Photo Credit: Steven Meisel/Vogue Italia
Vogue Italia staged a quiet revolution this month by putting three plus-sized models on this month's cover. Even better? It wasn't labeled as a "plus-sized issue" but rather they were simply photographed as the beautiful women they are. Chelsea Bonner, owner of the plus-size agency Bella and mom to one of the cover girls is ecstatic, ""I could drop dead right now and I’d be so happy. I don’t know how I'm ever going to top it. It’s just a complete validation of what I've been trying to say for the last nine years: that curves and high fashion do work."
How has the fashion industry reacted? While it has been much-blogged about, the industry has kept mostly quiet. The general argument against such spreads is usually about the health of the models and the example they set for impressionable readers (because everyone knows you read fashion mags for advice on healthy living.) Velvet D'Amour, a plus-sized model who famously walked for Gaultier, commented on the Vogue Italia cover stating, "Time and again the issue of health is touted as a pertinent reason for the near total exclusion of fat women in modern media. Yet let’s have a look at who we utterly deify in popular culture, without questioning for a second their physical or mental health. [...] We are well aware that a great number of popular actors, models, dancers and rock groups that inundate media have dabbled in drugs, drink, etc. And rather than scoff at them with derision and judgment, we fete them on a daily basis. Avoiding fat people isn’t about health, it’s about cool and un-cool."
On the other hand, Franza Sozzani, editor-in-chief of the magazine, says that the magazine is very much concerned with health -- at least when it comes to women being too thin. On her blog she writes, "Vogue Italia, the magazine par excellence that deals with and promotes aesthetics and beauty, has decided to make use of its authority and its readers on the web (over one million of contacts per month), to battle against anorexia [...] Fashion has been always blamed as one of the culprits of anorexia, and our commitment is the proof that fashion is ready to get on the frontline and struggle against the disorder."
What do you think? Is this cover a step towards body positivity or just the same commercial use of women's bodies under another guise? Chime in below!