Vogue Cover Featuring Emma Stone, July 2012

emma-vogue-us.jpg

Fig. 16, Fleming, O, (2012), Who needs Victoria’s Secret? Kate Upton lands profile in Vogue after snub from lingerie giant (and there’s not a bikini in sight) [ONLINE]. Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2166508/Kate-Upton-lands-profile-Vogue-snub-lingerie-giant-theres-bikini-sight.html [Accessed 23 March 15].

Extract from a thesis written by Sofia Arvanius for her final year studying for a BA in Visual Communication titled How has the image of women changed over time in the fashion magazine industry in America, looking specifically at the covers of the US magazine, Vogue, between the years of its first publication in 1892 until the present day?

In figure 16 we see actress and comedienne Emma Stone on the cover of Vogue at a high point of her career. Heller wrote in her article ‘Emma Stone Makes Her Vogue Cover Debut in the July Issueabout how at the time of the cover, July 2012, the successful blockbuster The Amazing Spider-man was released that same month. Stone played the romantic lead in the 3D adaption of the Marvel comic movie that cost around $220 million to make and also appeared in movies such as The Help (2011), Superbad (2007) and Gangster Squad (2013) as well as doing comedy roles. As an A-lister in New York City, it is clear that Stone is successful in her chosen line of work. (Heller, 2012)

This is not an uncommon type of cover appearing on shop shelves in today’s world. The background is faded out. A beautiful woman is placed in the centre suggesting an alluring and provocative nature. Titles of articles and references to topics discussed in the issue are scattered over the cover image to either side of the centre figure, attempting to entice the reader into buying the magazine. On her cover of Vogue, we see Stone as a blonde instead of her usual head of red hair, a reference to her role as Gwen Stacy in the Spider-man sequel. We are given a glimpse of the lace and silk lingerie she is clad in, with a neutral beige jumper covering up some of her arms and legs. The cover in fig. 16 represents the new era of sexualising women which has not been seen in the same way in other magazine covers that I have examined in this thesis and shows a new direction taken by the producers of magazine covers in recent years. It is interesting that the image of the woman that comes across is one of a person who has succeeded in doing more than the majority of women could ever dream of, but when appearing on the cover of Vogue, Stone is sexualised, shown in a way that most people would never otherwise see her, rather than being celebrated for all the amazing achievements she has accomplished. On the other hand, perhaps Vogue is attempting to say that Emma Stone can do it all. She can obtain all the success of Hollywood, but she can also be seductively feminine. Perhaps the lingerie element of the photograph is a reference to her role in The Amazing Spider-man, but the habit of over-sexualising women has become ever more prevalent in recent years. It suggests that a woman’s achievements are secondary to whether she can look sexy or not in a photograph. (Heller, 2012)

The image of the seductive, sexualised image of the woman that appears frequently on the covers of fashion magazines including Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar (example fig. 16) has been criticised over the last couple of decades. HealthyTimes blog posted an article titled ‘Are Magazine Covers Eating into Your Self-Esteem?’ which looks at the reactions women have towards these types of covers. According to this article, 75 women reported feeling terrible after going through a woman’s magazine. One woman said that this was due to “being faced with pictures, articles or advertisements that points out a woman’s inadequacies.” (HealthyTimes blog, 2011) This is not an uncommon reaction from women to the images that appear on magazine covers. A hospital in Boston reported in the article ‘How Do Magazines Affect Body Image’ that when teenage girls compare their bodies with the images that are produced on magazine covers, they often feel depressed about the way they look. (Hospital Boston, 2014) Perhaps the perfected images of women on the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar published in order to allow its audience to dream about a perfected life, similar to the covers in fig. 6 and fig. 10. However, even though there seems to be a negative reaction to the numerous provocative images of women on the covers of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and other fashion magazines nowadays, it is not preventing women from buying the magazines since Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar are both still leaders of the fashion magazine industry. (HealthyTimes blog, 2011) (Hospital Boston, 2014)

HealthyTimes blog. (2011). Are Magazine Covers Eating Into Your Self-Esteem?. Available: http://www.healthytimesblog.com/2011/05/are-magazine-covers-eating-into-your-self-esteem/. Last accessed 21 April 2015.

Heller, N. (2012). Emma Stone Makes Her Vogue Cover Debut in the July Issue. Available: http://www.vogue.com/865338/emma-stone-comic-relief/. Last accessed 23 March 2015

Hospital Boston. (2014). How Do Magazines Affect Body Image. Available: http://www.education.com/reference/article/how-magazines-affect-body-image/. Last accessed 21 April 2015.

Advertisements

Harper’s Bazaar Cover Featuring Kate Moss, July 1993

kate-moss-hb-july-1993-cover

Cooper, A. (2014). Top 10 Vogue Covers of All Time; 9. Helmut Berger and Marisa Berenson, July 1970. Available: http://www.therichest.com/expensive-lifestyle/top-10-vogue-covers-of-all-time/2/. Last accessed 20 Nov 2014.

Extract from a thesis written by Sofia Arvanius for her final year studying for a BA in Visual Communication titled How has the image of women changed over time in the fashion magazine industry in America, looking specifically at the covers of the US magazine, Vogue, between the years of its first publication in 1892 until the present day?

Fig. 14, Blake, M, (1993), Throwback Thursday: Kate Moss in Harper’s Bazaar, July 1993 [ONLINE]. Available at: https://pointytoeshoecrew.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/throwback-thursday-kate-moss-in-harpers-bazaar-july-1993 [Accessed 23 March 15].

Fig. 15, Blake, M, (1993), Throwback Thursday: Kate Moss in Harper’s Bazaar, July 1993 [ONLINE]. Available at: https://pointytoeshoecrew.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/throwback-thursday-kate-moss-in-harpers-bazaar-july-1993 [Accessed 23 March 15].

According to Madison Blake in her article “Throwback Thursday: Kate Moss in Harper’s Bazaar” the supermodel featured on the cover of the magazine in July 1993, which can be seen in figure 13. The editorial was produced under editor Liz Tilberis and shot by Patrick Demarchelier, titled Body of Evidence. Kate Moss was still in the early stages of her career as a model at the age of 19 years old. During the 1990s there was a lot of controversy to do with the BMI (body mass index) of models. This cover caused further debate to do with anorexia versus a healthy slender body shape, but also over Moss’s unconcerned attitude towards her cocaine habit which she claimed didn’t affect her work. Kate Moss is clothed in a very simple beige jumper, perhaps intentionally bringing the viewers’ attention towards her skinny look. Her head is leaning slightly to the left, highlighting her collar and cheek bones. To her left we see that there is an article in this issue of Harper’s Bazaar titled ‘New Debate: Anorexic Versus Waif’, showing that this was a topic for discussion in this magazine. The issue also includes a photo shoot with Kate Moss which further highlights her angular body type, examples of which can be seen in fig. 14 and fig. 15. The photoshoot is done in black and white, perhaps to give it a serious tone, and features awkward poses that are designed to focus the viewer’s attention on the lanky body shape. It is an interesting image of the woman that appears from this cover. The woman has become more focused on how she appears on the outside rather than her own health. Throughout the 1990s, it has fashionable for models to have an androgynous look which was achieved through dieting extremes. During the 1990s, grunge was a recurring trend. The article ‘Fashion Trend: 1990s’ recounts how the movement developed from the underground in the 1980s as a response to capitalism and hard financial times. Fashion designers began to take notice of this emerging direction which in turn influenced the magazine industry. The cover in fig. 13 is a response to the grunge trend which is a reflection of society of the time. (Fashion Magazine, 2013) On this cover, however, Kate Moss appears frail, which is a step away from the powerful, independent woman seeking her own freedom which we saw often on covers from the 1920s right through to the 1970s, discussed in chapter 2. (Blake, 2014) 

Blake, M. (2014). Throwback Thursday: Kate Moss in Harper’s Bazaar, July 1993. Available: https://pointytoeshoecrew.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/throwback-thursday-kate-moss-in-harpers-bazaar-july-1993/. Last accessed 23 March 2015

Vogue July 1970

SKMBT_C20310100810230

Fig 12. (1970), ‘Top 10 Vogue Covers of All Time; 9. Helmut Berger and Marisa Berenson, July 1970’, 2014, http://www.therichest.com/expensive-lifestyle/top-10-vogue-covers-of-all-time/2/ [accessed 29 March 2015]

Extract from a thesis written by Sofia Arvanius for her final year studying for a BA in Visual Communication titled How has the image of women changed over time in the fashion magazine industry in America, looking specifically at the covers of the US magazine, Vogue, between the years of its first publication in 1892 until the present day?

Figure 12 features a relatively normal looking magazine cover by today’s standards but it too was a ground breaking cover. Allison Cooper wrote about the cover in her article titled ‘Top Ten Vogue Covers of All Time’. Published in July of 1970, the lady is attired in the styles of the 1970’s. The man is dressed in a suit. Other than their clothes, there are no hints in the background or elsewhere to suggest anything other than that we should be focusing on these two people. David Bailey photographed the cover. Photography had become a regular medium for imagery in Vogue magazine in the last thirty years. Up until this issue, however, the magazine had essentially had a female target market for the majority of its lifespan, excluding its early years in the late 19th century. This particular cover is momentous because it is the first ever Vogue magazine to publish a photograph of a man on its cover. The actors Helmut Berger and Marisa Berenson are photographed alongside each other, both staring straight out at the viewer as if to ask the question; well, what do you think of this than? This opened the door for many other men to be featured on the cover of Vogue such as Elton John and, controversially, Kanye West. (Cooper, 2014)

It is interesting that as the woman is getting more rights and freedom in her personal life in the 1960s and 1970s, and it is now that she is portrayed with a man along her side. Without previous knowledge of how the image of the woman has been shown on Vogue covers, it would be easy to come to the conclusion that the magazine cover is suggesting that a woman needs a man. However, when looking at the bigger picture involving American society at the time, as well as the history of the image of the woman on magazine covers, the image in fig. 12 has transcended the fear of showing the woman as dependent. The only reason for the man being next to the woman is because she wants him there.

Cooper, A. (2014). Top 10 Vogue Covers of All Time; 9. Helmut Berger and Marisa Berenson, July 1970. Available: http://www.therichest.com/expensive-lifestyle/top-10-vogue-covers-of-all-time/2/. Last accessed 20 Nov 2014.

Vogue Cover July 1932

24womens-web-vogue-slide-PSOU-jumbo.jpg

Fig. 5 (1932) The 10 Most Groundbreaking Covers in the History of Vogue, Available at: http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/21/vogue-magazine-list-10-most-groundbreaking-covers-in-the-history-of-vogue/ [accessed 10 Nov 2014]

Extract from a thesis written by Sofia Arvanius for her final year studying for a BA in Visual Communication titled How has the image of women changed over time in the fashion magazine industry in America, looking specifically at the covers of the US magazine, Vogue, between the years of its first publication in 1892 until the present day?

According to Seven in ‘The First Covers of Vogue’, American Vogue used their first colour photograph on its cover in 1932 which can be seen in figure 5. It shows a lady in a bathing suit and hat, her arms above her head with a beach ball. The colours are bright and eye-catching. It was an innovative move to include coloured photography in a magazine at the time. Prior to this time, Vogue had used illustrations in their magazine exclusively. The editors of Vogue don’t seem to have grasped the potential creative prospects of photography yet for the future as the magazine continue to mainly use illustrations on their covers up until the 1940s. (Seven, 2009)

The woman in the photograph appears to be enjoying herself. Published in July, this was a magazine issue with a summer theme. Perhaps the lady is on vacation. The sky is clear blue and the colours in the photograph make the weather seem warm. We are given the idea that the women of this age are enjoying themselves. She is able to wear hardly anything on the front cover of one of the most popular magazines. She spends her time vacationing. There is no hint that this lady is under the stresses of a household, husband or children, which may suggest that the woman is enjoying her new found freedom away from the home. (Seven, 2009)

Seven, A. (2009). The first covers of “Vogue”. Available: http://obviousmag.org/en/archives/2008/04/the_first_covers_of_vogue.html. Last accessed 10 Nov 2014.