As some of you probably didn’t care to notice, this month’s Vogue cover features none other than Kim Kardashian and her soon- to-be husband Kanye West. The announcement was made about a week ago via Twitter by Kardashian herself, and soon confirmed by Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue.
Just as soon as the news hit cyberspace, outrage rang from all corners of the Vogue-reading, Internet- savvy world; celebrities from Sarah Michelle Gellar to Naomi Campbell vocalized their disapproval, and throngs of women from across the country threatened to cancel their subscriptions.
Of course, I too was outraged upon hearing the announcement. I find Kardashian to be embarrassingly unintelligent and unfortunately shallow. Her idolization—especially when endorsed by such a respected publication as Vogue—is both abominable and unacceptable for women who yearn to see more intelligent, revolutionary, and respected women featured in media and the fashion world.
Just two months ago I purchased a Vogue in the checkout aisle while doing my weekly grocery shopping. As someone who usually just flips through the pages mindlessly in hopes of coming across as the cultured fashionista I long to be, I got caught up in an article on February’s cover girl Lena Dunham, the writer, director, producer and star of the HBO series “Girls.”
The article was absolutely phenomenal—its praise for Dunham’s personality, courage, wit and intellect was so beautifully articulated that I was cursing EMU’s illegal-downloading ban for the rest of the night. Since reading the article, I have been waist-deep in a full-on “Girls” obsession, and, let me tell you, Dunham is every bit as wonderful as you want her to be. Vogue did us women a solid by pointing us in the direction of such an unexpected heroine.
Now despite both my outrage at the announcement of the Kimye cover and my great pride for women who disavowed the magazine henceforth, I knew I was going to buy the Kimye issue. And so I did. With my feminist pride cast aside, I stood in line at the Food Lion checkout at 10:30 on a Sunday night buying chocolate, nail polish and the despicable magazine, hiding my face lest the cashier judge me.
I tore home, dying to see what dresses Kardashian was wearing, Annie Leibovitz’s latest photos and, curiosity of all curiosities — to see what Vogue would say about Kimye. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but this time the article was worth so much more.
As I scoured the pages I began to notice something: Kim Kardashian may be a multi-millionaire media mogul, and Vogue may have granted her the honor of their April cover, but true reverence — like the kind bestowed upon Dunham in February — is saved for the very few.
All in all, Vogue was kind to Kimye. It delicately flattered the couple, painting them as sweet and goodnatured, and certainly invested in the world of fashion, music and art. But tucked in between the name-dropping and faux-sophistication was the occasional hint of narcissism, delusion and self-absorption. And that’s all she wrote.
So, despite the hurricane of backlash and outrage from thousands of readers — an outrage that I too had been feeling — my hat’s off to you, Vogue, for keeping integrity for those to whom integrity belongs, and for being kind while doing it. As for Kimye…well, those were some really great dresses.
-Katherine Burling, Contributing Writer
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