So, the big topic of discussion on the internet over the weekend was - shock, horror – Kimye’s Vogue cover (selfie and hashtag included). There has been a lot of opinion, both positive, and more loudly negative about this cover. I, for one, think it's pretty exciting.
It’s a part of human nature that people are naturally voyeuristic, that’s why Instagram is such a hit, why Facebook has made billions and why people love Twitter, blogging, even Pinterest. What makes these platforms such a success is (1) they let people express themselves in a variety of ways, and (2) they let people release their voyeuristic tendencies in the unjudged safety of their couch/bed/bathroom. In a society where the internet is taking over, these platforms are essentially the new reality TV. And, just like Kim did with reality TV, these platforms are creating big business.
Roxy Jacenko’s Ministry of Talent is a good example. This agency was set up solely for the likes of bloggers and ‘social media personalities’ (yes, having a ton of instagram followers has a name). Elle Ferguson and Tash Sefton of theyallhateus fame are one of its talents – This duo have turned an email chain of inspiration between them into a blog, successful instagram accounts and now into a very successful business. And there are a huge amount of others with similar (if not greater) success. Why? Because they are sharing a part of their lives and we like what we see. This is exactly how Kim Kardashian found such fame. Kim Kardashian is arguably the founder of what can only be termed 'voyeuristic success'. And if this success can land an American Vogue cover, then who am I do criticise? Whether we agree or not, it happened.
Perhaps this is the beginning of a new direction for Vogue, another stroke of genius from Anna Wintour. Bear in mind Anna was the one to place celebrities on the cover of the magazine while other magazines were still hooked on models – “I remember getting quite a bit of criticism for my first Madonna cover” (“Anna Wintour Set for CBS Sunday Morning,” by Amy Wicks. WWD, December 9, 2011). Perhaps voyeuristic success is the new celebrity? Or is this looking too far into it?
Either way, the polarizing nature of this cover is going to make it a commercial success – And, in a world where the internet (and all its social media glory) is taking over. This seems like a good result.
Here's a few of my favourite "social media personalities". And, of course, a dash of Kim.
Images: @tashsefton, @elle_ferguson, @margaret_zhang, @montarnamcdonald, @harperandharley, @rach_louey, LOUHAYHAY, Snob Fashion Blog.