Though women have overcome a significant number of obstacles to breaking the glass ceiling over the past fifty years, there are occurrences which beg the question: Have we actually made any progress at all? Interview Magazine 's "Pretty Wasted" editorial spread in its October 2014 is one such example. The feature's oh-so-clever double entendre of a title in fact expresses the entire concept of the shoot: drunk, passed-out models who appear to be in need of serious medical attention. You can view the editorial in its entirety on Fashion Scan Remastered 's website.
Admittedly, Interview isn't a teenybopper-type publication, and its features are meant to push the boundaries of modern social and cultural norms. However, one look at this editorial reveals that a significant line has been tread upon. Not only have are these women clearly meant to appear post alcohol binge, they have also been abandoned in what appears to be a trash-lined back alley. Is the representation meant to call attention to the abundance of alcoholism? Is it a commentary on modern party culture, or a cautionary tale concerning the abuse of drugs?
I'm a devoted advocate of gritty, avant-garde editorial spreads, but not at the cost of depicting women as weak, ailing, and ultimately helpless pawns in some dystopian world order. After all, there are no men in the Interview spread. Where is the illustration of their crippling hangovers and post-drink collapse? The abhorrent insinuation is either that the male members of this raging shindig have either supplied their female companions with too much liquor for their diminutive size and departed before having to face the consequences, or simply didn't engage in the ill-fated revelry in the first place.
The spread, however, was procured to emphasize an array of couture clothing. Unfortunately, what appeared to once be an assortment of fairly chic styles are now mussed, ripped, and dirtied thanks to the position of the models, most of whom are curled on the grimy floor.
So what is the takeaway from this extraordinarily unsettling Interview spread? Perhaps only that Interview has an attitude readjustment towards women in its future, because no self-respecting member of my gender is likely to be amused by how they're portrayed in the magazine.