Hey gang! We’ll have the next installment of 12 Months of Cocktails coming up later, but Francesca’s post about Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe on the cover of Ebony got me thinking:
Would we ever see a full body shot of a big girl –not a “big girl” like Crystal Renn– on a non race-specific aspirational glossy like W or Vanity Fair without it being fetishized or turned into a bit of tokenism?
Because I think no.
Sure we’ve seen Beth Ditto on the cover of a few alternative mags like Love and NME, and when she’d get a feature in a regular glossy it would always, ALWAYS be about how she’s not afraid to shock the world with her size blah blah blah. She’s an enfant terrible, and her size and willingness to get her kit off at any given chance is part of her gimmick.
And of course There’s this photoshopped into oblivion cover of Queen Latifah from Glamour
Lovely photo BUT: not on this planet nor any other has Queen Latifah had that slender a neck or arms, and she might just be corseted from here to eternity (speaking of: have you ever tried to roll around on a beach in a corset? WAY ill-advised) but methinks Dr Shoppe has done a fair bit of virtual nipping and tucking. Glamour has ALWAYS had the worst, most blatant retouchers on the planet.
But even if she wasn’t retouched to high heaven, it’s still about SIZE.
Lest we forget that the #1 attribute of Queen Latifah is her size and not, say, the fact that she’s won an Oscar, has had a successful music, acting and producing career and is a hell of a good model and role model.
I’ve noticed the magazines aimed at black readers are far more willing to embrace the idea of beauty at every size without making a big honking deal of it.
Granted, the photo editing isn’t great on this mag either, but do you see anything talking about Queen Latifah’s size? No. It’s the same check-out fodder (maybe a little better) as any other women’s interest lifestyle mag.
I would love to see Gabourey Sidibe win an Oscar –and Mo’nique too, whom I love and always have– and I would love to see her looking pretty on the cover of a mainstream glossy magazine without a reference to her size. It would be great. I’d buy a dozen copies and probably not even make fun of what she was wearing. I’m just not sure it’s going to happen.
Today Miss Plumcake wants to know:
What say you? Are mainstream glossies ever going to be as willing as niche publications to put a big girl in all her glory on the cover without mentioning she’s big?