Vanity Fair just released images from its March “young Hollywood” issue which features 9 up-and-coming actresses. The problem is, not a single one of these actresses is of color.
Each and every one of the talented young women featured on the cover of the young hollywood issue is white, thin and beautiful. If Vanity Fair is setting the mold for what a hot new actress looks like, then apparently any variance in ethnicity and weight, or deviation from this ethereal standard of beauty is forbidden. This mold automatically excludes emerging talent like Zoe Saldana, Gabourey Sibede and Keke Palmer who seem just as talented and deserving as any of the young ladies gracing the Vanity Fair cover.
Whether or not it was intended, Vanity Fair is sending a clear, exclusionary message about what is desirable and celebrated in Hollywood, and that message is clearly stating that women of color are not accounted for.
Jezebel weighed in on the controversy, echoing the sentiment that Vanity Fair’s portrayal of young Hollywood is skewed:
VF’s “Young Hollywood” is much like the golden age of Hollywood: There was a fetishization of the lithe, gorgeous, virginal ingenue, whose virtues and ambitions were pure, and therefore desirable. You either wanted to be her or sleep with her. She was the photographed wearing white, and her “All-American” good looks meant that she was a WASP or a fresh-faced farmgirl. Certainly not black, definitely not fat, and never both. Looking at the March 2010 issue, has anything changed? Even Evgenia Peretz’s descriptions of the actresses — “Ivory-soap-girl features,” “patrician looks” “dewy, wide-eyed loveliness” — reinforce the idea that a successful actress is a pretty, aristocratic-looking (read: white) actress.
It’s hard to say if fault lies with the editors of the magazine, or with Hollywood itself — trying to come up with some projects employing new, young Asian, black or Latin actors and actresses is a tough exercise.
Whats your opinion? Do you find fault with Vanity Fair’s young Hollywood cover? Check it out in its entirety below:
To read more about the Vanity Fair cover go here.
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