Ashley Graham is one of seven models on the cover of the March issue of Vogue, and that's a really big deal. Graham is the first plus-size model to land the coveted gig:
But as much as we wanted to stand up and cheer on the fashion bible for finally coming around to the idea that plus-size women are beautiful and desirable, the cover left a bad taste in our mouth.
We can't help but think Vogue tried to minimize Graham's size. The other models have their arms out in an embrace, while Graham's right arm is by her side, perhaps covering part of her thigh. (It's worth noting Graham said, "I chose to pose like that. No one told me to do anything.") Then there's the fact that the models are wearing colorful, patterned bikini bottoms, except for Graham. And there's something about the length of Gigi Hadid's forearm and hand that makes us question if it was Photoshopped to cover some of Graham's torso.
It's likely we (and dozens of other people on social media) are overreacting. We doubt Vogue made all of those decisions intentionally—though that doesn't let the magazine off the hook. The cover feels like a horrible game of "one of these is not like the other." It's like being asked to play with the cool girls in school, only to be told you'll never really be like them.
It's a step in the right direction, but it isn't enough. Vogue said this cover was supposed to showcase "modern American women," and while more diversity of size, race, and age would have felt truer to the America we know, we're at least glad to see Graham was included.