Hey Internet. I think we need to talk about what's been happening since it was announced on Friday that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West finally got their much coveted Vogue cover.
A lot of you seem really upset by this news. There's been flouncing. There's been a Twitter backlash. I've seen lots of people threatening to cancel their Vogue subscriptions because apparently putting one of today's most popular recording artists on the cover alongside his very famous wife is a "new low" for the magazine.
Never mind that the world's leading fashion bible is featuring an interracial couple on its cover — it's not like that fair bit of progress matters when half of that two-some is made up by Kim Kardashian, a woman who made her name through sex tapes, a friendship with Paris Hilton, reality TV and mutually beneficial relationship with the paparazzi. And where to even start with Kanye? I mean, yeah — he designs clothes and has created some of the most prolific and influential music of the past decade, but he also says stupid stuff in interviews sometimes and everyone thinks he's a jerk. (Remind you of another frequent Vogue cover model?)
Now maybe I'm a Vogue cynic — granted, I'm not their target audience (I type this wearing — oddly enough — the oversized Kanye t-shirt that I made in this tutorial and a pair of Hammer pants, so, no, I have very little passion for fashion), but I do think I'm qualified to point out that this is hardly the most stupid or low thing the magazine has ever done. They've been putting people less interesting, relevant and famous than Kim and Kanye on their covers for years — the only difference is that those cover models (for the most part) all happened to be thin white ladies and where's the fun in getting mad about that?
Look, I've even rounded up some examples.
Sienna Miller has been on the cover of U.S. Vogue three times since 2006. Funny enough, I can't even name three Sienna Miller movies. People love to shit on Kim Kardashian for using her partner's fame to parlay her way into a Vogue cover, but she's hardly the first. Miller, at the time of her first Vogue appearance was most famous for being photographed while wearing cute outfits alongside her then-boyfriend Jude Law. Which is fine. She did dress cute and Vogue is a fashion magazine, so who cares? All I'm saying is that we should probably stop pretending that every cover model prior to Kim Kardashian was Meryl fucking Streep.
Kate Bosworth covered Vogue in 2008 and has been featured in the magazine several times since. She is best known for the 2002 film Blue Crush, sitting front row during fashion week and being the bane of my existence during my freshman through sophomore year of high school because she was dating Orlando Bloom and I wasn't. She does have a collection at Topshop, but if we're counting branded products as a valid reason to deserve a Vogue cover, Kimye should cover the magazine for the next 100 years.
I actually really like Keira Knightley, but did you know that she's been on the cover of U.S. Vogue five times in the past nine years? While she's a regularly working actress, this seems less to do with her oeuvre and more to do with the fact that she — like Miller and Bosworth — is thin, (sometimes) blonde and could just as easily be a model as she is an actress. Sure, Vogue is a fashion magazine, so complaining about model-y looking people seems a little trite, but come on. I'm all for bringing in TV actors — even the reality ones — if it means making Vogue a little less predictable and boring. Can you imagine a Vogue cover featuring NeNe Leakes? It would be the most exciting thing to happen to the magazine since the return of the power suit.
Two time cover girl.
Finally some diversity! A brunette.
"But at least all of those women are famous for being actresses," you might argue. "What has Kim Kardashian ever actually done?"
Well, first of all, Kim Kardashian was in Tyler Perry's Temptation, so slow your damn roll. Secondly, shining a spotlight on our nation's undeservedly famous is actually a time-honored tradition for Vogue. Case in point: Here are a bunch of people best known for having been married or related to Elvis Presley.
(Yes, I'm counting the Presleys as one person. One cover, one heart, one mind, one soul.)
You could potentially make the argument that Melania Trump née Knauss deserves her place in Vogue because she's a professional model, but that is not why she landed the cover in 2005. No, that honor was bestowed upon her because she was soon to marry business magnate and king of all fuckwads Donald Trump. If hitching your wagon to that star makes you worthy of a cover, then certainly so does having your own successful television series, running several businesses and marrying Kanye West. I guess the big difference here is that we're used to revering greedy rich white dudes and the women who marry them, but to do the same when the husband is black and the woman is on Keeping Up with the Kardashians? Oh, well, that's a new low.
The real shame about this whole thing? I don't even like Kim Kardashian and I feel like I have to defend her. Vogue fans love to argue that the magazine's ostentatious display of wealth and privilege are aspirational. And that's true! So tell me: Who, when it comes to money and fame, is more aspirational than Kim and Kanye?
All of this is not to say that Kimye necessarily deserve a Vogue cover. It's to say who the fuck does? There is no "Vogue standard" — or if there is, it was already incredibly low — so get over it. If it comes as any comfort, I'm sure Rooney Mara will be back on the cover next month and you can forget this ever happened.