It is very easy to pick on Vogue Magazine – it has a massive budget, it's crammed with ads and eating disorders and things that nobody can actually afford and contains very little in the way of content.
And that's exactly what I love about it.
It's this wonderful, shallow world where anything can happen (see: powerclashing) and through the magic of Photoshop, Steven Meisel and Grace Coddington, it will look damn good. You can argue that it's all about artifice, anorexia and excess – but the reality is that it is Vogue and if you wanted reality you could buy a newspaper or look around you. It's the magazine for people who want to escape mundanity and instead muse over whether the Isabel Marant booties are too chic to be inhumane.
Whether or not you think fashion equates as art is up for debate - but because of the massive power of Vogue and the Conde Nast group, through the years they have published some of the most amazing photographs and articles the world has ever seen. Where else but Vogue would you publish the last photo shoots done by Marilyn Monroe and Diana Spencer? Where else but Vogue could you compare the outfits of the French first lady and Michelle Obama? And of course, no one talks about eating disorders and plastic surgery quite like Vogue. It makes for some honest, sad and honestly hilarious reading at times.
When I have had a particularly carbohydrate loaded week, or when my Lenten regime of ‘a pack of easter eggs a day’ became too much I would buy a copy of Vogue. Think of it as ‘thinspiration’ – looking at pictures of coked up young models with really aggressive bone structures should make you feel so awful and bloated that you will want to run or do cocaine or do something differently. If health experts channeled the ‘poor self-esteem’ aspects in a young person’s personality a bit more maliciously this could definitely help in the obesity crisis. Maybe Vogue could just make us all feel so guilty that we would stop watching the Biggest Loser and start becoming big losers?
Plus I mean, apart from Vogue, where else is a girl with freckles, a gap-tooth and no boobs going to get on the cover of a magazine? Nowhere. As a teenager, magazines were concerned with the conventionally attractive; boys were concerned with those with impressive chests. Thank god for Vogue – where dorky girls are worshipped even though they are tall but crap at sport, mildly anaemic and probably still growing into their eyebrows and cheekbones. Again and again we see Vogue covers of girls who are not conventionally attractive but still drop dead fucking gorgeous in their own ways – maybe like Kate Moss they’re short, or like Vanessa Paradis they have a giant gap between their teeth. Vogue magazine is living proof that there is still hope and Photoshop.
Read the original excerpt from Warhol's Children here.