by guest contributor Seattle Slim, originally published at Happy Nappy Head
This is the cover of the inaugural issue of Vogue India. Unfortunately, I don’t see much of anything distinctly “Indian” about it. I see them highlighting Australian model Gemma Ward, flanked by two Indian women, who may as well wear signs saying “sidekick” around their necks. To add to the affront, the Indian models both have blue eyes.
I know that most will say that it may not be too much to worry about because most Indians have bigger fish to fry like poverty but Vogue had a greater responsibility to do right by India and it failed.
Sad to say, this isn’t the first time. Vogue pulled the same stunt, with the same model on the cover of Vogue China’s inaugural issue.
I’m sorry but when I look for a Vogue India, I want to see beautiful Indian models all over the magazine; I want accurate representation.
Gemma Ward pales in comparison to the lovely Aishwarya Rai, so why isn’t Miss Rai on the cover? What about Shilpa Shetty? Looking at the other models, they didn’t even need Ward on the cover. Their beauty speaks volumes.
Unfortunately, their beauty wasn’t allowed to grace the cover without Gemma in the middle. What does speak volumes is Vogue’s subliminal message that unless a Caucasian female is associated with it, it’s not beautiful. The use of models with blue eyes (or possibly color contacts?) further cements Vogue’s idea of what women of color should look like in order to be considered pretty enough to stand next to a white woman’s beauty.
If this the way Vogue is going to operate when launching magazines for perspective countries, I shudder to think what Vogue Kenya may be. I can just see it now.
This is why we should be extra vigilant to the messages that the media sends children of color and protect them from deception. I wouldn’t bring this magazine into my house to line a bird cage.
Vogue’s message is loud, clear and pathetic. If this is the best Vogue can do, they should be ashamed of themselves. Gemma isn’t the standard of beauty in this photo, in all reality, she barely makes the cut.