As someone who constantly bitches about the unrealistic standards that women these days are constantly being held to (what? You're a size zero? Wow. You must really eat a lot. I'm a negative 6. Beat that, fatty), my next statement may come as a bit of a surprise.
I miss supermodels on the covers of magazines.
Has anyone else noticed that there aren't any "models" on the covers of the big glossies anymore? The celebutantes have reached their sticky tentacles to yet another facet of society that allows them to receive even more attention than anyone ever thought humanly possible. You can't pick up a Vogue, Marie Claire or Elle without seeing the "It" girl of the moment, or whoever happens to have a movie coming out within a few weeks of publication.
This all happened kind of quietly in the mid-90's. I remember when seeing the occasional Drew Barrymore, Lara Flynn Boyle (pre-skeletor), or even Julia Roberts- but it was the exception, rather than the rule. Up until the slow, deliberate banishment of "non-celebrity" cover girls, I think a lot of us looked forward to seeing real, honest-to-goodness models on the covers of the magazines we read to fuel our wildest dreams of fame, fashion and a jet-set life.
At least I did.
I even had my favorites.
I loved Linda Evangelista's (above and below) versatility. She looked like she was one tough bitch, but no one could pull off as many different looks as her. She cut & dyed her hair as often as I did- at the time. One day she'd have a black Louise Brooks bob, the next month she'd be the mousy girl next door, all fresh-faced and innocent.
Christy Turlington (below) was another favorite. When she had only been a rising star for a brief time, she boldly cut off her long, long hair into the infamous 90's pixie cut. Seeing how good she looked with the super short 'do inspired me to follow suit and chop off my hair that I had been growing out for 2 years at that point. I love, love, loved it. Imagine my disappointment when she immediately started growing it back, but whatever.
I even liked that crazy, phone-throwing, assistant-assaulting, serial rock star-dating brat Naomi Campbell. No one could ever accuse her of being boring, that's for sure.
I guess the problem I have with the absence of non-television or non-film faces gracing the covers is this:
Do we, as grown women, as teenagers, as young women (and some men) who still have hopes and dreams of any sort really need to have the bar raised just that much higher? Meaning, now it isn't good enough to gain fame and fortune and the general publicity that goes along with being a star- now you have to add "cover girl" to the mix.
I guess that- for me- when the faces peering out at me in the line at the grocery store were faces that I only recognized because I was a magazine junkie, it was comforting in a strange way.
If these impossibly gorgeous girls weren't household names in the more common sense of the word, then I didn't have to feel bad about neither being a celebrity nor a model. Even the girls we referred to as "supermodels" were primarily recognized as such by those of us that devoured magazines and fashion TV like they were made of money-coated chocolate champagne.
Sure, they had the big bucks and privilege that goes along with semi-celebrity and dating rock stars, but for whatever reason I could identify with many of them more than I could with your every day, garden-variety movie star.
But now, the models are of-the-moment and, other than a very select few- pretty interchangeable. The current crop of "supermodels" all seem to have been bred on a farm in Brazil specifically for Victoria's Secret. And yes, they're unbelievably, stunningly gorgeous- I get that.
They're just not all that interesting, I think.
And most of the remaining crop of models just look blank and scarily thin.
Celebrities that I don't even recognize stare back at me from Vogue and Allure.
Things seem out of whack, somehow.
But then again, I am very easily confused.
file under: cranky old lady crazy nonsensical ranting.