Vanity Fair‘s 2016 Hollywood Issue Cover Boasts an All-Female Roster
In years past, the cover of the annual, highly-anticipated Vanity Fair “Hollywood Issue” has generally featured mostly men (to varying degrees of whiteness), with women usually posed more like set dressing and draped over them. This year, Vanity Fair upped its cover game with a bevy of “Hollywood’s fiercest” women.
This year’s cover features Jane Fonda, Cate Blanchett, Viola Davis, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlotte Rampling, Brie Larson, Rachel Weisz, Lupita Nyong’o, Alicia Vikander, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Helen Mirren, Saoirse Ronan, and Diane Keaton. What I love about this cover is that 1) it does feature women of color, and some amazing ones at that, 2) it features a significant number of women over 40, and 3) Cate Blanchett, Viola Davis, and Helen Mirren = Goddesses. It’s beautifully shot, pretty much because Annie Leibovitz can do no wrong.
Now, I would love to challenge Vanity Fair to take this effort even further! Where are my other women of color? Women like Gina Rodriguez (with her continued ascent thanks to Jane the Virgin) or Mindy Kaling (with her show in its triumphant move to Hulu this year) could’ve easily made the cut. And what about trans women? Tangerine was one of the most talked-about films last year. Its star, Mya Taylor (who also stars as Marsha P. Johnson in Happy Birthday, Marsha!), could also have easily been among Hollywood’s “fiercest” women on this cover.
Media images are important, and I’m thrilled that we have a cover that basically says, Anyone who says that there aren’t enough talented women around to have more opportunities in Hollywood clearly isn’t looking hard enough. And obviously, there’s only so much room on a Vanity Fair cover (unless it folds out to infinity!). However, as the magazine thinks about future issues, I hope it continues down this path, challenging assumptions about who should be considered “fierce” in Hollywood.
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