Vogue's Age Issue: 30 Is The New 80

According to the August issue of Vogue, if you can recall the days when Christy Turlington graced the magazine's pages, before Vogue's models emitted an alien Photoshop glow and were forced make marionette arms in every photo, you're officially old.

Vogue's annual Age Issue is plastered with large print affirmations about beauty coming from within, including a strange full-page declaration that includes the following statement:

Style isn't imposed on us by the Establishment it's a daily affirmation of, well, our joie de vivre. We are each a painted butterfly, with a different pattern on our wings. The concept that adornment can—like capoeira-yoga classes or a devotion to esoteric whole grains—engender well-being is especially good news for anyone older than, say, oh, 29. It's never been more true that you are only as old as you feel. ...

The small print tells a different story! A beauty feature about four women who began obsessing about signs of aging in their 20s and 30s concludes with one woman pestering her doctor about age spots only she can see. The doctor asks, "Are you insane?" "No Limits," the issue's big fashion spread, is similarly maddening. It's ostensibly about how "fall's best looks cross generational lines," but there's no attempt made in the following pages to show the mixing of old and new styles, or how anyone over 25 could pull them off.

We've already taken a look back at some of Christy Turlington's work in honor of her appearance on this month's cover, but some comments in the accompanying profile about her younger days in modeling were troubling. First, Christy reveals that by working almost exclusively for Vogue by the time she was 16,

"I skipped that self-critical place that's dangerous for any teenager. I kind of figured, if Vogue thinks I look OK, I probably look OK. Working with Arthur Elgort, Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Meisel, I felt pretty confident in my day-to-day life."

She's right — working with Patrick Demarchelier is a great cure for teenage self-doubt (but what if the magazine doesn't think you look OK?). Later, celebrity hairstylist Oribe notes,

"There hasn't been another one like her, and she's smarter than a whip—there are so many gorgeous women that are not smart or witty and kind. She was this superclassy thing that was bigger than life, and a virgin."

Clearly Vogue's editors prize a youthful look, but we hadn't realized a model's sexual status influences how good she looks in couture.

Vogue's Age Issue: 30 Is The New 80

Earlier: An '80s-Tastic Christy Turlington Retrospective