Plus vs Minus: Vogue Cover Controversy

Vogue’s historic March cover shot is taking a huge hit from fans, media and industry influencers as its authenticity is questioned.

The cover features famous models Liu Wen, Ashley Graham, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Imaan Hammam, Adwoa Aboah and Vittoria Ceretti. The issue was meant to celebrate diversity and “the beauty revolution” in which all sizes and ethnicities are embraced and celebrated.

Vogue March Cover Photo via Photo taken by Inez and Vinoodh.

Ashley Graham, one of the most popular plus-size models in the modeling industry, openly celebrates her curves and loves her cellulite. However, the cover shot has uncovered many questions about the portrayal’s accuracy.

Many believe the cover shot was altered and there are several indicators that hint that the picture was Photoshopped. First, Hadid’s hand that rests on Graham’s hip appears to be elongated. Readers were quick to note that this means that Graham’s body, arms and legs were digitally manipulated. Graham, the only plus-size model in the photo, also has her arm down covering her leg while the arms of the other six models embrace one another at the hip. Another potential discrepancy includes a white stripe added to Graham’s shorts.

This issue of the magazine was widely advertised and promoted on social media. Teaser videos and behind-the-scenes promotions were plastered all over the Internet and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. In all of the content, Graham was shown in all black shorts, sans a stripe, and her body looked dramatically different than the photo appearing on the cover.

Readers took to social media to express their outrage of the cover photo. Here are a few examples of angered fans on Twitter:

Graham is the first plus-size model to appear on a Vogue cover, but the photo appears to hide her size instead of celebrate it.

In journalism and public relations, accurate portrayals of the truth are necessary in order to preserve trust and credibility.

Although models and magazine covers are normally Photoshopped to some degree, many readers are furious as to why Vogue would promote equality as they simultaneously altered the very thing they claim to be embracing.

Do you think that this Vogue cover was Photoshopped? Is this really an accurate representation of the modern American woman? Does it matter?

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