Fug File: Teen Vogue

Well Played: Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas on Teen Vogue

I love these covers. If I were a teen, I would run out and buy them; if I were the mother of a teen, I’d be delighted to see them arrive in the mail:

These covers are, simply put, utterly great. Both Simone and Gabby look like the strong, confident, supremely talented young women that they are. There is no weird fashion-mag artifice here; no decision was made to put them in some kind of directional, glossy milieu. Obviously, they’re both very pretty, and these are compelling photographs, but part of what is wonderful about these covers is that they’re primarily focused on how good Simone and Gabby are at what they do. I particularly love that Teen Vogue chose to run a photo of Simone where she’s lightly covered in chalk dust — it’s got a beautiful effect on the image, like an Instagram filter, except it’s actually a tool that she uses to dominate at work every day:

This quote, from Gabby’s interview, is likewise great:

Gabby’s mother (who doubles as her manager), Natalie Hawkins, reflects: “I remember when everyone was talking about her arms, and she became very self-conscious about how muscular they were. Then Gabrielle saw the elegance with which Serena Williams handled all the negative criticism of her own body. It was liberating for my daughter to see that. She said, ‘I don’t have to apologize to anyone about my body. My body is beautiful.’”


(You can read interviews with both women in whole at Teen Vogue.)

[Photos: Jason Kibbler, Teen Vogue]


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]


Fugs and Fabs: The Teen Vogue Hollywood Party

Warning: Zendaya looks insane. (But in a fun way.) (Maybe.)

[Photos: Splash]


Fug or Fab the Covers: Kendall Jenner on Teen Vogue

Sometime over the last few months, I’ve started to feel for Kendall Jenner.  She gets a lot of flack for being A Spawn of Kris, but she’s booked a ton of proper, real runway shows as a model and it’s not one of those instances where you’re watching and it’s like, “model, model, model, SHORT PERSON CLOMPING AROUND WHO IS THAT FOOL OH IT’S A CELEBRITY, model, model, model.” I have to give her credit for going out there and working and (seemingly) doing her job properly. However, one cannot argue that she would have gotten two covers of Teen Vogue if she were just some mid-tier eighteen year old model, so sometimes being A Spawn of Kris comes in handy.  THAT SAID, one of these covers is great. Spoiler: I think it’s this one:

The Pharrell Hat WILL NOT DIE but there’s something about this cover that feels pleasantly 90s in a way that makes me all nostalgic for classic Seventeen and my youth. I think it’s striking, and she looks appropriately modelesque. I’d even argue that she’s pulling off the hat.

The other cover is less successful:

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Well Played Cover: Elle Fanning Teen Vogue

I think this is such a pretty picture of her:

Elle Fanning Teen Vogue June/July 2014

So grown-up up and sort of….wistful-with-a-secret-but-a-good-secret. Sure, what we can see of her outfit looks a BIT like what a 1920s chorus girl would wear in a routine about mermaids, but it’s summer. That’s not entirely off-topic.

[Photo: Teen Vogue]


Fug The Cover: Shailene Woodley on Teen Vogue

I’d like this, if she didn’t look so sad:

And since she’s promoting Divergent and not The Fault In Our Stars — AKA Why Don’t You Just Go Ahead And Ugly Cry? — her Sad Face isn’t even thematic! I mean, there is no doubt that Shailene is beautiful and this is a lovely shot of her, and she has a lot of emotion in her face here, all of which is great, but does this really scream, “EPIC PROM” to you? I think they accidentally landed on “EPIC TRAGEDY.”  I can only assume they were aiming for dreamy, but even if that’s the case, then the “Hollywood Rebel” cover line doesn’t match what they thought her expression said, EITHER. Is she dreamy? Is she rebellious? Is she going to prom or to hell? In short: I HAVE CONFUSION. Thanks for your devotion to the mighty bracelet, though, Shailene. None of this is your fault.

[Photo: Teen Vogue]


Fug or Fab The Cover: Lea Michele on Teen Vogue

There’s a lot about this that I really like:

The No Makeup makeup, which I always love on a teen-oriented magazine, the vow that big hair is back (you know I love big hair), the dreamy retro filter that makes her look like she’s just fallen out of a box of photographs someone once kept at the top of their guest closet, the white eyelet top. I have a white eyelet thing. I once bought a white eyelet Marc Jacobs shift dress at the Barney’s Warehouse sale and I still think of that dress sometimes, even though I never wore it and I ended up selling it on eBay because it made me look like a giant envelope.

But I just want to know what’s wrong with her hands and why she’s about to eat that weed. I know you’re a vegetarian, Lea! I saw you on Top Chef. But maybe try an avocado instead! (Actually, the day Teen Vogue runs a cover with an actress biting into an avocado like an apple is the day I send the Avocado Lobby forty bucks in cash.)

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