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Columbia Spectator Staff

What baffles me more than the complete tone deafness of Vogue's "We're Officially in the Era of the Big Booty" article is the incredulity with which people are responding to it. I'm not saying that I don't get why people are upset. I do. I get it so damn much because it is a lived experience for me. Imagine my momentary sense of satisfaction when being "really tan" was declared something to aspire to! Savvy, empowered, discerning women of the Internet, please write all the think  pieces you want saying what everyone else already knows: "The booty" has been in for far longer than Vogue is willing to acknowledge.

But what I find more astounding, personally, is that people still care what Vogue has to say. Vogue is so laughably irrelevant to me that I couldn't even begin to get angry with their obviously race-baity and problematic excuse for an article. Why? Because it has been made abundantly clear to women of color that Vogue is not speaking to them. Vogue is speaking to a very narrow subset of privileged white women. A focus that, to me, renders Vogue deserving of a most sassy "Gurl, BYE" and a hand in the face.

This article feels like a very conscious self-parody of the kind of cultural cluelessness that Vogue has come to represent. However, I'm wary of giving Vogue even that much credit because it would not only necessitate a belief that Vogue has a base with which it can touch reality, but also, if that base does exist somewhere, confirm something more sinister: Vogue is actually acutely self-aware and is laughing to itself and thinking, "Oh they're going to be so mad!"

To me, it seems as if Vogue is saying, "All right black girls, get ready because for this very brief moment in time we're going to accept you—I mean your body parts, excuse me—so you can feel validated for a second by our delusional and self-proclaimed title as 'reigning tastemaker.' Quick—bask in our blinding, white glory! Bask!" I put my shades on in pity of Vogue instead of wrenching them off in outrage.

Vogue lacks the awareness to relate to the 20-something crowd, for whom it is easier than ever to reject traditional tastemaking institutions in favor of rapidly evolving and ever-inclusive Internet subcultures of its own choosing. Not many women I know read Vogue, let alone read it with more than a cursory interest, because it is simply not relevant to us anymore (if it ever was). In fact, in a ranking of the top 25 consumer magazines by single-copy sales, Vogue comes in at a paltry number 23 while a competing women's magazine, Cosmopolitan, comes in at number 3.

So leave Vogue be with it's claim to have discovered the "New World of Ass," because really, by the sheer number of think pieces written on the subject, it's easy to see that everyone else is right on the same page, and that page is not in Vogue.


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