Image provided by Vogue. Top: Vogue’s March 2022 issue.
Vogue is a mirror of a modern society, and its downfall is a symptom of the downfall of our society. The job of an editor is to make sure a magazine sells, and what we see in the magazine is what people want to buy. Whatever is trending or interesting will appear in magazines. Since Vogue’s foundation in 1892, the prerogative of the magazine was to report every new fashion. It wasn’t about who was on the cover, it was more about what they were wearing. People didn’t look into Vogue magazines to see local politics, or a “realistic” life. It was about the higher class, the lifestyle just out of reach, and if you weren’t part of this higher class the only way you were able to follow fashion was through magazines. Vogue happened to be one of them.
The real question is, what made Vogue so successful? It has always been a magazine with expensive clothing, and women from high society wearing it. But what was most appealing to women in general, upper class or not, was that they always had an affordable section in the back of the magazine for the middle class. In general, expensive, well tailored clothing came from Paris, Milan, London, Rome and Barcelona. But by the time a new trend was developed it took a few months before it could get to the United States, specifically New York. This is where Vogue came in, as it could quickly inform people what’s in and out, telling you what you should want, and where to spend your money (along with showing you what the pinnacle of fashion was for the time).
The only way to get the attention of someone from this century is to place a known face, or a scandal perhaps, on the cover.
Today, it’s not necessarily what’s on the cover, it’s who. The magazine has shifted to a fast-run empire, printing millions of copies a day. The reality of today’s society is that we have such a short attention span that we can’t even read a fashion article or be bothered to buy a magazine because it is too much of a hassle. The only way to get the attention of someone from this century is to place a known face, or a scandal perhaps, on the cover.
In a recent issue, Vogue featured Kim Kardashian and, I quote, “her dust bunnies running in the hills.” Is that what we have become? So fascinated by someone else’s life, we can’t be bothered by our own? We judge people every day based on what they wear, how they act, what they do, their net worth, but what we don’t realize is when we see these people on the covers, it’s what we aspire to be. We are presented with this ideal life, and we are so shallow that we believe it.
We as a society are deteriorating, Vogue just happens to be one of the symptoms. We should be able to see through it all: the life that is being presented to us through magazines isn’t about fashion; it’s about who can make the most money off of you. The more we subscribe to these magazines or newsletters, the more we get pulled into this cycle of our downfall.
Montana is a sophomore at Washington High School in Fremont, California, where she grew up. This is her first year at the Hatchet, and she is excited to cover arts and entertainment as well as local news. She likes baking, reading, and watching Netflix in her free time. Her favorite time of the year is always Christmas and Halloween. In the future Montana aspires to work in judicial or business law, where she can help people and think analytically.