Hold Vogue Accountable!

On my way home from Mexico, I read Vogue magazine, cover to cover. Normally I peruse the pictures, but the flight was long enough that I actually read it. I began with letters to the editor: it’s in the front, an easy enough choice that will set the tone for the rest of the magazine. I was startled to find this letter, referencing an article on SJP in the September issue [“Pillow Talk” by Robert Sullivan]:

While I love Sarah Jessica Parker and simply adore her new perfume, VOGUE did its readers a tremendous disservice in its article about SJP. The piece was nothing more than an extremely long advertisement for her fragrance. I expected (and would have enjoyed) a story with less fluff and more substance. I hope to see a return to weightier journalism next month.

Kara Williamson
Atlanta, GA

I flipped back to the Table of Contents to investigate this weighty journalism to which we must return (I’d like to point out that the TOC starts at page 100; meaning, the first one hundred pages of this magazine are advertisements). I inspected the categories: here they are below with a choice article to exemplify their significance:

  • Fashion
  • Rise to the occasion Heels are stepping up, legs are looking longer, but how wearable is the impossibly high platform? Sarah Mower test-drives the solid sole.

  • Beauty Health & Fitness
  • Brilliant disguise Party season is the perfect excuse to steal the spotlight and see yourself as someone new. Lynn Yeager finds Chantilly lace and peacock feathers fit for a fairy tale.

  • Features
  • Some enchanted Knightly How a 20-year-old Brit is capturing the hearts of the world.

  • People are talking about
  • The art of seduction Ziyi Zhang and Gong Li as rival courtesans, Memoirs of a Geisha, John Powers discovers, brings a lost world back to life.

    In case you are unconvinced, here are a few choice excerpts:

    I think [Maureen] Dowd is one of our most intelligent thinkers[…] Dowd has the sharpness of Samuel Pepys coupled with the irony of Anita Loos, carefully gloved in Louis Vuitton patent leather.

    Now we could make a case this is weighty journalism, except that it’s a day late and a dollar short. Let’s continue to a real mover-shaker:

    A Roman takes control of the Gucci empire. Her name is Frida Giannini[…] Giannini dared to bring back the glamorous cursive-script Gucci gold logo of the forties to stamp inside her bags. She insisted the home of stilettos try printed ballet slippers.

    A true rebel. We should have Giannini and Dowd get together and rattle some cages with their insane new ideas. Could they be joined by revolutionary Hope Davis?

    The attributes that of the typical movie star that Hope Davis lacks are perhaps in the areas of vanity and overseriousness; dressed in pink capris and a tank top by Claudie Pierlot, Davis is nice enough to make even down-to-earth seem a little pretentious. “Aren’t you glad you’re eating this?” she says, enjoying a bit of chocolate at her neighborhood French cafe one afternoon. “What if we were just having water?”


    Kara, you and me; we’re like two peas in a pod. Get with the program, Vogue.

    Tags: , <a href="http://technorati.com/tag/Maureen Dowd, , .


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