December 25, 2012
GQ vs Vogue
The other day I received in the mail the January issues of GQ and Vogue. Both glossy mags came with promises of a new 2013 attitude, the inside scoop of the celebs we have become so close to through daily Twitter updates, and another series of layouts that simultaneously cause us to emulate while questioning our own reflection in the mirror.
As I looked closer at the covers I was struck by the familiar faces that greeted me. Vogue delivered rocker mom, Gwen Stefani, with her well known blood red lips and a perfectly styled ensemble. You can tell Rachel Zoe or some edgy Beverly Hills fashionista poured hours into creating the perfect outfit that couples just enough chic with a touch of avant-garde. On the cover of GQ you have Bill Murray. Murray is wearing a well tailored suit and tie with a pink bra in place of a pocket square. Funny touch, I admit.
As I looked at their faces, though, I became increasingly annoyed. Bill Murray looked exactly like, well, Bill Murray. You saw every line, wrinkle, pore, and sun spot. While Stefani was wiped clean of anything but a freakishly lineless, poreless, spotless face that looked like one of those creepy dolls that have porcelain faces with eyelashes, a streak of pink blush, and the perfect red pouty lip.
Then I started looking a little further and I couldn't believe it. There is not one single frickin' pore on one single woman in the January 2013 issue of Vogue. While GQ has proudly displayed the men in their monthly issue with crinkles and bags around their eyes, furrowed brows, and...wait for it...laugh lines. You know...the lines that appear after years and years of happiness and laughter!
It is no wonder why women gingerly look in the mirror every morning asking themselves why they can't look like the newest cover of Vogue. It's because nobody looks like the cover of Vogue. Even the woman who is on the cover of Vogue doesn't look like the woman on the cover of Vogue!
So...what do we do? Personally, I love fashion and the whole funky vibe that mags like Vogue offer to inspire and challenge us to creatively put our best foot forward. But as far as the whole alien face thing...I am continuing to call bullshit on the unnecessarily over airbrushed pics that make the faces of the women we love look like a mannequin look alike.
As I compose my thoughts on this issue, I have to ask myself this question: Am I part of the problem because I continue to subscribe to Vogue? Am I saying with my subscription dollars that I quietly support the practice of airbrushing? Maybe. For now I will continue to do what I am doing. Tell myself and my teenage daughter that fashion magazines should be used only as inspiration and to keep in mind that the women photographed are a mere shadow of what they look like in real life after the editors digitally enhance and decrease the crinkles and wrinkles that make them special.