Fug File: Fug The Cover

Well Played Covers: Elle’s Women in TV Issue

These are good covers, and it feels nice to get to type that for once.

[Covers: Elle Magazine]


Well Played Cover, Amandla Stenberg on Teen Vogue

This cover is so freaking good. It’s maybe the best cover I’ve seen on Teen Vogue, and it’s DEFINITELY got more personality and point of view than Old Lady Vogue has had in a while. Plus, the interview with Amandla Stenberg and Solange is well worth a read. It’s hard to believe she’s seventeen. Not because she’s so obviously smart, although she is  — lots of seventeen-year-olds are smart! — but because she is so thoughtful and mature. I feel like I was in a constant state of immature flailing until I was about 32. (It makes sense that she and Kiernan Shipka are good friends; they seem like similarly composed women.) All that, and it’s so eye-catching. Well done, Teen Vogue.

[Photos: Teen Vogue]


Fug or Fab the Cover: Jennifer Lawrence on Glamour, February 2016

A Fug National just sent us an article about the various poses you tend to see most often in fashion spreads, most of which seem to belittle or just generally weaken the female subject. It was interesting to go from that article right to writing about this cover — which, for whatever flaws it has, does not lack for confidence and self-assurance.

Nuggets from the interview, which is a Q&A with editor Cindi Leive:

I liked the beginning, when [Joy] wants more than what life has bestowed onto her. She has this frustration that’s not very likable, to lie next to your children and say, “I feel like I’m in a prison.” But it’s true. Everybody has this idea: You have children, and your entire life is complete. [...] But you can have children and love them with all your heart and soul, and love your family, and it’s still OK to have a fire in you. That doesn’t have anything to do with your family. That has to do with you.

On fashion:

CL: So how would you describe your style now?
JL: “Slutty power lesbian.” That is literally what I say to a stylist. [Laughs.] [...] Dior is its own house that’s very feminine and beautiful; this past press tour every dress was just phenomenal. So you don’t see me as a slutty power lesbian on the red carpet a lot, because I’m embodying the Dior woman, which is an honor.… But [also] I’ve got tits and an ass. And there are things that are made for skinny people—like a lot of embroidery, or it covers a lot—and those make me look fat. I have to show the lumps.”

On the success of Hunger Games, a franchise with a female hero:

JL: Yeah, we broke that [box office] record, and I didn’t even realize. As women we don’t know we’re at a deficit because we have vaginas. It wasn’t until they had a headline like, “Even though she’s a woman!” And I was like, “Oh. I didn’t know to be looking out for that.” [Baby voice] “How did this wittle vagina manage that? I carried a whooole movie.” [Laughs.] “How did I do it, getting a period once a month?”
CL: [Laughs.] How did you do it? Give some tips.
JL: We had to take a week off every month.… I had to go to my red tent in the desert and wait it out. [Laughs.]…[But] I think there was this studio mentality for a long time that women and girls can relate to a male hero, but boys and men can’t relate to a female hero. But that’s simply not true. And so we’ve fortunately proved that.

On klutziness:

JL: I spilled milk this morning. Last night I spilled red wine all over the rug. All I want to be able to do is just walk from one place to another without falling! It’s so annoying, honestly. And now I’ve gone from the charming, like, “Oh my God, whoops, I fell”—now it really pisses me off. ’Cause it’s embarrassing now. So now I fall, and I’m like, “Stop looking at me! Don’t take a picture!”
CL: But what about the conspiracy theory, that it’s all [fake]?
JL: That’s why it’s embarrassing! That’s why I want to be able to stop doing it. When I fell the second year at the Oscars, I was just like, “F–k.” ’Cause I would think the same exact thing. I know it looks like a gag. It’s really, really not.

[Photos: Glamour]


Fug the Covers: The W Movie Issue

So I guess all the cover-worthy “breakthrough years” were had by white people? Try harder, W. 

Not only is it disappointing to see such a glaring lack of diversity on these covers — Michael B. Jordan just won Best Actor for Creed from the National Society of Film Critics, and if you think people don’t want to buy a magazine with Michael B. Jordan’s great face on the front of it, you are wrong; Oscar Isaac is great both in The Force Awakens AND Ex Machina; Mya Taylor (who is featured inside the magazine, at least, and gets name-checked in the second line of the piece) is apparently fantastic in Tangerine – but also, albeit much less importantly, every single person who is on these covers has somehow been given exactly the same face. The photographs are well done, but once you’ve seen this, you cannot unsee it and it’s WEIRD. Rooney Mara looks like Carey Mulligan looks like Brie Larson looks like Eddie Redmayne looks like Saoirse Ronan looks like Alicia Vikander. You guys, if I can’t tell, at first glance, if I’m looking at Rooney Mara or Eddie Redmayne, you’ve got a problem.

Not to mention the fact that Rooney Mara was nominated for an Oscar in 2011; she may be wonderful in Carol, but her breakthrough came when she was in Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. She’s been the blooming host of the Met Gala already!  Saoirse Ronan was nominated for an Academy Award in 2007 (although I would actually accept an argument that this is the year she’s broken through as an adult; still). Carey Mulligan was Oscar-nominated in 2010 — for pete’s sake, give Daisy Ridley that cover if you’re so intent on a pale British brunette! Even Eddie feels like his breakout was well before this year, but I suppose, given that it’s POSSIBLE this headline refers to LAST year, in which he ALSO won an Oscar, I will allow it. That said: A MAJORITY OF THESE PEOPLE HAD DEFINITELY BROKEN THROUGH BEFORE THIS YEAR.  I DON’T THINK THAT WORD MEANS WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS.

[Covers: W Magazine]


Fug or Fab the Covers: Cate Blanchett on Harper’s Bazaar UK

As we careen deep into a awards season, get ready for Cate Overload. (Is there such a thing? Before you answer that, consider that I originally accidentally typed “Cate Overlord”)

[Photos: Harper's Bazaar UK]


Fug the Cover: Suki Waterhouse on Marie Claire, January 2016

Suki Waterhouse is in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies with Lily James and Bella Heathcote, and I can’t deny that my first reaction to her on this cover was, “Did Lily James say no?”

marie claire cover suki waterhouse january 2016

I just find Suki Waterhouse to be such a blank slate. I didn’t know of her before she dated Bradley Cooper. I lost track of her after they ended, largely because it didn’t occur to me to wonder where she was. And the thing is, everyone starts somewhere — nobody paid much mind to Shailene Woodley and then all of a sudden she had a Golden Globe nomination — but I don’t know if I believe she’s REALLY here to stay, or just one of those celebs that people decided to insist was a big deal over and over again until somebody started believing it. Marie Claire is certainly trying its level best, branding her “fashion’s wild child” as if she’s all over that industry, even though a) she’s the face of Burberry but otherwise doesn’t seem to have done that much other than date Bradley Cooper, and b) the wild child of fashion clearly is Cara Delevingne. She’s got a couple projects on the docket, film-wise, so I guess we’ll see if the pottery wheel turns this clay into anything or if the vase collapses.

As for the cover… it’s not really helping me think she’s hot hot hot, given that she’s posing as if she’s freezing.

[Photo: Marie Claire]


Fug or Fab the Cover: Rooney Mara on Elle, January 2016

With this cover story, Elle is basically asking a question that touches half of what comes up in the GFY comments when we feature Rooney: Can you be famous and an introvert? The existence of Nicole Kidman would seem to say yes.

This excerpt circles the issue but doesn’t quite hone in (maybe she says more in the full interview):

“People don’t really want me to be honest,” she insists. “People want me—people want girls—to be grateful, gracious, poised. Not real. I watch interviews from the 1970s, of Patti Smith or John Cassavetes, and everyone’s smoking, drinking, totally misbehaving, but they’re being completely authentic, and I’m so jealous because that would never happen today. There’s always a pre-interview, so you know what jokes you have to hit, and there’s nothing genuine about it. And I hate that. I hate being a phony. I hate having to censor myself. [...] Like, not that I tweet, but if you tweet the wrong thing, you have, like, four different organizations on your ass, asking for an apology. Artists are deeply sensitive, vulnerable people, and when you are super candid and then you get ripped apart for it, you’re not going to want to do it again.”

Thoughts? I personally see her point on a lot of it, but the flip side is that we as consumers never know when the drinking, misbehaving, “authentic” people are ALSO putting on a show (ahem, Miley). It’s a tangled web. I also don’t know that we need to treat artists with kid gloves just because they’re sensitive. For one thing, they don’t have the monopoly on feelings, and for another, that’s just… life. Sometimes you get ripped apart and have to apologize, whether it’s fair or not. I don’t know if blaming the establishment really hits the mark. But again, at the same time, I understand it. She takes it on the chin more than people who aren’t famous. And yet she chose that fame. It must be difficult to resent the very thing that fuels your fire — or at least, the celebrity that fuels the career that is fueled by your passion.

[Photos: Elle]