? Can we find a perfect size girl to get people to shut up? The answer is no and never. Although this might be the closest we’ve gotten…

lena dunham vogue

I feel like people either love or hate this girl but I am 100% team Lena.

For me, personally I do read magazines for the “fantasy” factor. I don’t mind seeing things I can’t afford (after all, my favorite price is “price upon request”) and girls that are skinnier than me. People will always be richer than you and poorer than you. They’ll also be bigger than you and smaller than you. It’s part of life and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve never once thought to myself that I have to look like exactly the girls in the magazines because “that’s what I’m supposed to look like.” I’m not a model so I don’t expect to look like one. It’s unfortunate that we’ve gotten to a point where girls (and even some boys) do take those images so seriously and really think they should look like the models or celebrities. At the end of the day, it’s just fashion and it shouldn’t be taken so seriously. Like I’ve said before, FASHION IS FUN.

So I have to say, I agree with Alexandra here. Do I think we can use a plus-size girl more often than we do now? Absolutely…but she will most definitely be a celebrity and/or model. Think about it — would you buy a fashion magazine with an average-looking person on the cover? Someone you didn’t recognize? It’s not like editors are sitting at their desks deviously tapping their fingers together thinking of a grand plan to create ways to lower women’s self-esteem one magazine at a time…they have an eye for what looks good and what sells and if that involves a little Photoshop and/or Kate Moss, I’m okay with that.

kate moss, vogue editorial

Now it’s your turn — where do you stand in this conversation? Do you think magazines need more “real” people? (and what constitutes a “real” person, anyway?) Why do you read these publications in the first place? I can’t be the only one who has an opinion on this so share yours in the comments!

Images via Vogue

3 comments on “The Skinny On Magazines

  1. I’m all for having celebrities or famous models on the covers because thats what gets you to read, but I do with they had more normal sized women on the runways and in the fashion spreads. There are so many fantastic clothes that I’ll see, but because its on a size 0 model there’s no realistic representation of what a curvy girl would look like in it and I just turn the page because I don’t think I could ever wear it…but if I saw it on a girl who had my curves I would probably try to buy!

  2. I support the idea that models and magazines are meant to live up to our fantasies. I enjoy imagining life when I page through the photos as one of those very elegant and chic models. But I think that in order to balance out all the fantasy with reality, magazines should also include photos that aren’t photoshopped. It presents a reality to the person so that people don’t succumb to the idea that the fantasy on the magazines is attainable.

  3. I think magazines feature “real” people, not just the way they throw celebrities and models in your face (which I thoroughly enjoy). Many magazines run stories about women forcing change in D.C. or survivors of breast cancer in their October issues so I think magazines offer both real life and fantasy.

    I don’t think they need more “real” people because they aren’t in the business of selling real people; they are in the business of selling fantasies to real people.

    If you don’t like it, that’s totally fine. Just don’t read it.

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