Vanity Fair Oscars Covers: another reflection of the lack of diversity

Spot the difference, or diversity. Vanity Fair has always been criticised for the lack of diversity on its cover page annually. The trend tends to be thin, white, twenty or thirty year old Hollywood. This year seems very similar as stars like Channing Tatum, Amy Adams, Reese Witherspoon shine on the cover. The only black celebrity on the cover this year is David Oyelowo, star of best-picture nominee Selma.

2014, however, saw a different face of Vanity Fair, perhaps elevating our hopes to see a constant change. Last year, the cover exhibited the talents of Chiwetel Ejiofer, Idris Elba, Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Naomi Harris and Chadwick Boseman. Of course, these stars shared the limelight with Hollywood royalty like George Clooney and Julia Roberts. But, unfortunately, Vanity Fair has returned to its usual antics this year, casting a very white and young cover, ethnically biased and lacking in diversity.

The magazine is also criticised for its subtle hint of sexism, particularly the 2006 cover, which featured a dressed up Tom Ford (fashion designer), accompanied by a very pale and nude Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley.

Of course, Vanity Fair covers tend to be a reflection of the annual award season. 2014 saw a large number of successful pictures focusing on ethnically diverse characters for example 12 Years a Slave, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and The Butler. This year, the spotlight only shined upon Selma, which casted a black celebrity as a lead. The other nominees include Foxcatcher, Wild, The Theory of Everything, American Sniper and The Imitation Game.

The awards season this year seems to be very unethically diverse and leaning towards the conventional approach Vanity Fair takes i.e. white and young Hollywood. Unlike last year, where black celebrities were a large portion of the cover, this year we see Vanity Fair back to focusing on Channing Tatum, Benedict Cumberbatch and celebrities of the like.

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