Photography, at least in The World According to Tyra Banks, is all about angles. [Supplementary cautionary texts for the lesson: All my personal albums.]
So in theory, for a magazine cover shoot, one would want to find the best angle possible on the subject’s face, so that when the photo is blown up on a cover and gazing at the masses from newsstands everywhere, the aforementioned masses do not immediately become huddled masses yearning to breathe free of the fearsome visage of Celebrity X.
Unfortunately for Fergie, I think the Seventeen photographer who shot her for the June cover flat-out gave up on her.
First, though, consider the Rolling Stone cover she graced last fall:
I actually like this picture — yes, the hand positioning looks really unnatural and uncomfortable, like a finger-gun she’s about to lock and load, but overall she looks kind of dirty-hot. Her nose looks delicate. She’s pouty. She’s got the smoky-eye thing going on, and her hair looks fantastic. In all, it’s a pretty solid effort, and she makes me wish I had cause to wear tiaras more often.
Now have a gander at what Seventeen did to her.
Presumably, one of the 725 Ways To Look Hot (and Have Fun) did not include, “Pose for our cover photographer.” Poor old Fergie-Ferg. Her head and face look puffy, her mouth seems almost rabbity, and at this point in a Top Model judging, Miss J. Alexander would be waving his finger around with eyes spinning in horror as he caws about how she’s a “no-neck monster,” after which he would trill something incomprehensible and then bang his forehead on the desk. Regrettably, not hard enough to knock himself out, but just enough to make Fergie snivel about she’s going straight home to practice in front of a mirror — while secretly wondering if the photographer had it out for her.
To be fair, this is not the worst cover photo I’ve seen of her — this is — but it’s still bad, and makes the Rolling Stone cover look like the work of Annie Leibovitz. The lesson here is that maybe Fergie doesn’t have an angle. You’d think the photographer would’ve picked up on the fact that she’s better off not turning her head to either side, but then again, maybe he/she did have it out for her.
Except, the real problem might be that she’s not exactly a Seventeen kind of girl. You may be shocked to learn this, so if your jaw shatters when it hits the floor don’t sue me because I have delivered fair warning: Fergie isn’t a fresh-faced ingenue, and she’s not trying to peddle sunshine with a mild dark side that has all the edge of a butter knife. Rather, she’s a former meth addict who sang about her lovely lady lumps and her London Bridge going down, and she once peed herself on stage in the middle of a concert. (She also wears high-waisted overalls that eat her feet and make her look like an extra in Huckleberry Finn: Let’s Get Jiggy, but that’s a whole other problem.) Rolling Stone captured all her naughty in a sweet-sultry hybrid photo, but Seventeen tried to make her a clean-cut beachy Girl Next Door — and that’s ridiculous, unless you live next door to, like, The Viper Room.
But the real moral of this story is that Fergie should write it into her contract that Tyra gets to look through her film and pick her best shot. Because as it stands, the most applicable cover line of all is the tiny one in the white circle: “Don’t Let This Happen To YOU.”