Update: Ashley Graham responded to Instagram commenters who criticized her hand placement on this month's Vogue cover. As Yahoo reports, the model wrote on her own Instagram, "I chose to pose like that..no one told me to do anything."
Commenters were incensed that in the photo, it seemed Graham's hand was strategically placed to cover her thigh. One writes, "I just can't help but notice you're the only model covering your leg. Why would they not have you pose like the rest?!"
It seems there was no "they" forcing Graham to stand in such a way. However, there was someone who selected this particular shot for the cover of Vogue. The issue stands: why is Graham's leg covered when the rest are bare?
This story was originally published on February 8, 2017 at 1:15p.m.
Vogue released its March 2017 cover on Wednesday, and it's gorgeous. The photo features seven top models: Liu Wen, Ashley Graham, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Imaan Hammam, Adwoa Aboah, and Vittoria Ceretti (from left to right). Although the women are all very different looking, they are styled nearly identically with black turtlenecks, patterned bikini bottoms, and simple, fresh faces. That's what makes the one incongruity among the cover stars stand out.
The models are standing with one arm behind their back and the other touching another woman — all except for Ashley Graham. The supermodel and body positivity advocate has her hand covering part of her thigh. And the fact is that this slight difference carries more significance considering Graham is the only plus-size model in the group.
The detail has not gone unnoticed. "Bit of a shame that Ashley Graham was the only model who had to use her arm to cover her thigh," somebody tweeted. Another person noted her pose, adding, "Tell me I'm wrong. #comeonnow #REALsubtle."
Come on now, indeed. Don't get us wrong: we're thrilled to see Graham on the cover of Vogue. And whether or not Graham's hand placement was intentional (on either her part or the photographer's) is up for debate. But there's no arguing that the image of a plus-sized woman being the only one to obscure part of her body in a lineup with six very thin woman sends a message, purposefully or not.
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