V Magazine Loves You, Whoever And Whatever You AreS

For its size issue — which hits newsstands on January 14 — V has shown us naked girls, spot-the-difference girls, and girls with pasties. Here now are some men and women of different shapes, colors, and genders, rocking astounding shoes.

V Magazine Loves You, Whoever And Whatever You AreS

Photographer Terry Tsiolis does one of his patented cast-of-dozens V spreads, with the difference being that this one, well, focuses on difference. Revels in it, even. The male model here, Martin Cohn, walked in a dress and heels to close Elise Øverland's last runway show.

V Magazine Loves You, Whoever And Whatever You AreS

Judith Butler would have a field day with this story. It's all about the performance of gender — the scripts we follow, and the ones we make for ourselves. This is, obviously, a professionally styled and shot editorial for a magazine — it's not real life, though the choices of the stylist and the photographer are clearly intended to represent something about "real life." Some of these models are, well, models: they take on new identities in the pages of magazines because that's their work. Some of the other people pictured in this spread are not models repped by agencies: there are nightclub performers, assistant stylists, and other assorted fashion folk. How everyone is portrayed is really interesting. Are the models just playing a role? Are the "real people"? To what extent are we all playing roles?

V Magazine Loves You, Whoever And Whatever You AreS

Those shoes; they give me palpitations every time I see them. Alexander McQueen has created a shoe that negates the objective reality of the human foot. (This is troubling.) And I fucking love it.

V Magazine Loves You, Whoever And Whatever You AreS

On the left there is Elle King, a singer-songwriter who I'm not gonna pretend I'd heard of before, since I'm desperately uncool and I never go to Brooklyn, but whose voice just blew my mind, a little.

V Magazine Loves You, Whoever And Whatever You AreS

How rad is it that the girl who commands all the attention here is actually a man woman who performs as a drag queen? Ladyfag, take a bow.

V Magazine Loves You, Whoever And Whatever You AreS

Really, this is how it should be. Here are a bunch of people who embody very different kinds of beauty, in a single story, all working it hard. Now why can't we see something like size-blind and race-blind casting in more fashion magazines? If the ladymags sacrificed just one inane tiny-model-jumping-against-a-greige-background shoot apiece, per issue, and really put on their brainstorming caps, I bet they could find a way to replace those stories with something refreshing, something diverse, something different.

V Love U Just The Way We Are By Terry Tsiolis [Models.com]
V Magazine [Official Site]