Words: Sophie Henderson
It’s disheartening to hear that when most people think of women’s magazines, they think of a media-driven gossip that necessitates rumours. They fail to recognise the activism and awareness encouraged with the outburst of social media, and the subsequent shift in the modern magazine industry.
Independent titles have long been fighting the pressure of beauty-standards, but thankfully, in 2018, culture is shifting. This female ‘gossip’ does not have one definition, it can be a powerful sharing of stories, experiences and movements. Widely read, familiar titles are acknowledging change, and we’ve listed a few of our favourite examples in 2018 (so far).
Stylist Magazine – July 2018
We love Stylist’s imagery in response to the hugely popular Love Island. Thankfully, they put our minds at rest when pointing out the underrepresentation of completely normal body types – bravo.
Grazia – Summer Beauty
Helping to remove the benighted notion of socially constructed beauty-standards, Winnie Harlow was the face of Grazia’s beauty issue, both elegant and empowering in a bold red lip.
As part of a collection of Summer issue covers celebrating the power of the younger generation, this particular cover confronts a pressing issue. This group of individuals unite to tackle gun violence in the United States.
🧡✊ YOUTH IN POWER✊🧡⠀ ⠀ ⠀ It ends with us. The last of our summer issue covers celebrates the activist voices determined to come together against gun violence in America. ⠀ Tap the link in bio to read the feature now. 👆📲👀⠀ ⠀ Photography @ryanmcginleystudios⠀ Styling @emmawyman⠀ Hair @jawaraw⠀ Make-up @francelledaly ⠀ ⠀ Text @adameli⠀ ⠀ Activists #GideonWeiner, @brandonjwolf, @gaytrappunzel, @adameli, @nycsaysenough, @teensresist, @youthpowercollective, @studentsforguncontrol, Christopher Underwood of @momsdemand (Moms Demand Action), @jewel_thegem, the teen activists from White Plains High School @riseupinitiative⠀ ⠀ Taken from the summer 2018 issue of #Dazed
Stylist – June 2018
Essentially, plastic straws are out of fashion. Don’t buy them.
ELLE – September 2018
We love everything about this recent addition to the pile; sustainability and bold femininity combine to create a striking image.
Oh Baby. So THRILLED and proud to annouce our @elleuk September issue featuring the incredible,in full bloom,beautiful and bold @slickwoods . (+bump). And to A-team. Photographer @paolakudacki. Stylist @annelchristensen. Art Direction. @misterthomasjames. Special thanks to @rachaelevanselle. @lenadecasparis. @felicitykay 💫⚡️💥
Vanity Fair – April 2018
Lena Waithe certainly ‘changed the game’ as her Vanity Fair cover broadened the traditional, narrow definition of the powerful-covergirl.
Haters will say it’s photoshopped. But for real. This is a moment I will never forget. I am overflowing with gratitude. Thank you, @radhikajones, for choosing me to be your first cover girl. Thank you, #Annie, for capturing me so beautifully and honestly. Last but not least – thank you @jacqueline_woodson, for being my kindred spirit and for your eloquent words. #LetsBlackPantherThisIssue #ImCountingOnMyPlayCousinsToBuyMultipleCopies Super grateful to my glam team as well: @rebekahaladdin & @savvystarbeauty with the light beat. And @lovingyourhair got the locs looking right!
This viral image should be celebrated for all the right reasons, shining a light on body positivity. Self Magazine’s digital cover of Tess Holliday spoke to a large slice of the population who receive insufficient representation in the media industry as a whole.
We’re thrilled to share our first ever digital cover, featuring model, author, and fat-positivity activist Tess Holliday (@tessholliday). From editor-in-chief @carolynkylstra’s editor’s letter: “Holliday identifies as a fat woman; we chose to give her a platform because she has insightful things to say about thriving in a world that devalues bodies of size. We also chose to feature her because size representation is necessary, especially for a national health media brand that can help guide the conversation about what it means to be healthy and how to make health accessible. You don’t know how healthy or unhealthy a person is just by looking at them, you don’t know what their health goals and priorities are, and you don’t know what they’ve already done or are planning to do for their health going forward. And moreover, you should know that concern trolling—using a person’s perceived health to justify making them feel bad about themselves—isn’t just counterproductive, it’s abusive.” Tap the link in bio to read the rest of the letter. — Photographer: @catherineservel, Wardrobe Styling: @marpeidro, Hair: @christianmarc at @forwardartists using @randco, Makeup: @kristinhilton at @thewallgroup, Manicure: @nailsbyemikudo at @opusbeauty | #TeamSELF