I wonder if the Teen Vogue office has an enormous siren that goes off whenever Vogue pulls something like this?
Mommy Vogue is still peering out from under her big, flouncy hat, wondering what The Tumblr is. Meanwhile, her kid is upstairs putting the final touches on their article that will eventually bring down the Trump administration, pausing only to answer the thoughtful queries on their latest piece about anal sex.
This week, Mom Vogue went full Mom Vogue. Wait! This metaphor could go on a little longer: maybe she rifled through her kid’s drawer and read the phrase ‘gender fluid’ in their diary? Was like ‘I solved youth culture’ and pitched it at the next big board meeting? Idk. Whatever happened, Vogue really went for it in a piece disturbingly entitled ‘Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik Are Part of a New Generation Embracing Gender Fluidity.’ Sound the alarm.
Sadly, this isn’t one of those clickbait ‘cooked it’ moments. Beyond the shameful headline, the majority of the piece situates cis, straight couple Gigi and Zayn as the chill pioneers of non-binary lyf. No, really. At one point Anwar (tyre-swinging bro of Gigi) with a vibe so louche I can almost forgive in its audacity, says the word ‘chill’ twice:
‘“We’re chill!” he calls out from a picnic table not far away. “People our age, we’re just chill. You can be whoever you want,” he adds, ambling over, “as long as you’re being yourself.”’
Are you too getting that special tingle that only the apathy of wealth can set off? Isn’t the weight of diamonds reassuring!
Peel back the layers as you see fit – there are so, so many – but I’m going to go with the privileged application of ‘being yourself’. Send help. Now the diamonds are too heavy. I can’t move!
Keeping things ‘laid-back’ in a way only cis, straight people can, let’s breathe through this together:
‘“I shop in your closet all the time, don’t I?” Hadid, 22, flicks a lock of dyed-green hair out of her boyfriend’s eyes as she poses the question.“Yeah, but same,” replies Malik, 24. “What was that T-shirt I borrowed the other day?” “The Anna Sui?” asks Hadid. “Yeah,” Malik says. “I like that shirt. And if it’s tight on me, so what? It doesn’t matter if it was made for a girl.”Hadid nods vigorously. “Totally. It’s not about gender. It’s about, like, shapes. And what feels good on you that day. And anyway, it’s fun to experiment. . . .”’
Take a moment and consider that a couple sharing each other’s already heavily-gendered clothes is literally the most heterosexual thing performed in this life? Like, isn’t a girl wearing a guy’s shirt (post coitus or post coffee spill) the premise for every rom com starring Kate Hudson? Le sigh.
Needless to say, androgony isn’t gender fluidity, and androgony hasn’t been new since forever ago. Don’t make me post pictures of power suits, please don’t. Although:
Or men wearing floral prints? I assume that is what Vogue thinks shifts an otherwise ‘male’ identity? OK Vogue. Marc Jacobs casually comes in with the real stakes towards the end of the article:
“These kids—I’m not sure they’re any different from the people I saw at Danceteria or Mudd Club in the eighties…“The difference is that back then, the expression—extreme looks, cross-dressing, what have you—was hidden away in a speakeasy or a club. Today, thanks to the Internet, that culture is widely exposed.”
Yes, we can acknowledged that the excellent Tyler Ford is included, too. But, when positioned as incidental to the big show of Gigi and Zayn, this kind of inclusion only serves to emphasise what we already know: that we’re just cute trendy stars orbiting an enormous heterosexual world. Call us whatever you want! It’s your galaxy I guess. We’re just here to cast you in an edgy light! We’re kooky balls of liberated, burning gas!
Now, someone help Vogue upstairs. Mommy needs a nap.