In Defense Of Kanye And Kim’s Vogue Cover

Oh motherfucking Christ on a cracker. I really didn't want to have to do this. I swear. As someone who both self-identifies and is identified by others as a bona fide Kanye Stan, defending Kanye and Kim's Vogue cover admittedly feels like my default setting. But I won't apologize because this Washington Post article, which attempts to flat out discredit Kim and Kanye's "worthiness" is so infuriating, so ignorant and blatantly biased towards the writers elitist sensibilities that someone has to put homegirl in her place.

Cara Kelly, the writer, finds it a compelling argument to list the qualifications of a few previous Vogue cover stars, from Hillary Clinton all the way to, um, Blake Lively, as one of the reasons why Kim is undeserving of such a high honor. See, as the star of an E! reality show, Kim's cultural achievements are no where near the high brow theater and drama that is Gossip Girl. Then, of course, there's the sex tape stuff, because building a multi-million dollar career off of a hastily made video (or as Kanye himself put it, "My girl a superstar all from a home movie") isn't the fucking picture perfect American dream.

Most flagrantly of all is her claim that Kim earned her cover simply by leaning on the influence and whining of her fiance—that, truly, she's made a name for herself in fashion via Kanye's makeovers and connections to people such as Riccardo Tisci. Never mind that this school of thought doesn't take into account the fact that West basically, purposefully ostracized himself from the world of high-fashion in the past year, going so far as to tell people not to shop at Louis Vuitton and quite publicly severing his ties with Nike. What about him having to go on a national radio tour just to plead his case all in the interest of simply to getting a deal with Adidas? And what of Kanye's attempt at launching a high-end women's label in late 2011 and it failing miserably? We should also probably totally disregard the accepted idea that "it's fashion, of all industries, that asks so much more of the men hoping to break into its ranks than the women," right? But, like, nah. Nope. You're right. He's got the whole industry, Anna Wintour included, in the palm of his black hand.

Yes, as much as it sucks to say, that whole "black" thing seems to be an important part of the conversation too. Avoiding for a moment one of this article's comments (since deleted), which calls Kanye West a "thug" (remind me where his gang affiliations lie again?), the author seems to take issue with the fact that Kanye is a strong black man on the cover of her sacred Vogue. See, people of color with what she considers "honorable professions," namely, the inherently submissive acting (she mentions the wildly talented Lupita Nyong'o) would do just fine. But a confident black man who works for himself making music that proclaims "fuck you and your corporation" may be a little too, well, scary. Oh, and that point about her protecting Vogue as something sacred? Yeah, that's no joke. She finds it religious, going so far as to call Kanye's leveraging of his own hard-earned money and alleged pleading with Anna Wintour for his baby mama's cover a "cardinal sin" of the fashion industry.

Name two other people in fashion—no, the world—who have the ability to affect the buying habits of real people at nearly the same level. It's okay, I'll wait.

Is it just me, or is Vogue still a magazine owned by a multi-million dollar company whose sole purpose is to sell magazines? People act like this getting a cover stuff is same as copping an Oscar or even winning a Nobel Prize. Have you seen a Vogue lately? The first 100 fucking pages are ads, and many of the others might as well be. It's celebs plugging products and then a bit of the standard jerking off of LVMH and Kering Group for pages upon pages. When you get rid yourself of the illusion of "fashion journalism," Vogue is just another product. And what better way to sell a product than to put two controversial, yet wildly popular celebrities, each with strong ties in fashion, on the cover?

That's not to say this is a straight troll by the magazine, but merely an acknowledgment of the type of weight Kanye West and Kim Kardashian carry when it comes to clothing. At the end of the day, Kanye West is right when he calls he and Kim some of the most influential celebrities in fashion. It's not even worth having an argument about that. You best believe that when Kim is spotted by paparazzi in some Saint Laurent jeans, women are buying them. Have you ever walked by any of the Kardashian clan's DASH boutiques without seeing a line that rivals any new Nike or Supreme release? And let's not forget about Kanye and his exponential fashion influence. John Elliott, recent GQ 2014 Best New Menswear Designers In America nominee, recently told me that 24 hours after Kanye was spotted wearing his Escobar sweatpants at a high school basketball game, stores were ringing him off the hook asking for the "Kanye Sweats." When it comes to clothing, every single garment this couple touches instantly becomes part of their brand—a status symbol to their multitude of followers. Name two other people in fashion—no, the world—who have the ability to affect the buying habits of real people at nearly the same level. It's okay, I'll wait.

At what point will people give up the ghost of elitism and acknowledge that influence and relevancy are the only real metrics for measuring celebrities? If you're hot, you're hot, and if you're strug, you're strug. Such has always been the case. Sure, Blake Lively is beautiful and talented, but if Kim's shows do more numbers, then isn't she the clear choice for a Vogue cover? Kim may very well be a walking billboard, but she's not exactly shy about this being her chosen profession. Selling is what she does. The question everyone loves to ask is, "What does Kim create?" The answer is simple: everything we're talking about right now. This controversy, buzz and some pretty breathtaking photos (when she's given the chance) are what she gives to the world. And that's why it's so painfully ironic that so many angry online commenters and bloggers think they're helping end Kim's career by talking about it. Kim should be thanking Cara Kelly. Without people like her, Kanye might still be begging for that cover.

  • connor

    Never understood this people dont get that a company gonna put 2 of the 5 most influential figures in pop culture on the cover?? crazy if they dont do it

    • Cameron Wolf

      Seriously. Can you imagine if any other magazine had the chance to put both of them on the cover? Who is turning that down?

      • Dillon

        The Economist, Forbes, FT Weekend etc. aka magazines actually read by people who make money and not only fuccbois and girls who spend it, perhaps?

        • Cameron Wolf

          Cool, I meant magazines for ” uneducated, poor and non-elitist” people

          • Dillon

            Ok, thank you.

            How is it not OK to care about money and wealth but at the same time go ape shit over 600$ Margielas with paint stains as people do on this site?

            I love this site because of its elitism and constant move away from flyover-America. I know the writers are poor late 20-somethings but I still think they write (especially Lawrence and Moy) in good materialist spirit.

          • Tylor

            If you actually read financial magazines as often as you claim, you would know that you put the dollar sign before the number. So, to break it down because I know that is complicated, it would be $600 Margielas with paint stains.

          • Dillon is a Nazi

            You realize they don’t write in an elitist way, it’s all very facetious.

  • Elitist Asshole

    I will cite this article whenever one of my friends decides to hate on kimye’s cover because I agree with every single word of it. Woolfbruh knows whats up.

    • Dillon

      You don´t sound that elitist if Kim Kardashian is included in your daily discussion.

      Celebrity news are more for the uneducated, poor and non-elitist

      • Elitist Asshole

        The name was chosen for its irony good sir.

  • WAVY

    The real question is: how many fucks should we give about who is on the cover of a very mainstream female magazine and what other females are saying about it? What’s next? ”Who is the fakest betch on Real housewives of Hollywood?” Pull your skirt up fam… Trying to get all intellectual and analytic about such a superficial subject matter makes it look like the joke’s on you.

    • http://yachtclubhottub.tumblr.com/ prickasso

      Yes, this subject matter is “superficial” because it regards a mainstream female publication and females are talking about it. Get your head out of your ass “fam”

      • Dillon

        Mainstream females doesn´t talk about kim kardashian.

        She attracts the lower end of people with less education (poor families in the US) who needs to live vicariously through tacky celebs

        • Diabolus ex Machina

          That’s completely idiotic and wrong. I know well to do people that absolutely love “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”. Try again.

          • Dillon

            Did I hurt your feelings by calling Kim Kardashian tacky? Do you disagree?

          • Ghost of Jam Master Jay

            Mayne if you don’t know a handful of women who live & die by “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” then I’m guessing you jerk off too frequently.

          • Dillon

            Or perhaps I´m a top-tier college educated earning six figures at the age of 26 who lives in an upscale neighborhood and don´t have 17 year old hood rat friends?

          • Ghost of Jam Master Jay

            Dillon, I take several issues with your comments:

            First – that mainstream females don’t care about Kim Kardashian – None of my female friends are “17-year-old hood rats.” They’re all over 18 (I check their IDs). However, unlike you, Dillon, the girls I’m friends with weren’t women’s studies majors at Barnard. They’re a little more “mainstream” culturally, and you can bet your dad’s Roth IRA they pay attention to what Kim Kardashian is wearing. Is Kim a compelling figure for modern womanhood? Probably not. Are there other women who are more deserving of the cover? Probably so. But she is a fashion #influencer, and so not totally undeserving of the cover of a fashion magazine.

            Second – If you were educated at a top-tier college, why is your grammar so poor? Your post: “Mainstream females doesn´t talk about kim kardashian. She attracts the lower end of people with less education (poor families in the US) who needs to live vicariously through tacky celebs” This post should read….

            “Mainstream females don’t talk about Kim Kardashian. She attracts the lower end of people, with less education (poor families in the US), who need to live vicariously though tacky celebs.” Now normally I wouldn’t come at someone for their flagrant disregard of standard written English, especially in a setting as informal as the comments section of a website like tha Pinz. But if you’re really a “top-tier college educated earning six figures,” I would’ve expected a little more decorum. You somehow even managed to fuck up that self-lauding sentence, because it should read, “top-tier college educated individual.” C’mon son.

            Third – Vogue is a magazine at the end of the day, and dollars are their bottom line. If Vogue was truly a publication dedicated to taking a hard look at “impact, politics, society,” etc., as some other commenters have noted, then it would probably be published by a university press and include a lot less pictures. But it’s not. It’s a cultural, fashion magazine that plays up an elite image so it can cater to that market of consumers. Don’t forget, this magazine is sold in grocery stores right next to the likes of People and Us Weekly. Vogue is published to make money, and deciding to feature two highly controversial public figures on the cover is probably nothing more than a way to generate buzz and sell copies. Don’t over-think it cuz.

            So then perhaps the heart of the problem is not that you (a barometer for mainstream females in the US) take issue with this cover. Perhaps you’re just a smug asshole with an inflated sense of superiority? Your name is “Dillon,” after all.

  • Mephisto

    The photos took your breath away???? What the shit, Woolf…

  • asdf

    “so infuriating, so ignorant and blatantly biased towards the writers elitist sensibilities” is a pretty good description of this article too…

    anyone who has a strong enough opinion about the kimye cover to write an article about it (whether it’s pro or con) needs to look in the mirror. cause you’re a fucking clown. sorry woolfie…luv u

  • KANYE WEST

    NIGGA WE MADE IT

  • Dillon

    writer be like

  • Crawford Roark

    Missing the point…

  • kmoney

    It is not effect—->affect*************

  • chud

    you can’t really leverage comments in an article to form an argument even if you do preface it with a “avoiding for the moment” copout (just sayin’).

    Also, the thing about submissiveness is as vaguely racist as the initial article you’re arguing against.

  • http://www.twitter.com/b_boogey_xl b_boogey_xl

    “And what better way to sell a product than to put two controversial, yet wildly popular celebrities, each with strong ties in fashion, on the cover?”

    That pretty much sums it up for me… and anyone really whether your pro or con on the matter, because at the end of the day, that’s all it is.

  • Shelton Boyd

    At the end of the day Kim has no legit talents! Now I love Kanye, I’m a diehard fan, went to yeezus tour, watch the throne, glow in the dark, own all his CDs, mags etc so I understand he loves his fiancé and I respect that but I will not let anyone credit her being a brand and reality star as a career or legitimate talent! It’s not!! Bottom line is Vogue has a lasting legacy of showcasing strong, talented, groundbreaking, dynamic women ( although I will admit vogue has a lot of issues i.e extreme photo shopping and retouching, lack of women of color/diversity etc). How can you showcase Michelle Obama, SJP, Cate Blanchett, Tina Fey, Jennifer Lawerence, Hallie Berry, Twiggy, Naomi Campbell, Sophia Lauren etc then put Kim k on the cover?? It’s a slap in the face to all the talented women in society and Hollywood! Yes Kim is a brand and has milked her 15 minutes of fame but yet again that’s not a talent. She came from money, made a sector, then got a tv show!! Yeah let’s reward all rich girls for nothing oh wait we already do!! Now I love the diversity this cover showcases, a black man on the cover, an interracial couple etc but I’m sorry I just can’t get down with her on the cover. What happened to people working hard through their talents to get to the top. I’m sorry I love and support Kanye but I will not support my generations obsession with this woman and her family for simply just living and being rich.

    • Mike Jackson

      Did you not read the fashion statement though? It’s a fashion magazine.

      • Shelton Boyd

        On the surface Vogue is a fashion magazine but it is also about impact, politics, society etc!! People in fashion do not respect nor look to Kim for her fashion, only her fans and social media obsessed young women

        • Dillon

          Are you fucking retarted.

          Impact on society? Poltics?
          It´s a glossy magazine set out to make money from advertisement, fool.

          If you want any real reading material, go read Time or The Economist. But your brain would probably hurt too much from the lack of pictures, I guess

          • Shelton Boyd

            Are you fucking rude? Obviously you are because its rude to even use the word retarded how bout you take a class in being polite and politically correct. As a devoted reader of Vogue for the past ten years as well as collector of vintage Vogues, it has featured numerous writers, authors, politicians, diplomats, philanthropist, humanitarians etc. Yes it is a fashion magazine but it tackles other subjects and as with fashion, keeps up with the times. Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton, Queen Rania,Princess Diana etc all prolific, impact full women featured in a “glossy” magazine. That is the thing that upsets me about people’s perception towards fashion. It is more than pictures and clothes, its a commentary on whats going on in the world,You can always tell whats going on in the world through fashion. So before you judge how bout you go educate yourself on Vogue and stop being a cyber bully and so pretentious. You don’t know me so don’t judge….

          • Dillon

            What a butthurt queen

          • Shelton Boyd

            “Butthurt queen” lmao wow what a funny ass insult! Not lol come harder than that bruh! But Dude obviously you have no life.

          • Dillon

            says the guy who writes fucking essays

    • Megahn Carter Chun

      I wish I could like this more than once!

  • jaredbl

    Yes, I agree it is about time they finally put a mentally retarded couple on the cover. One that believes he is steve jobs and the other thinks she is talented. Oh and here is a link to his charity (which doesn’t donate money) http://www.businessinsider.com/the-dismal-numbers-behind-kanye-wests-charity-which-doesnt-donate-money-2012-2
    The only thing they care about is self-promotion….I, me, mine. Why don’t you self-promote by using your experience and your connections to help Chicago youth instead of worrying about a fucking worthless cover?

  • brunchlubbers

    Mann..stfu.. Im not readin this long ass nuthuggin’ manifesto. “Christ on a cracker”…lmao wtf. Sit yo ass down somewhere.

  • Deaunte Shugart

    But Lena Dunham has no stance in fashion and she got a cover! She probably gets couture lane bryant

    • Shelton Boyd

      You are so rude! Vogue isn’t just about fashion it’s about showcasing dynamic women and Lena is a smart, talented, comedic writer, executive producer and actress who shoes women to embrace their body that’s why they put her on the cover

      • Deaunte Shugart

        Vogue is a fashion magazine. They may touch on other subjects at times but its main focus is telling what’s in & whats out

  • haaaan

    “Have you seen a Vogue lately? The first 100 fucking pages are ads, and many of the others might as well be. It’s celebs plugging products and then a bit of the standard jerking off of LVMH and Kering Group for pages upon pages. When you get rid yourself of the illusion of “fashion journalism,” Vogue is just another product.” Sounds a lot like a Complex magazine.

  • Megahn Carter Chun

    In response to:

    Name two other people in fashion—no, the world—who have the ability to affect the buying habits of real peopleat nearly the same level. It’s okay, I’ll wait.

    Beyonce and Jay Z
    Michelle and Barack
    Hillary and Bill
    Oprah and Gayle
    Brad and Angelina
    Ellen and Portia
    Gisele and Tom

    How many more examples would you like?