The controversy over Vogue’s ‘Diversity’ Magazine Cover.


Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons via Creative Commons

Abigail Hummer, Author

World renowned magazine, Vogue, has been around for 124 years. Founded in 1892, this magazine has been helping women of all ages and sizes with fashion news, trends, and beauty advice for generations. Over the past few decades, the diversity bug has been working its way into magazines, stores, pictures, and in everyday life showing that we, the human race as a whole, are all equal. That everyone comes in different builds, heights, skin types, and personalities. However, a big spark was lit when Vogue launched its’ March 2017 issue. With the title, ”Diverse,” it was expected to have nothing less than a couple of women on it; women of different builds, heights, and skin types. Readers were disappointed when they saw the cover, saying that all of the girls looked to be, “the exact same.”

This particular magazine features models Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Ashley Graham, Vittoria Ceretti, Imaan Hammam, Adwoa Aboah and Liu Wen. In the photo, Gigi Hadid’s hand appears to be placed to cover up Plus Size model Ashley Graham’s stomach. There also have been complaints regarding the lack of height or skin tone difference. The magazine is supposed to be featuring models of different ethnicities, skin tones and body types. But readers are not convinced. Across social media, they are criticizing Vogue for staying inside the fashion industry’s narrow parameters.

In contrast, Ashley Graham responded to the backlash via Instagram: “I chose to pose like that. No one told me to do anything.”. Sharing her side of the story opened up a new perspective of what happened and relieved some worried fans. Sophomore Jordan Thacker states that, “to be diverse we have to have many people of different ethnic backgrounds, body types, and personalities in one place. It is really cool how important diversity is in this century.”

Sophomore Lauren East is able to add onto that by saying that, “diversity can be shown with a wide variety of people and things present throughout the magazine.” Diversity has played a large role in the growth of this nation. Children are brought into this world and are taught to be accepting of everyone out there. But even adults are still trying to accept everyone of different racial and ethnic backgrounds and see each other as equals. Although, there has been some major progress. Like with the debut of the first african american model, Beverly Johnson, or the first plus sized model to make the cover of a magazine, which so happens to be Ashley Graham herself. This nation has found the definition of beauty to be based upon a person’s pants size or by a specific color of their skin. However, beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and races.

The world is changing. People are spreading positivity toward others about loving their bodies regardless of their skin type, scars, and weight. People are also spreading negativity and hate towards others who are insecure about themselves. We must rise above the negativity, like Ashley Graham did for example, and not think too much about what others think of you, but think more of what you think of yourself.