Even non-Italian speaking fashionistas may have noted that - leaving behind Style.it's infinitely less glamorous, slightly superficial and totally unprofessional pastiche-like site - Vogue Italia recently established its own site. So far so good, you may say, another site to give your daily fix of fashion and style if you ever need it.
Unfortunately, though, one of the first things you note when you click on the site is an uncomfortable division in the upper part of the screen of the main page into “Vogue Talents”, “Vogue Black” (inspired by the success of last year’s Vogue’s Black Issue) and “Vogue Curvy”.
The first sub-category features assorted articles on new trends, designers and hip things.
The second mainly focuses on black models, actresses and, er, mixed couples, and the third is a mish-mash of feats and interviews with curvy actresses and models with a few tips on how to look less curvy or make sure your curves end up in the right places.
It’s hard not to find all this very embarrassing: where do you end up if, to paraphrase Nina Simone, you’re young, gifted and black and, may I add, curvy? Why should black artists and models be ghettoised in a special section of the site or why should ‘curvy’ people (by the way, what’s ‘curvy’ for a magazine that never published an image of somebody above the European 38 size in its pages?) be relegated into their own category?
Wouldn't it be better to integrate and mix pieces together rather than having such a sad division? And why, if they have to divide everything into categories, they do not have the “Young, useless and pretentious” category dedicated to all the untalented celebrities that rule our world?
Besides, what happens to skinny people verging towards anorexia like some of the skeletons - pardon, models - who walked down the runways at the recent fashion weeks? Can we have a section also for them? Hopefully!
In the meantime, editor Franca Sozzani is also offering us her advice and pearls of wisdom in her blog, summarised in Tweets that sound as if they were written by a capitalistic and rather superficial Prada-clad Osho (March 7th – 6.00am Tweet: "Internet and plastic surgery are the obsessions of this century"; March 10th - 6.00am Tweet: “To shop makes feel better you and the fashion system” – ah, if I could write such demented things and be paid for it!).
One of the most, er, “provocative” posts (yesterday's) on her blog reads “Can beauty be an obstacle?”. In the piece Sozzani tries to convince us with a few examples that, while beauty is a wonderful gift, it’s not everything in life.
Think about all those (poor) actress and models who, being beautiful, have to fight against common prejudices to prove they are also talented.
Many stunning actresses played their best roles when they starred in movies as unattractive or ugly women, Sozzani states, before highlighting that, yes, after shooting the film, they went back to being beautiful again. Yet, she concludes, while beauty may help, it’s definitely not the one and only key to success.
I guess those Prada workers threatened of being fired from the brand’s Japan-based office because too ugly and not fitting to the stylish and cool Prada image (the allegations were dismissed by the fashion house), may somehow not agree with her.
Besides, perversely telling women that beauty is not all in a country where the Prime Minister’s party chooses the female candidates who should run for the elections by checking the length of their legs, doesn’t simply work.
Not having seen an ugly, unattractive, unappealing or simply plain woman ever appearing on the pages of Vogue Italia, also turns Sozzani's post on beauty into a vapid exercise in lying and being hypocrital.
“Beauty and intelligence are gifts. If misused, they may backfire,” Sozzani states in the Tweet that summarises her post on beauty.
So far, I hardly ever saw beauty “backfiring”, but I have witnessed many people getting jobs (and not only in the fashion industry…) just because of their glamorous looks.
As much as it may sound apocalyptic, depressing and catastrophic, sadly there isn’t much space in modern society for two types of women, unattractive and intelligent. But Sozzani shouldn’t worry, there’s no need to dedicate us a sub-category of some sort on Vogue.it.
In fact I’m sure that the unattractive and intelligent women of the world will survive in the limbo society has prepared for them. In the meantime, they will have all the time to plot their revenge against hypocrisy, superficiality, stupidity and ghettoising.Member of the Boxxet Network of Blogs, Videos and Photos Member of the Boxxet Network of Blogs, Videos and Photos Add to Technorati Favorites Lijit Search