Media organizations can find themselves in ironic situations when writing about gender equality — pointing out disparities in the world at large while struggling with it internally. That's where editor-in-chief Cindi Leive says the top women at Glamour found themselves this fall.
In her opening letter for the magazine's February issue, Leive says the brand is one of the first to cry foul at the lack of female representation but has had some troubling stats of its own: Only 37% of the photographers for the print pages this fall were women. In addition, women only made up 32% of the hairstylists.
"Gender equality is on all of our minds. It's really important to me that Glamour not just talk the talk about female empowerment, but that we also walk the walk," she told USA TODAY in an email. "So we've decided to support women in the most meaningful way we can: by hiring them. From first page to our last every photo we commissioned for the February issue was created by women: photographers, stylists, hair, makeup, everything."
Though they still featured some male talent, notably on the cover.
Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet, Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke are wearing pieces from the spring 2017 collection by Marc Jacobs for the cover feature, and first lady Michelle Obama’s makeup artist Carl Ray is featured in a piece about leaving the White House.
So why wasn't a female designer chosen to dress the women-led cast of Girls?
"For this issue we focused on our hiring," Leive explained. "We wanted to ensure that everybody we employed for the issue content was female."
"Our female contributors were then given free rein to choose whatever fashion items they liked," she continued, "which included in this story, not just Marc Jacobs but also Prada and Fenty," both of which are helmed by female designers.
Dunham hailed the women-led issue for another reason: The absence of Photoshopping. "Thank you to the women in Hollywood (and on Instagram!) leading the way, inspiring and normalizing the female form in EVERY form, and thank you to @glamourmag for letting my cellulite do the damn thing on news stands everywhere today," she wrote on Instagram.
Okay, here goes: throughout my teens I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I was fucking funny looking. Potbelly, rabbit teeth, knock knees- I could never seem to get it right and it haunted my every move. I posed as the sassy confident one, secretly horrified and hurt by careless comments and hostility. Let's get something straight: I didn't hate what I looked like- I hated the culture that was telling me to hate it. When my career started, some people celebrated my look but always through the lens of "isn't she brave? Isn't it such a bold move to show THAT body on TV?" Then there were the legions of trolls who made high school teasing look like a damned joke with the violent threats they heaped on, the sickening insults that made me ache for teen girls like me who might be reading my comments. Well, today this body is on the cover of a magazine that millions of women will read, without photoshop, my thigh on full imperfect display. Whether you agree with my politics, like my show or connect to what I do, it doesn't matter- my body isn't fair game. No one's is, no matter their size, color, gender identity, and there's a place for us all in popular culture to be recognized as beautiful. Haters are gonna have to get more intellectual and creative with their disses in 2017 because none of us are going to be scared into muumuus by faceless basement dwellers, or cruel blogs, or even our partners and friends. Thank you to the women in Hollywood (and on Instagram!) leading the way, inspiring and normalizing the female form in EVERY form, and thank you to @glamourmag for letting my cellulite do the damn thing on news stands everywhere today ❤️ Love you all.
"Whether you agree with my politics, like my show or connect to what I do, it doesn't matter — my body isn't fair game. No one's is, no matter their size, color, gender identity, and there's a place for us all in popular culture to be recognized as beautiful."