You almost have to feel sorry for Condé Nast. The publisher of popular high end magazines has been in the middle of diversity controversies since last spring. Then one of their titles does a story on Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and it’s not really a success. This week another title featured VP-elect Kamala Harris and it went even worse.
To be fair, the AOC debacle wasn’t really Condé Nast’s fault. The October issue of their Vanity Fair magazine ran her photo on the cover. She looked good and was dressed to the nines. The problem was she should have been dressed to the fives or sixes instead – a better fit to AOC’s persona as a gritty street-fighting politician.
Agreeing to be on the cover of a high end magazine looking like a limo liberal a few weeks before the election wasn’t a really smart move on AOC’s part. The internet was not happy. She took the primary hits but Condé Nast suffered collateral damage.
You would have thought the publisher would avoid politicians at that point. But the opportunity to put Harris on the February cover of their Vogue title was apparently too big of a scoop to pass up.
Harris approved the clothes and photos, but of course, it still went south. Vogue chose the ‘wrong’ photo for the cover. Harris was dressed to the sixes and should have been dressed to the nines. And her complexion looked bleached. “And, and, and,” bleated the internet.
Here’s what Condé Nast should do. Turn their focus to the front line covid workers. The nurses and doctors working insane shifts to cope with the holiday surges. They show up in medical scrubs, work their tails off, and collapse home in PJs or sweats. They don’t get a chance to dress normal, never mind dress up.
Condé Nast can fix this. It can send teams out to medical centers all over the country. Offer the covid heros an opportunity to take a break from their work and look and feel beautiful again. Dress them. Photograph them. Put them on their magazine covers for a month but keep the program going at least until covid is over.
Leave the clothes, make-up, etc. with the health workers. Emily Blunt won’t mind.