The fashion industry has often been criticized for its severe lack of diversity in all aspects. In the past, representations of varying body sizes, nationalities, and even genders were seldom at best. While society as a whole has somewhat improved its “standards” for beauty and acceptance, the superficial world of fashion is still a little behind.
That’s not to say strides haven’t been made in diversifying the industry, but there’s inarguably still a ways to go. That became increasingly evident after Vogue’s recent attempt at a more “inclusive” cover for their March issue. Let’s just say, their idea of the “Modern American Woman” is far from realistic.
The cover of Vogue’s March issue was intended to provide more diversity, but social media is slamming the magazine for its obvious lack of inclusivity.
Where to begin? It’s clear that an attempt was made by including Imaan Hammam, Adwoa Aboah, and Vittoria Ceretti—all from different ethnic backgrounds and the ever stunning size-16 model Ashley Graham.
However, as many commenters pointed out, utilizing one “plus-size” model and several typical slender 6ft models (none of whom were “darker than a paper bag”) does not create diversity. Also, would it kill them to not put Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid front and center?
Commenters also took issue with the way Ashley Graham was posed for the shot.
If you look closely, you’ll notice that Ashley’s arm was the only one resting on a thigh which arguably conceals her torso. Twitter users also pointed out the placement of Gigi Hadid’s arm and hand and speculated it to be a not-so-subtle attempt to cover up Ashley’s stomach.
Ashley spoke out in defense of Vogue and her pose via the comments of her Instagram post.
“I chose to pose like that,” she wrote. “No one told me to do anything.”
She also shared two other photos from the inside story, and thanked the publication, writing “Dream. Come. True!” and “THANK YOU @voguemagazine for having me on your cover!!”
Though we are glad to hear Ashley’s side of the story, this cover is still an inexcusable understatement of diversity.