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Vogue: The SeptemBEY Issue

Sheri Flanders

STOP THE PRESSES! It has been reported that Beyonce has been granted unprecedented control of Vogue Magazine’s legendary September issue!
For those in the know, the September Issue is THE most important issue of Vogue each year, basically a giant phone book (Google it, kids) of the most stunning, avant-garde glossy high-fashion photos to catch my tears each morning before work as I pull on yet another sensible Ann Taylor Loft cardigan.
Non-fashionistas: please feel free to take the next five minutes to watch football, eat paste or whatever it is that Muggles do while the rest of us geek out over stilettos.
SOURCES HAVE RUMORED that Anna Wintour, the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue and notorious control freak, who was reportedly the inspiration for the,“Bee-with-an-itch” character Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, played by the impeccably glamorous Meryl Streep, has allowed Beyonce full control over the cover and other aspects of the issue.
(Sometimes I wonder if Anna Wintour is grateful that she was portrayed by someone as stunning as Meryl Streep? I don’t mean that as a dig on Anna Wintour’s looks – for the record, looks-wise Anna Wintour is basically the White version of me in twenty years if I had no melanin, a tweed boxy blazer and oversized pearls, her expensive bobbed wig that somehow looks more fake than my sew-in, and enough F-U money to back up my shady attitude.)
YET I DIGRESS. Back to Queen Bey. Bey has reportedly tapped Black photographer Tyler Mitchell to shoot the issue. Mitchell would be the FIRST Black photographer in the magazine’s 126-year history.
SIDEBAR – How terrible is your company if you can go 126 years without even hiring one token POC to even try to pretend not to be racist af?
SECOND SIDEBAR – I am a recovering token POC fashion designer and I know EXACTLY how terrible a company can be. Stay tuned for my upcoming tell-all novel: “Yes, That Fun Graphic Print Does Look Like An Illustration of the Middle Passage – And Other True Stories.”
OTHER SOURCES (seriously, who tf are these sources?) familiar with Vogues editorial process have confirmed that Wintour never would have chosen a photographer without “traditional” fashion experience like Mitchell. So BIG PROPS TO BEYONCE for using her platform and glow to give Mitchell a chance that he certainly has earned by his talents and hard work, yet likely never would have been granted in all-White closed systems of nepotism.
In December, Mitchell told the New York Times “I depict Black people and people of color in a really real and pure way,” which is shorthand for I SWEAR TO GAWD THAT THE BLACK MODELS WILL NOT LOOK JACKED UP.
The politics of Black women’s hair is COMP-LI-CAT-ED, fraught with respectability politics and other such nonsense. When trust is placed in the hands of the wrong photographer, things go awry quickly, such as in the case of a particular JCrew Black model’s hairstyle.
Bey will TEND TO those Black models. Their hair will be laid-for-the-gods. They will be lovingly groomed by a team of hairstylists armed with angel tears, rose petals, bonnets, edge control, shea butter, Eco Styler, and Pink Lotion.
High fashion is a FANTASY and my personal hair fantasy is a Dora Milaje fade or any style Angela Bassett ever rocked, not the struggle ponytail I snatch back when I’m headed to the gym in holey sweatpants.
Now, the industry of high-fashion is EXTREMELY problematic, even for die-hard fans. Fashion is racist, ageist, ‘sizeist’, sexist and pretty much any other “ist” you can think up. I enjoy fashion for the same reason kids play dress-up in their parent’s clothes: playing dress-up is hella fun. Yet, just like a toddler shouldn’t be shamed for walking around in his mama’s shoes, no one should feel shame when opening up a fashion rag to escape into a world of fantasy.
But what if there were a solution….?!?!?
FURTHER SOURCES HAVE RUMORED that Anna Wintour is preparing to retire. Now, I’m going to crawl out all the way to the end of a long, fragile limb and speculate… but – what if……?
Look, I’m jussayin, she has a family now! Maybe she wants to kick back, put on some stretchy pants and tour less! Bey is 36 years old, and though she is obvs WAY more in shape and eats less Cheetos than moi, 36 is approximately the age when one’s knees start to lose their ability to drop it like it’s hot 17 times in a row without serious repercussions the next day.
Or so I have heard.
I’m jussayin that mama might want a desk job where she can breastfeed on a cerulean velvet chaise lounge while her assistant fetches her organic kombuchas.
I’m jussayin that she might fill up those shiny pages with the most gloriously fashionable pictures of Black, Brown, LGBTQ, differently abled and sized – the entire beautiful rainbow of diversity of humanity that the world has ever seen.
I’m jussayin…. SOURCES HAVE RUMORED. (Me. I have rumored.)
Sheri Flanders
Sheri Flanders is a comedian, actor and writer; below is a list of upcoming Black and Brown comedy and theater shows in the area.
A sampling of black and brown comedy and theater shows in the Chicagoland area
Skin Deep
Written by Monet Felton
Directed by Myesha-Tiara McGarner
August 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18 8:00 pm
August 12, 19, 7:00 pm
The Artistic Home
7761, 1376 W, Grand Ave
Tickets $15
August 22nd, 29th, and sept 5th
8 pm, at iO Theatre
Show Your Flames.
August 10
iO Theatre, Chris Farley Cabaret
11 pm.
August 17, 24, 31
Nox Arca Theatre
4001 N Ravenswood Ave
8 pm
Tickets $10
iO Theatre on August 11
Talk Stories: An Asian American/Asian Diaspora Storytelling Show
August 16, 7:30 pm
Silly Point
August 19
Emporium Arcade Bar
Kultura Filipino Festival
2363 N. Milwaukee Ave
Teen Cudi Presents: Black Boy Joy Thursday’s at 8pm at The Annoyance Theatre
Previews, August 9, August 16
Runs August 23- September 27
Orange Soda Variety Show @ Sonika Arts Studio In Back Of The Yards
Sept 14th, 8 pm
1918 W 47th St. 8pm
Free. (But We Take Donations)
Spectacle Spectacular
August 31 and September 1, 7 & 8, 8 PM
Immanuel Lutheran in Edgewater.
1500 W. Elmdale
Advance tickets $15/$10 industry
VIP tickets $25
A solo show that searches for the shiny in messy people and places
iO Chicago
Written and Performed by Neftali Morales
Directed by Anna Lucero
August 18, 11pm
Emojinal Rollercoaster
August 11 at 6pm
iO Theater Chris Farley Cabaret

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