British Vogue causes more controversy, this time with Gigi and Bella naked

Is it time to stop fetishising models?

[L]ast month, the internet unanimously declared British Vogue’s ‘Hollywood Special February Issue’ an editorial misstep and a diversity disappointment. Those who had hoped that Edward Enninful’s editorship would usher in a new era at a publication that has become as synonymous with white, cisgender, skinny casting as it has with high-fashion, felt let down. Compounding the issue was the headline “Why We Need To Talk About Race” plastered on a cover starring Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman and alongside a one-dimensional, predominantly white list of Hollywood’s next-gen.

For the March issue, British Vogue features dual covers of models-of-the-moment Bella and Gigi Hadid. So far, so familiar. This time, controversy centres around an inside feature – a Steven Meisel shoot featuring Bella and Gigi naked.

Internet controversy forum Twitter has since come alive with criticism of the shoot, demanding to know why talented supermodels have been so heavily fetishised in 2018 and at which point Vogue forgot that fashion was actually about clothes. Others have pointed out that Enninful’s fourth cover is simply re-enforcing old beauty standards and that the #NewVogue tagline that celebrated his first issue (starring Adwoa Aboah) appears to be merely a one-time special edition.

Is Enninful facing unfair scrutiny? Are readers justified in demanding that Vogue joins us in calling for a racially diverse, body positive, all-inclusive, celebratory future? Could it be both..?