Desis, STOP This Outrage Over Vogue India’s Kim Kardashian Cover
Kim K is on Vogue India’s March 2018 cover. And some people seem to have a BIG problem with it!
We sent out a mail to Vogue India, seeking a response over the criticism that they are "perpetuating a detrimental culture of underrepresentation of brown women" by putting Kim K on their cover. Here’s what they had to say:
Of the 126 issues that we’ve had, around 90 per cent have featured the country’s most famous faces, whether it’s Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Mithali Raj, Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt, Kangana Ranaut, or Barkha Dutt...To suggest Vogue has been “perpetuating a detrimental culture of underrepresentation of brown women” is to bring skin colour into a conversation that’s not about skin colour, not to mention a gross misrepresentation of facts.Priya Tanna, Editor-in-Chief, Vogue India
Besides, as Tanna says so well, “To ignore the phenomenon that is Kim Kardashian West is to ignore the zeitgeist of the times”.
Now, here’s the burning question of the day: Does this magazine cover really deserve to be the outrage of the day?
Vogue India has featured only 13 international celebs on its cover. To feature 13 international stars in 10 years isn’t exactly whitewashing.
Also, Kim K here has been styled by Anaita Shroff Adajania, the Fashion Director of Vogue India and an ‘Indian’ woman. Many of the outfits she wears in the issue are also designed by Indian designers, including Shane and Falguni Peacock and Anita Dongre.
The world is getting smaller and more connected. We are consuming global celebrities in a big way now. Why, then, are we so insecure of our Indianness that we start to take offence every time we see a non-Indian on an Indian platform?
I mean, we can’t be promoting Patanjali-esque nationalism on magazine covers now.
Sure, the fact that there are still not enough black or Asian women on Vogue’s international covers, or the fact that women over 40, and women, say, from northeast India, are underrepresented on Vogue India is valid criticism. Especially considering how women who don’t fit the Euro-centric standard of beauty are constantly made to feel inferior, courtesy: capitalistic forces.
Vogue India can internally take a call on it and do its part in revolutionising the standard of beauty, but let our bar for offence not be so low that it starts becoming more and more trivial.
Besides guys, Kim K is wearing a lehenga in the issue. Now we know whatever Kim K wears becomes a rage, so rejoice, for this could be the lehenga’s big moment!
(This article has been updated after it was first published to accommodate Vogue India’s responses)
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