Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Everybody's talking about the April Vogue cover with LeBron James and Gisele, and whether the magazine is comparing black men to apes. I got nothing to add to that debate. Sorry.

What caught my attention is the fact that this is Vogue's annual "shape" issue, its annual attempt to prove that it does not consider women over a size two to be freaks. After all, they did put that nice Jennifer Hudson on the cover. And look, there's Jill Scott.

But the shape issue is a joke, with most of the represented body types being variations of thin. Pregnant? Not a body type. One year, they put gorgeous, plus-sized model Kate Dillon in a series of freak-show pictures with a midget. A midget!

The best part, though, is the screaming cover headline: "Dressing for every shape from 0 to 16." As my friend C put it, "Wow, all the way up to a size 16, huh? Does Vogue know women come in bigger sizes than that?"

I'm sure Anna Wintour's staff has told her about these women who are 16-plus, but she's likely dismissed them as mythical — like unicorns and flying cars. I can imagine the conversation:

Vogue Minion: "Anna, our research in the wretched heartland found evidence of larger women. They shop at something called (shuffles notes), uh, 'Lane Bryant.' "

Anna Wintour: "Impossible. No woman could be that big. She'd have to eat cake from sunup to sundown for several months while strapped to a couch."

VM: "That's what we thought, too. But we went to this establishment called 'the mall,' and they were everywhere. Some of them were carrying shopping bags."

AW: "My God. Do you know what this means? Find me a unicorn. I want a cover with Devon Aoki riding one."

I bet they won't make her pose with a midget, either.

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