The cover lines on this feel largely like an intern was given the reins for the day.
“So Hot!” and “Seductive Beauty” feel like they drew the words out of a hat. “Easy Money: 4 Ways To Get Cash Fast” reads more like an infomercial that runs late at night on HGTV. And the use of two yellow circles as the Os in “boobs” might as well have been a prank committed by one of the Bros Behaving Badly. It’s about as mature-seeming as typing 55378008 into a calculator and then turning it upside down and passing it to the person behind you. I can’t.
As for the cover… you know, I love that we see her curves, but I would have liked it even MORE if they did it at their very common three-quarter length shot so that we could actually SEE more of them. I know she has displayed them ably in other publications, like Sports Illustrated, but it almost feels like Cosmo went for the back-pat of showing a fuller-figured woman in lingerie and then hedged its bets by cutting her off halfway.
She looks gorgeous, though (has she always evoked Eva Mendes this much?) and yet perhaps a little dead-eyed; still, it’s not terrible. On the Glamour special issue she covered, her whole body was featured and it was full of jaunty movement (I’m torn between whether I love it, and being worried it plays into the same Find A Way To Hide A Lot Of Her Body trope that had Melissa McCarthy on Elle in a trenchcoat), but they made her seem cross-eyed. So, you know. You win some, you lose some? Cosmo does at least honor her many beauties.
Speaking of that Glamour “Chic At Any Size” issue, it’s the one that famously included Amy Schumer’s name on the cover, which prompted her to object that someone of her size shouldn’t be labeled “plus” because it perpetuates bad myths about body image. Ashley was asked about that, and this is what she said:
On Amy Schumer taking Glamour to task for implying she is plus-size: “I can see both sides, but Amy talks about being a big girl in the industry. You thrive on being a big girl, but when you’re grouped in with us, you’re not happy about it? That, to me, felt like a double standard.”
I also see both sides; profiting off jokes based on your appearance being atypical for Hollywood and then freaking out when Glamour tries to celebrate that about you could totally be perceived as a double standard, but also, I legitimately don’t think Amy Schumer is plus-size.
However, this is also potentially a double standard. Tell me if I’m being unfair… this is the next Ashley Graham quote that was being promoted:
On calling herself a model and not a plus-size model: “Just because I’m not calling myself plus-size doesn’t mean I’m not representing a woman who is … I’m giving curvy women a seat at a table that we’ve never been invited to before —a table with high-end fashion people who have never considered us beautiful.”
So basically, Ashley is calling out Amy Schumer for rejecting the label plus-size… a label that she herself is also rejecting? I COMPLETELY understand wanting to keep normalizing curvy models in the industry by stripping them of a label that implies “otherness.” (Kind of like how Serena Williams said, when asked about being one of the best female athletes in the world, that she’d rather be known as one of the best athletes, full-stop.) And that Ashley’s shrugging off of that label is actually, potentially, an apples-to-oranges comparison with how and why Amy reacted to it the way she did. But I also think that the alternate response that avoids such a quagmire would be, “I don’t call myself plus-size for the same reason Amy Schumer didn’t want to, and it’s that we both reject the idea that our bodies need special classification.”
Then again, she’s in a tough position, and probably feels like she can’t win. Either she’s busting her ass to make it as a curvy or plus-size model in an industry that traditionally rejects that aesthetic, or she’s not curvy ENOUGH. Right now, she’s being excoriated for posting pictures of herself in which she appears thinner than her commenters would like, and they’re accusing her of losing weight and therefore being a phony. Given that pressure, and feeling like your body suddenly somehow belongs to something larger than just yourself, it’s amazing she can smile at all.