Vogue So Right

Between the April snow storms sun has made a couple of fleeting appearances, so it’s only apt that amidst all the ongoing gates there’s also an SPF-gate to get upset about. Gwyneth Paltrow did not apply her sunscreen the right way in a recent Vogue video and crisis.

Short background for people with actual lives who don’t have the time to get entangled in every instagram-snafu: American Vogue runs a popular series on their website, where famous women show their beauty routines in their bathrooms in short video-clips. (My favourite is the one with Tracee Ellis Ross.)

Gwyneth Paltrow did one where she says all kinds of things, but notably that she “likes to put some kind of (sunscreen) on my nose and the area where the sun really hits“.
People freak out. Caroline Hirons (British skincare guru with huge following and excellent tips) calls every dermatologist under the sun (pun) and they collectively freak out on her blog post that will take you until Christmas to read.

Because as we all very well know, SPF shall be properly and thoroughly applied. This is what it says on the bottle when you make the purchase.
By announcing she’ll only dab a smidgeon of SPF on the tip of her nose, Gwyneth was “misleading” millions of people as well as putting her “Fitzpatrick type 1 children” (Hirons’ description, which I can only hope refers to the skin type of Apple and Moses) possibly at risk, and I could personally let this pass as another Hirons-freakout had she not condemned Vogue for “continuing to give Paltrow access to its huge platform”. Because sunscreen.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t actually do everything Gwyneth Paltrow and/or Vogue suggest I should. There was the one with why don’t you wrap your croissants in an Hermès scarf”, which is a benign enough suggestion not likely to cause me melanoma, but I still didn’t. (Actually it could have been Harper’s Bazaar that gave this tip, but they’re both Condé Nast so.)

I also don’t tuck poultry under my arm for my work commute just because Tilda Swinton was photographed with a chicken. (This is mainly due to current government directive that forces me to work from home.)
Vogue is Vogue. It’s not supposed to make much sense, neither are most of the people featured in it.

Reading the Vogue wedding section (love, love, love it!) makes me wonder less where their staff find all the fruit loops for their features and more about what hallucinogens they use when putting the articles together. Reading the pieces is treading along a delicate line between phantasmagoria and the absolute decline of the civilisation as we know it.

In one recent feature a couple decided to call their wedding an elopement because of the pandemic. (The lame excuse to circumvent COVID-restrictions is much akin to those who “moved their WFH-offices southwards for the spring break”.) So far so good – there obviously has to be an actual wedding if it is to be featured in Vogue, so shame on everybody who obsesses about the semantics.
And was it a wedding. I do urge you to read the piece if only for the soundbites – I had hard time choosing just one for this post, but I think it is pretty fantastic:

“The groom wore a made-to-measure burgundy suit, the same colour than his newly launched hibiscus water beverage.”

That’s Vogue, people, and I am absolutely here, or there, for such content.

The spectacular former editor in chief of Vogue Paris, Carine Roitfeld, was interviewed by the Business of Fashion some time ago and she was vehemently defending the use of cigarettes and sex in French fashion shoots. Roitfeld said it’s her job to sell sexy, and she’ll put whatever is sexy in the pictures regardless of what WHO recommends people should do.
Yes we all know cigarettes are bad. Should Vogue continue to covertly advertise smoking by making it seem sexy? I don’t know. Have I ever dropped everything and run to purchase cigarettes inspired by a fashion feature?
The answer would be the same as with the chicken – can’t say I have.

Of course Vogue will continue to offer its platform to Paltrow and the Kardashians of this world. Fashion magazines are a dying business and they’d be crazy not to. Plus everybody, and when I say everybody I really do mean everybody, knows that Paltrow is the Queen of Kook. Who was ever going to take a video-clip about her face-cleansing ritual as some kind of literal life-gospel?
Same with the Kardashians, each of whom is a frequent feature in Vogue.

Can the magazine be held responsible for everything that cometh out of the mouths of these babes? I’m not sure.
Must adult women be coddled, cosseted and faux-protected from everything in the world like they are brainless idiots?
This would very much seem to be so.

Photo credit: Vogue UK February 2021, photograph by Nikolai von Bismarck.

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