Sunday, 10 March 2013

THOUGHT - Alexandra Shulman's April Vogue Intro

I don't always read the introductions to issues of magazine, those editor's letters that set the scene and theme of the content. However, the email containing snippets of British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman's introduction to the April 2013 issue of Vogue caught my eye and got me thinking.

I've included most of it below (the whole thing can be read over at the Vogue website).

April 2013 Vogue UK cover

"Regular readers of my Editor's Letter will know that one of my hobby horses is the need for professional women to agree to be photographed for Vogue. Actually, the issue is not solely about them appearing in this magazine, but about women in positions of power and authority feeling comfortable about being shown in an environment that celebrates contemporary fashion and style. During its 96 years, British Vogue has published portraits of many of the leading figures in politics, art, theatre, literature and academia, but in recent years it has been noticeable that some women at the top 
of their professional tree have become reluctant to be seen in the context of a fashion magazine.

So a huge round of applause from me accompanies the portraits of the powerful Yvette Cooper (shadow home secretary, and a woman whose name has more than once been mentioned as a possible future prime minister) and the Lib Dems' vocal Jo Swinson as part of Ann Treneman's story on women in politics. We were unable to persuade any of the members of the Conservative party we approached to be photographed for the piece, which is a pity. This kind of reservation about whether as 
a woman you can be seen in the context of a fashionable magazine like Vogue is ironic when women's confidence in themselves should be growing and when men in all walks of life have no problem in being featured. What better way to inspire a younger generation 
of women who, yes, do love style, clothes and celebrity, to aim for careers in a wider range of industries than by publishing stories about that work in Vogue? I feel sure that Yvette and Jo's appearance will go a small 
way to redressing this outdated attitude."

My thoughts

I found it interesting to think that someone might refuse to be featured in such a well-respected magazine as Vogue because it, first and foremost, covers fashion. The way we feel about fashion and our own style says a lot about society. Can a woman not be fully respected in professional circles if she also likes to discuss her favourite designers or what clothes make her feel great when doing that day job? But not just that, Vogue is talking about features which inspire and empower women and seeing women who aren't just movie stars and models is so important in getting a more well-rounded view of the world through these magazines. I am pretty fed up of seeing TOWIE/Geordie Shore/Made in Chelsea 'stars'. Let's make sure we give the women who don't crave the limelight a chance to share their experiences too - well done Vogue for continuing to work to do this.I'm looking forward to picking up my April copy.

Which non-fashion personalities would you like to see featured in Vogue, or your other favourite magazines?
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