She’s ‘obviously’ been photo-shopped. Her swimsuit is ‘too revealing’. They’ve put her in a one-piece rather than a bikini as they would with a ‘smaller’ model. And why does she – and every woman – need to be wearing swimwear at all?
It’s boring, it’s predictable and it’s counterproductive.
Yes, the concerns about photoshop in magazines (and social media) are certainly founded and there is something in publications constantly putting women in soaked swimwear in order to shift copies.
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But in this Amy Schumer cover there is so much more worth celebrating. For the first time in a long time, I saw a magazine cover that not only made me want to go out and buy it, but made me – shock horror – feel good about myself.
In the cover, I saw a woman who more accurately reflects the average size of an American and Australian woman and one who looked confident and comfortable in her body – while still looking like herself. (She even bombed into the pool post photo-shoot.)
I saw an attitude I aspired for myself, rather than just a look or item of clothing (Although if someone could tell me how to not look like a drowned rat while in the pool, that would be greatly appreciated).
InStyle, led by its new Aussie editor-in-chief Laura Brown, should be applauded not heckled for their decision.
Let’s break it down.
How easy it would have been to put someone like Kendall Jenner or Gigi Hadid on the cover for the magazine’s ‘Beauty Issue’. Their youthful faces and enormous social media following make them tried and tested cover successes – and wholly predictable.
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Schumer is fresh, unexpected and obviously equally beautiful in a different way rather than the one dimensional example we often see in fashion and social media. InStyle is certainly not the comedian’s first magazine cover, but it’s arguably the most ground-breaking.
The fact that it’s a ‘Beauty Issue’ gives the magazine overlords an (almost) free pass to focus on the 35 year old’s face rather than her whole body.
It’s a move Vogue made when it featured another “plus size” (controversial industry term used to describe anyone above a size 10) celebrity in the form of Lena Dunham on a cover in 2014. The decision was met with instant backlash for this very reason.
Here we see Schumer’s (near) entire figure – arms, thighs, tummy and all – as we would with any other model or celebrity.
There’s a lot of politics that goes on behind the scenes with not only choosing a person for a magazine cover, but also how they’re depicted.
It’s been suggested Schumer in a pool of water is a nod to her upcoming film Snatched starring Goldie Hawn, where the pair play a mother and daughter holidaying on a tropical island.
Take a look at the comedian’s instagram and you’ll see plenty of pictures of her wearing a one piece and a few in bikinis. Perhaps she just genuinely likes wearing swimming costumes? Not to mention the fact that they’ve enjoyed a major resurgence in popularity of late – just ask Kylie Jenner.
Plus, the Ralph Lauren number she’s sporting on the cover is quite nice too.
Very very honored to be nominated for 2 Grammys and to be considered to play an important and evolving icon. Is it fat shaming if you know you’re not fat and have zero shame in your game? I don’t think so. I am strong and proud of how I live my life and say what I mean and fight for what I believe in and I have a blast doing it with the people I love. Where’s the shame? It’s not there. It’s an illusion. When I look in the mirror I know who I am. Im a great friend, sister, daughter and girlfriend. I’m a badass comic headlining arenas all over the world and making tv and movies and writing books where I lay it all out there and I’m fearless like you can be. Thanks to everyone for the kind words and support and again my deepest sympathy goes out to the trolls who are in more pain than we will ever understand. I want to thank them for making it so evident that I am a great choice. It’s that kind of response that let’s you know something’s wrong with our culture and we all need to work together to change it. Anyone who has ever been bullied or felt bad about yourself I am out there fighting for you, for us. And I want you to fight for yourself too! We need to laugh at the haters and sympathize with them. They can scream as loud as they want. We can’t hear them because we are getting shit done. I am proud to lead by example. “I say if I’m beautiful, I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story. I will” #thegirlwiththelowerbacktattoo
Is it perfect? Probably not, but it’s likely the first fashion magazine cover in a long while that hasn’t made you want to roll your eyes in despair or frustration.