I did NOT call this in our annual Vogue Predict The Cover, but I regret that already: Reese hasn’t been on the cover of Vogue for a while, and she was due. It’s only February’s issue and I’m already off my game.
There’s a lot of “y’all” in Witherspoon’s world, both as a speech contraction and as a style motif. It’s a testament to knowing your audience, but it’s also the signature of Witherspoon’s call for collaboration. It’s the embodiment of her approach to inclusivity, a demand for action wrapped up in a friendly, accessible package. Those who underestimate it do so at their peril. As Strayed puts it, “Reese was never anyone’s sweetheart. We just thought she was.”
As much as I bitch about Vogue, I think they’ve made an effort over the last year or so to run more substantive — or at least smart — profiles of their cover subjects, and this is a good one. It primarily focuses on Reese’s work (and work ethic), including the work she’s doing with #TimesUp, and it delves into her personal life in a way that is, I think, fairly illuminating. The other sources that Meghan Daum, the reporter, speaks to are first class and varied — Celeste Ng, Lena Waithe, Meryl Streep.
Finally, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the cover photographer is a woman. So much of the profile is about how much Reese works with women — her executive team at her company is literally all female — that I feel certain she either requested a female photographer, or Vogue was smart enough to know that they better be on top of that. I think this cover is pretty good, honestly. (She IS wearing Givenchy, as you would imagine by Clare Waight Keller’s name floating right there next to her boob.) The beach setting is a nice nod to Big Little Lies, and her direct, unapologetic and non-coy (it’s a word!) expression feels refreshing. I’d buy it in an airport.
[Cover: Zoe Ghertner for Vogue]