Controversy is on the tip of everyone's tongues these days. It has become almost difficult to open a social media timeline without seeing the latest tone-deaf slip up by advertisers, publications or fashion designers; and, this week proved no different. The media burst into a frenzy when images were released of Interview Magazine's "Pretty Wasted," November fashion editorial, which features models Anja Rubik, Andreea Diaconu, Lily Donaldson, Daria Strokous and Edita Vilkeviciute, passed out in back alleys and surrounded by beer bottles and cans. But, oh how glorious their clothes were!
Publications often come under fire for glamorizing a multiplicity of issues: sexism, ableism, racism, classism, child labor and more. Furthermore, while many are scornful to the photographers and publications, others look to chastise the models for their choice to represent these issues all for the sake of fashion. Model Rebecca Pearson wrote in The Telegraph this week that though she is particularly disturbed by Interview's latest blip, she can't necessarily say that she would turn down the opportunity to shoot with a prestigious photographer and publication.
Pearson goes on to write:
I simply can’t judge Donaldson and the other models who agreed to appear.
You see, models are commodities. But while we often read about young girls being taken advantage of, or considered to be ‘replaceable’, the truth us [sic] that even those models at the top of the industry aren’t immune. You might have your face on every fashion magazine and billboard going. But if you won’t roll around in dirt or pretend to pass out against a drainpipe, you can be replaced.
You are utterly expendable and not allowed to forget it.
There's a thin line that's often drawn between these editorials: One that exists between context and concept. While some might question whether or not Interview was using its "Pretty Wasted" editorial to spark dialogue on the abundance of alcoholism, others found it merely a one-sided story. Nevertheless, the publication is not the only one to be at the helm's of the latest glorification of commodifying stereotypes, bodies and the likes. Popular publications such as VOGUE, POP and Numero have all found themselves in the midst of the media's (and social media's) watchful and critical eye.
1. DIVA's "Be My Slave" (2013)
Child labor is not chic.
2. NUMERO's BLACKFACE (2013)
Because there just aren't enough black models to go around.
3. 12's "VICTIM OF BEAUTY" (2012)
There's a difference between a couple strokes of blush and the stroke of a person's back hand.
4. VOGUE Paris' "CADEAUX" (2011)
Playing in makeup went to a totally new extreme.
5. VOGUE Italia's "Super Mods Enter Rehab" (2010)
There's nothing glamorous about rehab.
6. Interview's "Let's Get Lost" (2010)
Because the only way to dance the night a way is amidst a sea of black bodies.
7. VOGUE Italia's "Water and Oil" (2010)
Look how beautiful destruction can be. NOT.
8. VOGUE's "No Smoking" (2009)
Poor parenting for sale.
9. VOGUE's Shape Issue (2008)
LeBron James was the first black man to cover an issue of VOGUE. You get the problem?
10. POP's "True Faith" (2008)