So everyone else has written about it but I guess I’ve got to toss my lovely Peter Bettley chapeau in.
Fat Girl of the Moment, Gabourey Sidibe — plus-size star of Precious, in case you just got off the boat from Mars– graces one of four covers of Elle this month and people are getting their collective knickers in a twist, and for once it’s not that a fat person is on a magazine.
Nope, it’s skin lightening. Apparently Ms Sidibe’s cover shows her skin several shades lighter than how she photographs in natural and/or red carpet lighting.
Is it whitewashing?
Eeesh, I don’t know. Frankly I wouldn’t put it past Elle, but on the other hand, I really do think it’s the lighting this time. It looks like the lighting rig for that cover was pretty simple and I know from my experience my own skin shoots way way lighter (inasmuch as it’s possible for a girl who has been known to MAC face & body in WHITE as foundation to shoot lighter) in a rig like that than I do in natural light.
But I gotta say, I don’t just love Gabby on the cover of Elle. It’s a gimmick. It’s a bone to the people who complain Elle and its ilk only put thin, pretty, white women on the covers of their magazines (possibly because Elle and its ilk only put thin, pretty, white women on the covers of their magazines). It’s Beth Ditto 2.0 but even less plausible because Beth Ditto truly is interested and interesting when it comes to fashion.
Gabby, talent though she might have, is just the token fat girl 2010.
I’m fat, not stupid. I’m not getting excited over this (and yeah, don’t think we didn’t notice all the other covers are mostly body shots while Gabby’s body is mostly obscured)
Do you know what gets me excited?
When there are all manner of body shapes represented and it’s Not A Big Deal. It’s not part of a Size Issue or some nonsense about Celebrating Your Curves or Realness or (gag) Goddess blahdeblah.
Here in The Killers video Mr Brightside –which for my money ranks up there in the echelon with Express Yourself, Vogue, and Freedom 90 for Most Important Fashion Videos of All Time— you have a perfectly gorgeous luscious plus-sized woman being treated just like all the other ahem, courtesans.
Super sexy outfit, clearly comfortable with her over-the-top sexuality, she’s a featured dancer with plenty of screen time, and somehow it’s Not A Big Deal. She’s not hidden or dropped in there as a token and her skin almost certainly wasn’t lightened (the heroine’s was, although obviously that was for effect. I’ll also bet you a million imaginary dollars the makeup artist used Mac face and body in White on her, too, albeit in a heavier application than I use). THIS is progress.
And do we have to talk about how cute Brandon Flowers is in his sharp jacket (that, btw, is how a dinner jacket is supposed to fit, slim through the shoulders and arms) or how when Eric Roberts became so filthy hot? Because I am currently associated with the hottest man on the planet (seriously, you would die) and Mister R and his smoking jacket STILL make me need to take a lie down.