Update- the dueling covers for V magazine's size issue have leaked. Dakota Fanning covers one issue Gabby Sidibe the other.
There's nothing subtle about this one. Obviously sensationalism and controversy drove the cover decision. I won't go further to divine the intent of the editors. I know most fashion bloggers won't touch this one but I feel this deserves closer inspection and reflection.
The human issue. I'm concerned. Is Gabby just a novelty? A flavor of the month? An image to place on a size issue cover so we can all pat ourselves on the back to say "hey, see, we're progressive, inclusive. I mean look at Gabby. How wonderful for her! How wonderful for us!"
The race issue. Is this what we get in a post racial America? Dakota - Little Lady. Gabby - Big Love hmm. Why isn't Gabby labeled a lady? Historically the title "lady" carries a social, racial, and economic stigma, particularly in the south. Think virtuous white womanhood, beauty, grace. This image was often contrasted to the mammy image, think servant, subservient, robust. I'm going to assume the editorial team at V wasn't aware of the comparison one could potentially draw based on the chosen covers.
The weight issue. Love the skin you're in. No doubt. We are living in a Plus Size world, whatever that means because Plus is more like average. But, and know this comes from a place of care, concern and experience with being "overweight", should we promote obesity? I am all for promoting "healthy" body images of "most" shapes and sizes. This just doesn't feel right. I almost feel guilty for thinking it but I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking it.
So when will we strike the right balance, hit the right note as we navigate these sensitive issues? I don't have the answer. Can we ever get there? Yes We Can! Maybe.
Photo Credit: V Magazine, tFS