Glamour hosted its annual star-studded Women of the Year Award ceremony at Carnegie Hall on Monday night. December cover model Lady Gaga called out Glamour magazine, and all fashion and beauty magazines, for putting attractive celebrities on their covers—and retouching them.
“If I could forfeit my Glamour cover, I’d give it to Malala,” Ms. Gaga said, during her acceptance speech, referring to Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year- old Pakistani education activist who was also accepting an award from the magazine.
The teenager shone amid the ranks of Hillary Clinton, Gabby Giffords, Melinda Gates, Lena Dunham and Barbra Streisand. (“Every woman on the Upper West Side just stopped, and they don’t even know why,” host Seth Myers joked after invoking Ms. Streisand’s name in his opening act.)
But it wasn’t just admiration for Ms. Yousafzai, which was shared by all the speakers, that prompted Ms. Gaga’s cover criticism. The pop star explained that she thought the she looked too beautiful in the photo. “My skin looked too smooth, and my hair looked too soft,” she said, before calling on all magazines to change their standards of beauty.
“I beg to Glamour and all magazines here tonight: I want to see a change on the covers.”
The change will meanthat “people will know you don’t have to be beautiful to be on the cover. You don’t have to be famous, you don’t have to have money, you don’t have to be a star. You have to have good ideas and a brave heart,” the world-famous singer said.
A nice sentiment, perhaps, but one that we can’t imagine being popular with advertisers or sales teams.
“We love the cover–which captures exactly the way Gaga looked at our shoot–but we think her bigger point, that women like Malala Yousafzai are also cover-worthy, is RIGHT ON, and we couldn’t agree more. We’re proud of the diversity of women we show on our pages, and the diversity of opinions they represent–frankly, Gaga’s willingness to challenge how American.
institutions think is a major reason we honored her to begin with,” a Glamour spokesperson told Off the Record.
Still, it’s hard to sell ads on the basis of good ideas and brave hearts.