Thursday, February 28, 2008

COVER STYLE/THINGS THAT MAKE YOU SAY HMMM: VOGUE INDIA

What's wrong with this picture? Keep in mind that this pic was on the inaugural Vogue India cover. I love Vogue...Love India! Kudos to Vogue for launching a mag catering to the Indian demographic. Two steps forward, two steps back. Some things are better left unsaid...Sad.

Bipasha Basu, Gemma Ward (geez, didn't realize she was Indian), Priyanka Chopra, Monikangana, Preity Zinta and Laxmi Menon
I'd like to think that the the folks at Vogue meant well. But seriously, who are their advisors? This is not the first time either. See their launch for Vogue China in 2005, a few beautiful Asian models and homegirl, Gemma Ward --depicted above, was on that cover as well! Highly irresponsible journalism (and frankly, inappropriate, gratuitous, insulting, insensitive, laughable, but still, not surprising!), somehow I suspect that they don't really care. C'est la vie. But seriously folks, it's 2008...we must do better.

Click below for vintage Cover Style, Faces of Fashion and Things That Make You Say Hmmm posts!

16 comments:

Mal Sirrah said...

I love stopping by your blog as often as I can... I am also very glad and relieved that you had the courage to verbalize what many of us felt when we saw this cover. I have long ago lost faith in the folks over at Vogue and therefore find this cover to be "on target" for Conde Nast. Sad but true...

missbruno said...

agreed! why add Gemma Ward in the mix? is vogue making sure that their readers recognize someone on the cover? vogue may have good intentions but if they are bringing light to a nation, they should let them shine.

Ings said...

It must have to do with sales.
Notice that on both covers she is centered and is also on the part of the cover that you can see from newsstands. It's b/c even in 2008, magazine editors simply cannot fathom selling a cover filled with only ethnic models .....so sad

Niesha said...

WOW!!! Sadly, I am not surprised by this Vogue cover. This is Vogue India for crying out loud but "THEY" still feel the need to be apart. This cover is not only absurd, it will only help to further the color issues that Indian women already deal with.

Not many people are aware of the color issues that are prevalent in other societies outside of American society. Indian women battle with the lighter skin/hair/eye complex as well. This cover only exaggerates what some Indian people feel as beauty (light hair and light eyes).

Yes she is only one model in the middle of five beautiful Indian Women but she stands out. When you see the cover she is who you see first because she looks different.

This cover furthers my theory that Vogue, and other magazines, only visualize their viewers insecurities or self-induced image issues.

just my 2cents.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you but aren't you a little late on this argument? I mean wasn't this cover in like Fall or Summer 2007?

Akua said...

I didn't realize there was deadline on expressing outrage. It's never too late to express outrage if something is outrageous. Do we stop expressing outrage about the Holocaust just because it didn't happen yesterday?

As for Gemma Ward on both of those covers, who is the blind editor who even thought she fit in that picture? Fine, you're an Australian supermodel--we get it. But she looks like "Where's Waldo" on a cover of extraordinary-looking Indian women. Shame on Vogue for selling out and downgrading.

And good for you, Naki, for saying something about it.

Talysha said...

I remember seeing this cover and it made me sick. How can you devote a magazine to an entire country and not give them the credit? Gemma Ward has nothing to do with India and she really looks out of place. Come on now Vogue... step it up!

Naki said...

Thanks for the comments everyone! I'm so passionate about this issue, i'm really happy that this post, albeit late (?!)has sparked some debate--I agree with you Akua--it's never too late to discuss issues such as this.

My initial response (when they first launced Indian vogue) was to ignore and dismiss because, quite often, it feels like i'm beating a dead horse. So I ignored, but was perusing the net, chanced upon a pic of the cover--again, and was surprised that i was still as upset, months after the fact.

Niesha, it is indeed sad that Indian girls, who are no doubt influenced by the pervasive views that lighter is better, will see a cover like this and get a confirmation of sorts. Vogue managed to reinforce and perpetuate that idea, and what's most upsetting is that they did not need to. They are Vogue after all, it was such a missed opportunity on their part.

Ings, I think it is indeed driven by sales/marketing, they were so focused on the color green, that they cared not what the impact would be on all those brown folks in India (and elsewhere).

I can imagine a Vogue Africa, with white Africans on the cover, but Gemma Ward's (I don't blame her, kudos to her for getting multiple vogue covers)connection to India, or Africa--enough to throw her on the inagural cover, surrounded by women from the respective regions, is LOST on me.

And could they not have been more subtle. It was just a slap in the face to throw her in there without nary a care as to making her "blend" a little more. G*d forbid that she should end up on the inside flap. That section is reserved for non-whites...and such is the case of many other Vogue covers, not just these two examples.

Miss Bruno, agreed! I wouldn't feel the same if this was cover number 2 or 3 or 20. But the historic first cover? Dang! Couldn't they just let them "have it" so to speak. Just had to dilute the pride, by giving them a bit, but holder back a lot more.

And lastly, but most assuredly not least, Malcolm! I love your blog, love your designs, and am inspired by your commitment to speaking your mind. A man after my own heart. I knew you would feel me on this. I'm a Vogue fantic, but I am slowly, but surely losing faith :-/

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

u write well and nice spot, hope dont mind the drive by and do chk me out one day when u can

Culture Royale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rasu said...

Peace Naki, bigups on this. I sent a myspace bullentin about this earlier. You know why they did this...because there are not enough Indian women left in the world...and besides in vogue's eyes, white women are the most beautiful creatures on the planet :-\

Yeh straight up BS!

Keep doing what you do..

BloggersDelight said...

Thank you for taking the time to visit our corner of the blog-world and leave a comment. You have been added to our blog-roll.

kiki said...

i love this blog .....gemma ward ewww why , i think vogue gets scared if it's to many of one culture on a magazine even if it's in there own country now if gemma is on the cover africa's vogue in the middle of all those blacl women then that's it for me reading vogue

Kristy said...

that's really unnecessary to put her on the cover. personally, it makes her look bad next to such beautiful girls. she get outshone, only her blonde hair makes her stand out.

vogued out!!! said...

With all the beautiful diverse Indian girls they would have had on their cover. Vogue failed yet again.

balujan28 said...

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