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Vogue UK Editor Says People Don’t Want to See a “Real Person” on Magazine Covers

Kate Moss on Vogue UK April 2010 Cover / Image:

Kate Moss on Vogue UK April 2010 Cover / Image:

One topic of discussion that always seems to crop up in fashion, is the use of retouching and unrealistic images in fashion magazines. In general, it’s a surprise when you see fashion photographs without a sense of fantasy such as the recent unretouched Aerie lingerie campaign. Vogue UK editor Alexandra Shulman recently sat down for an interview with BBC Radio 2 and revealed her thoughts on the matter. Specifically, the portrayal of a glamorous lifestyle in magazines, what sells on the newsstand and the use of thin models in general. Check out some choice quotes below, but you can see more from the interview on The Telegraph.

On the criticism of thin models in magazines and why people want to see fantasy:
“People always say ‘why do you have thin models? That’s not what real people look like’ But nobody really wants to see a real person looking like a real person on the cover of Vogue. She then goes on to say, “I think Vogue is a magazine that’s about fantasy to some extent and dreams, and an escape from real life.”

On what she thinks sells on the newsstand:
“If I knew exactly what sold it would be like having the secret of the universe, but I’d say broadly speaking, if you’re going to talk about a model or a personality, it’s kind of a quite middle view of what beauty is.” She elaborates, “Quite conventional, probably smiling, in a pretty dress; somebody looking very ‘lovely’. The most perfect girl next door.”

But she would like for sample sizes to be bigger:
“I do think the designers should cut bigger and use bigger models on the catwalk,” she says. “I’ve said it again and again…But there is much more diversity than there used to be, it is changing.”

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