Vogue Magazine Launches “Vogue Curvy”

Vogue Magazine Launches "Vogue Curvy" 1

So hear this out: Vogue Italy launched a magazine (see the website here) called “Vogue Curvy”, a concept that is represented by the slogan “Beauty Comes in All Shapes and Sizes”. That’s quite something… considering that it’s coming from VOGUE!

What I don’t get is this:

1. Their definition of “curvy” – it seems that in their book “curvy” is everybody who isn’t very skinny, apple shapes, hourglass shapes, plus-size women, average-sized women, all of them (except, of course, skinny women). Otherwise I can’t understand why they chose Liv Tyler as one of their “Curvy Icons” (when Liv is a slim apple shape?!) and said that she is known for her “generous curves”. Other celebrities that are featured in the magazine include America Ferrera, plus-size model Johanna Dray, Christina Hendricks, Crystal Renn, Tyra Banks and Lizzie Miller (wow, that post has 221 comments!).

2. Why you need another a different magazine for the “curvy” women – why mixing the “curvy” (read average, non-skinny, plus-size and all the other types, sizes and shapes) girls with the skinny girls in the same magazine is simply NOT possible. Why?

3. In the same context, Vogue Italia also launched Vogue Black.

What do you think about this initiative? Is it something you appreciate or is it a bit offensive?

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79 thoughts on “Vogue Magazine Launches “Vogue Curvy””

  1. Does this offend me? Of course not. But I can see it from a couple perspectives. One being that they shouldn’t have Vogue “curvy” or Vogue “black”, but just one size fits all. On the other hand, maybe some women want to look at a magezine focusing on black beauty stories etc., which is where the problem here lies, because a woman who see’s Vogue Curvy and looks to it for advice is going to be surprised for sure at the women they find within its pages.

  2. I think this is so so stupid, why do they have to make whole new magazines for different subjects, i think it is both discriminating and racist. Very hypocrite from Vogue…. they want to look “good” by making a magazine for curvy people and another for black woman….. yeah right.. BITE ME

  3. Seems a little offensive that they are not just incorporating it into their magazine. I don’t see it selling as well because it is a little off-putting. Then they will say that it didn’t sell because it featured curvy women…even though that wouldn’t be the case. I think they just need to incorporate curvy FIT women (not overweight or unhealthy) wearing FLATTERING attire in their regular magazine. Every woman is shaped differently and looks better in well fitting clothes…I’m sick of seeing them putting plus-size models in ridiculous looking ill-fitting clothes. Also, I don’t see why they can’t focus more on truly fit women and sizes 4,6 and 8…we rarely ever see models in this size range.

    Okay, I’m done with my rant now;)

    • I see what your getting at Kelli and the problem is we all look at this from a social perspective but Vogue are thinking business. Right now they’re facing stick for being too narrow in the range of body types they show but at the same time they know that if they change their magazine they will lose loads of advertisers. We pay about £3 for one magazine; advertisers probably pay around £10,000 a page; guess who’s more valuable?!

      A ‘curvy’ magazine, whatever they mean by it, is their safe solution. They get to keep their advertisers in their prime magazine and keep protesters happy. If they don’t get advertising in this new mag they can easily stop it and say that they had no choice because it wan’t making any money.

      They know what they are doing.

  4. Vogue black???? you may as well tell them to sit on the back of the bus. I’m sorry, but women like Naomi, Tyra, Grace Jones, Iman, Alex Wek don’t need a separate magazine. They are stars. I don’t know what wintour is thinking. Does she think black women in magazines offend white clientel? I’m white, and maybe it’s because im from Toronto, but this idea is stupid and offensive. Im sick as it is of seeing mostly-white models in magazines when I look on the streets and see many different faces. the only time i see diversity in adds is in O magazine, but at 27, I’m not ready for the over 40 magazines yet.

    Shame on you Vogue! Bring women together

  5. I think it’s lame – dumb – silly ….an example of the out of touch fashion world trying to appeal to more markets. But in short, very offensive.

  6. Just stupid. I agree they probably just want to look good and make some more money. It’s like a person with prejudices of any given type that then tries to act all politically correct and not offensive but is blatantly obvious and seemingly pretentious. Will some women be looking forward to those two magazines though? I mean if they do, maybe it’s not THAT ridiculous or offensive..

  7. They’re never going to incorporate skinny models with average/plus-sized models because most people don’t want that.

    Most of the people I’ve spoken with and the comments I have read on this site make me believe that what people really want is to eliminate skinny models all together, because for years now we’ve only had skinny models and there is a huge backlash towards it (skinny models are basically being blamed for the fashion industry not having variety).

    People think it’s inherently bad to be thin or something, that they only way all models and celebrities are thin are by not eating or that all they do is exercize. But the funny thing is, there’s always this talk of “bringing back models from 70-90’s.” I’m not that old, but I do remember the 90’s ,and I remember damn well that people complained about the models just as much then as they do now. Back then the models were still too skinny, too young, too unrealistic (big breasts small frames), and still didn’t represent the average woman. Funny how people think they want that now, when in reality, what they really want is their self on a magazine cover.

    Anyway, the point of all that is to urge people to encourage variety, not replacing a problem with another problem. So your 90’s models come back. What then? Everyone will still b**** and moan about them. Pro variety is the only innovative solution, because it has yet to be done.

    • preach casey. people always have something to complain about. even people complain about kate moss being too thin because of how she was shaped. so even if the industry decides to go back to the models they had back in the 90s people will still complain and say they’re making a bad example of young girls who look at them. why are skinny models being blamed for this when they are just modeling when it should the people who choose those models? why not blame them? at the end of the day it’s all about money. point blank because they don’t care about uplifting women or black women at that with these magazines. they do this just to make us believe they care when in reality they don’t.

    • I don’t think its about replacing one type of model with another, I think its got to be all about diversity. However yet again what this new magazine idea shows is that thin is the preferred body type anything that differs from this will need its own slot, its own niche. I enjoy seeing skinny models yet I don’t think we need to be bombarded with it 24/7. I understand this is the modelling industry but that does not make anything set in stone. There is room for change without prejudice, I don’t think the disapproval for the magazine is skinny bashing or people moaning because they want to see their selves on the cover. It is because it is a step in the wrong direction. It has created more segregation than enjoyable variety.

  8. It’s not offensive, it’s actually very smart.
    Till now they were selling 1 magazine and now there are 3 different kinds on the stands.
    This has nothing to do with health issues or make people comfortable in their skin. It’s all about money, it’s all about happy paying readers.

    I would really like to see a magazine which doesn’t allow photoshopping. None. Normally I don’t pay for magazines but I would totally buy that one.

  9. It’s a bit offensive to anyone who isn’t a pencil thin, 0% body fat model type and even just a little bit self conscious about it.

  10. Vogue is a high-fashion magazine. Thin models are high-fashion. They do not distract from the clothes. If you have (removed by admin for being offensive) Crysal Renn in a tiny Chanel dress or Missoni string bikini, the result would be unflattering and ridiculous, laughable, even. I am horrified that Vogue would sacrifice its integrity by publishing a fat people’s magazine. Whatever sells….
    It should be published by Conde under a different name.

    • Agreed. What’s even more surprising is that Wintour went along with all this, especially after reports that she refuses to hire “fat” women.

      • But it doesn’t have anything to do with Wintour – this is Vogue Italia who did all this, not the American Vogue.

  11. Vogue Black? What???
    This is why people will never be able to get past colour differences and see that everyone else is just another human being.
    These magazines are ridiculous.

    • That thought never even crossed my mind. I thought of it as in like “Ralph Lauren Black Label”…I guess just a different edition of a brand…

  12. God thats awful! Whats next ‘Vogue Disabled’ deary me. By drawing attention to it, theyve completely ruined it….just put a couple of normal size ladies in their original magazine each month….GOD…how hard is that concept. Idiots.

  13. I don’t find it offensive however call me crazy but I do think this a ploy for them to keep vogue very boring without diversity. Now when Vogue gets flack for not putting an African American or a curvy girl on the cover they can say from here on out but we have a magazine dedicated to them. To be honest I don’t see any of these new magazines being successful why cant they merge all of these three into one. Also Anna Wintour can definitely not be editor in chief with any of these magazines if they want a chance in hell.

    • But she’s not the editor in chief of Vogue Italia, the text says that Italia did this, not the American Magazine..

  14. i have to say im a bit offended..i mean why not just incorporate black and curvy models into the existing mag? why separate them? i know this is far fetched but it reminds me a bit of when blacks had to go to separate schools and use different bathrooms..like i said i know its far fetched but i cant help but think that.

  15. When people say the word “Curvy” s size woman. I think of any body shape but still has curves., Like Adriana Lima is curvy to me, shes also skinny. Beyonce is curvy. The VICTORIAS SECRET MOELS ARE CURVY. they are skinny, but curvy in the same way. Yeah, mostly someone like Miranda Kerr or Adriana Lima is a perfect way of sayin CUrvy Skinny. Love that BODY TYPE 🙂

  16. Honestly, I think that Vogue Curvy is a good idea.
    I don’t want to see anything but conventionally skinny models in my Vogue. So I’m glad that they’ve created a separate magazine for curvy models. That way, people who want to see a wide variety of bodies can buy Vogue Curvy, and people like me can stick to the regular Vogue.

    I am very curious to see what the subscription rates will be like. It’s a great social experiment — do people really want to see reality reflected, or do they actually want to see an exaggerated version of the current beauty ideal (e.g. thin, perfectly proportioned)?

    As for Vogue Black, here’s what I’ve observed:
    Magazines like Glamour and Marie Claire do feature models and celebrities of different races (e.g. Liya Kebede, Chanel Iman, Halle Berry, Oprah). But as far as I can tell, Essence and Ebony magazines feature ONLY black people. I don’t know why it’s okay for black magazines not to have racial diversity, but nobody seems to be complaining and it seems to be working from a market share/revenue perspective, and I guess that’s the conclusion that Vogue drew as well.

    • Those magazines were created when you saw NO black women in magazines, and they refused to put them in. I would say that nowadays, it should not be a problem to have different ethnicities in magazines (without lightening Beyonce’s skin tone, or shopping Nelly Furtado white as paper) though some people feel differently I imagine.

      Ebony and Essence are not reverse racism/discrimination, they had to create their own magazine in order to get african americans on the covers. they came out in the late 40s and 60s, when discrimination was open, rampant, and acceptable.

    • Yeah and how about a magazine for women under 5″7?

      We’re beginning to feel very marginalised that shorties aren’t represented on the catwalk and we’re starting to glue wood to the soles of our feet to look taller.

    • Go to Vogue Black and get beauty tips (hair , skin products) than go to Vogue Curvy and see some pretty plus-size clothes.

  17. Appears to me this is more about money- keeping the “pure brand pure for all the purists” so they don’t lose their money, but developing a product for all the average size women and minority women so they can get their money too. I have a hard time imagining executives in a meeting talking about what they can do to make women more accepting of themselves and each other. But I do find it easy to imagine those executives talking about what they can do to up their profit margin. Companies do stuff like that all the time, not just magazines- make special products for special target audiences. Personally, I wouldn’t buy Vogue, fat or thin.

  18. OMG ! Vogue Black …? really? i’m black and I’m from Europe (France) and I don’t get it . Europe is not like the US yet ( by that I mean we are far from having a black presidents) without giving too much details, I would say that most european countries still have to make efforts to integrate people from minority grps (blacks, asian, muslim…gay…) in the society. For instance unlike in the US we don’t find a diversity of people on TV .

    As a black woman I see that as a way to avoid the question. It might be easier to make a “special” magazine rather than integrating minority grps in the regular Vogue !

    Plus, “I want to be in the regular Vogue”. I don’t want to buy a special Vogue to see” people like me”. Correction I want to see different people like in the street, like in real life !

    I don’t have a special way to dress. I love fashion and so far …Zac posen, Chanel, Burberry don’t make special clothes for black people…(OMG).
    I don’t feel comfortable at all with this idea. I see that as a step back especially for an european country.

    I see that as a way to separate a little bit more people in a society where minority groups are already put aside.

    It is just my personal opinion.

    Sorry for my english I hope you will understand me.


    • Really, you’re from France? Lots of news readers for example are black or of north-african backgrounds. But i agree US has more diversity, but that’s bc people from all over have been moving there for such a long time. And african-americans have lived there for hundreds of years, so it’s not really comparable to many european countries, where a lot of the minorities are a relatively new thing, and a big amount of the new inhabitants are still adjusting to living there. (but idk why i even started to talk about this here… it’s probably just bc i’ve always seen France as a quite diverse and open country (i’m not french), but then i’ve only lived in Paris,,,)

    • I’m in the south of France in an area where people can be incredibly racist. It’s true that here, you are very unlikely to see anyone in a ‘high up’ position who is NOT white. However, I would not say it is the same over the whole of Europe.

      Minorities are not a relatively new thing in Europe…

  19. What exactly is going to be in Vogue Black? Is it just going to feature black models, whats the content?

    I don’t see either of these mags lasting long, considering how many other magazines have gone under in the last few years.

  20. I dont consider Liv to be curvy either – she’s normal. In fact she’s slim. I wouldn’t go so far as to call her skinny but she def normal looking. I know what they consider curvy is different to what curvy really is. I do see some curves on Liv but not here. I’d say someone who is more curvy would be scarlett johanson.

  21. This is so offensive. It’s like when people say to me…’wow, you look quite good…’ then suffix it with, ‘…for a thirty year old mother..’

    It’s as though there’s beauty, then women who are beautiful despite being…’older/larger/darker skinned/etc etc’

    You know what? Some larger women look good, some don’t – just as some slim women look good & some don’t. Why have categories for types of women. No-one seperates out attractive slim men from attractive large men do they?

    And shoving heavier women all in to one magazine will not stop teenage girls trying to look like Miranda Kerr. Telling them that someone with Hayden Pattienere’s shape is a beautiful as Miranda Kerr might, but then they’d have to find sample sizes for small medium built models & that’s clearly too much effort…

  22. Lool, this is so stupid it cannot be offensive. My whr is more visible than any of those mentioned to appear in the curvy vogue, but since i am merely 46 kg i would not fit there. I don’t since when is curvy a size and how can you call a perfectly up and down – maybe a bit apple – shaped woman as being known for her curves. And Liv isn’t even chubby or whatever, to fit in there. I wonder how Tyra will take the news. Curvy brains they have, indeed. And, as someone already said, this is all about the money. When you’re in this kind of business – as well as almost any other business – your main concern is profit. And beauty industry is one of the most perverse of all, since it f’s your mind and they make even more money. Sure, if you are naive enough to fall for it.

  23. As a woman of color, I’m latina, I am extremely offended by this. As someone previously mentioned, what was Wintor thinking? I am officially boy cotting vougue.

  24. WOW well I see a body size apartheid has begun. It is a bit like saying ” fat people through here” although I am myself “Curvy” which is admittedly now a phrase for women with a bit more meat on their bones and not necessarily anything to do with “pears” and “apples”, I do think this is just another way of segregating plus sized models. And don;t get me started on Vogue Black… Really what this is telling us is that white skinny people are the norm and anything else is niche market. Yeah, Nice.

  25. i don’t like the word “curvy”… i prefer “healthy” . and black vogue?? what for? i don’t know if that is a discrimination for black ppl or for white ppl…

  26. plus… this way they make the discrimination from the beginning. it’s like.. “if you are not slim or white you are not for vogue” vogue curvy and black is like the vogue version for the rejected models… which is awful!

    • Totally right. Why separate people – why not have them all in one magazine?

      What annoys me is that it’s either ‘skinny’ or ‘overweight’. Liv Tyler is a great actress for teenage girls to see because she’s beautiful and slim but very realsitically sized. No-one has to starve themselves to look like Hillary Duff either – but describing her as ‘curvy’ makes her body a bad thing for some girls.

  27. Yup, versus I agree with all your points. Their definition of curvy is very vague and it is very patronising to have a separate magazine for ‘curvy women’ but unfortunutately society changes come in these steps. Just like London boroughs offer awards to African and Carribean students that do basically to extremely well in their GCSE exams!

    I’m going to guess that curvy in this context will be everywoman that wouldn’t qualify to be a runway model.

  28. I think when the so called “curvy” woman buys the curvy vogue magazine it might make many woman feel bad about themselves because vogue’s idea of curvy is not the same as the average woman’s idea. I think this may make woman feel bad because many of them will be bigger than the models in the magazine.

  29. About the Black Vogue: I’m Italian and a subscriber to the Italian Vogue. First of all I can tell you that in Italian Vogue, apart from Naomi and a few others, you don’t see many afro-american models and you don’t read much about beauty or fashion for body types that are not the skinny one. The Black Vogue is not a magazine sold on its own, it’s actually just a website connected to vogue.it . Last August Italian Vogue turned black for one issue, it was just a special edition which came out for one month together with another special that was The Black Barbie Issue. To me, it was just a nice occasion to some up and coming faces, that’s all.

    About Vogue&discrimination: I’m barely 5’5′ and I certainly cannot afford Armani Couture, when I buy Vogue I don’t expect them to publish the pictures of models tall just like me and dressed in H&M clothes… If I wanted to see short women in regular clothes, I would save 5euros per month and just look in the mirror.

    • I’m gleaning from your comment that the reason women buy Vogue is to look at a fantasy world. That is fine, suppose, as fashion is part fantasy and illusion.
      It becomes more of a problem when the ideal is so rigid that it doesn’t allow for anything else but its idea of beauty. This in turn is reflected on young men and women who at times in their life are more vulnerable, and are still coming into their own. If they differ from what is considered the norm, this can be quite depressing and belittling, and affect their self esteem long term. While they don’t have to look to magazines for image, it is difficult when the media, which has long been the utmost influence on culture, mirrors the views of what some consider the ‘elite’.

      Culture in North America is still struggling to reconcile the strange dichotomy of what the media views is normal, and what really is normal. While the disparity between size was much narrower 40 years ago when lifestyles were vastly different, there have been concessions for orientation, shape, ethnicity and class.

      I think this can only be a good thing, don’t you?

      • I am sure that all the things you wrote are very true in America.

        What I was trying to say though, is that in Italy things are quite different. First of all, Vogue Italia does not have a young target: the readers are usally older than 23/25 and I don’t think they buy it to look at a fantasy world (no celebrities, no gossip) but only because they’re obsessed with clothes and fashion and look for inspiration. Second: in Italy the ideal of feminine beauty is not that rigid. The celebrities considered to be the hottest are women like Monica Bellucci or Sabrina Ferilli, google them and you’ll find out that young girls are not all trying to become walking skeletons.

        Unfortunately, the discrimination towards black people is a whole different issue. But see, the problem is much much deeper than a vogue edition, it’s a matter of political and social rights that too often are not the same whether your parents are Italian or not. I’ll give you an example: if your parents are from Maroc and you’re a black girl born in Italy, you’re not Italian from the birth, you won’t have tha same rights as someone who has Italian parents. Am I clear?
        Therefore not only there are no blacks on regular Vogue, but there are no blacks (or asians, or middle-easterns, or indians) in movies, television, music, ads, no blacks among politicians, I’ve never met a black doctor, or lawyer, or teacher and so on…
        Finally, what I’m trying to say is that, all considered, the Black Vogue Issue is not such a bad signal here and that anyway I would never expect a fashion magazine to make a difference. Only people and politics and time will ultimately make that difference.

        I really hope this comment does not offend anyone, I am just reporting a reality and in no way a personal view.

  30. They called fashionistas from Fat fashion blogs to colaborate with the site, it’s not on the main site because vogue staff are not expert on plus-fashion, I’m glad they called people who know how to dress this kind of body.
    @ Italy there is not so many blacks, but yet they create a place with beauty tips to black girls.
    AND there is also a Vogue new website for new talented designers.

        • How is it unfair? they’ve marginalized the majority of women for however many decades. they promote ‘world’ fashions, but won’t use world models. How cares how many minorities there are in Italy? Immigration is growing, as in nearly every country in Europe.

          We live in a globalized world now. Either Vogue has to catch up, or be left behind. The advertisers who refuse to use are included. This isn’t 1961 any longer

        • Sorry, how is mistakenly referring to a website as a magazine ‘stupid & unfair’? Actually, I don’t buy magazines; these websites are my magazines and I think a lot of other people would say the same.

          What incidentally is a ‘Fat fashion blog?’

    • I know that – but I think that at this point, we can call the “online magazines”… “magazines” as well.
      Also, you said the exact same thing 4 times, under 2 different usernames. Kindly pick one when commenting in one thread.

  31. I am a fashion and art model, and @ 36-24-38, I am curvy. I’m not large, I’m not average, and I’m not overweight, but I most definitely AM curvy in that my body creates feminine-looking curves.

    The Vogue mag is not just about representing larger, more normative women. It’s about celebrating body types which capture a missing element to the current trend of androgynous, non-differentiated body lines. Marissa Miller, Tyra Banks, Lara Stone? They’re all curvy. Yeah, they might be amazons with tiny waists, but they’re much more “feminine” looking when it comes to shape. And Liv Tyler? She’s definitely got gorgeous curvature.

    Larger women CAN be curvy, but they’re called that for their gorgeous curves, not for their largeness! 38-38-42 does not have curvature, but 46-34-50 does!

    So, if they were to market only larger women, it should be a mag about people who are naturally and unnaturally large, not about femininity, not about curves, and not about a broad examination of many types of curvature, but simply one vector: larger sizes.

  32. well, i am trying to understand where the magazine is coming from. they feature haute couture and we ALL know that bigger bodies will NEVER be included in this world… and that´s ok.
    we read these magazines because they are aspirational….. however, i often get frustrated when i see a beautiful collection or even a new fashion trend that features a size 00 model and i think … i could NEVER wear that because i am not skin and bones.
    but i also see the double standard of excluding normal women ( who are the ones that finally buy these items ) from their elite clique
    its a NO NO for me

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