Elle's Very Intriguing New Cover Model Is The Most Beautiful, Clever & Awesome Person Ever

Magazine covers get criticized all the time for featuring already gorgeous celebs, airbrushed to the hilt. But there's nothing to scrutinize about Elle Australia's latest issue. Why? There isn't a cover star, technically. The magazine's silver, mirror-like front page lets readers #BeTheCover.

That hashtag encourages people to upload photos of their cover cameos. There are even cover lines surrounding a blank space where your visage goes, including this one: "To celebrate our epic portrait of what it means to be a woman...this issue, you're the star." It takes a little doing to get your mug in the place where some A-lister's face normally resides; otherwise, there's a bit of an abstract blob effect. Back in 2006, TIME did a mirrored cover for its annual "Person Of The Year" issue, featuring the reader as the cover star (aka, the "person of the year").

“You don’t also want to be tokenistic in any way, and we’ve had quite a diverse selection of covers in our time on stands,” Elle Australia's deputy editor, Damien Woolnough, told Australian media site Mumbrella. “We feel the Elle covers are always quite diverse, but I’m not going to pretend there weren’t nerves [about #BeTheCover]." As for how the issue will fare on the newsstand, people will "see something different amongst the sea of Jennifer Anistons and Blake Livelys, and hopefully that will be enough to catch their attention," Woolnough said. Inside, they'll find a feature titled "We are Women," filled with 47 awesome females ranging in age from one month to 100 years old.
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#BeTheCover - Congratulations @elleaus and @justine_cullen on a fabulous cover! We love it x #elleaus #WeAreWomen

A photo posted by NAC Media Group (@nacmediagroup) on


At best, Elle Australia's latest is an empowering alternative to the newsstand's usual Photoshopped fare. Not quite buying it? Well, at the very least, it's probably the most fun you'll have playing around with a glossy.

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