Study reveals Vogue cover models from seven different countries all have the same average face

A study shows the average face of regional Vogue covers over the past 25 years look eerily similar [Photo: MyVoucherCodes]
A study shows the average face of regional Vogue covers over the past 25 years look eerily similar [Photo: MyVoucherCodes]

Vogue has been making headlines around its September issue cover reveals and with the likes of Beyoncé and Rihanna being featured in landmark issues, many are asking if this is a turning point for the fashion bible. According to one study if it isn’t, it really needs to be – with the average face of Vogue models across several countries all looking eerily similar.

The Faces of Fashion study analysed 25 years of the Vogue’s September cover issues across different countries. Conducted by MyVoucherCodes, the study employed the Delaunay Triangulation method to extract the facial features of cover models from seven fashion capitals across the world.

“Fashion is more than just pretty clothes, it has the power to reflect different cultures and the potential to ignite social change,” reads the MyVoucherCodes website.

The UK, America, Japan, Brazil, France, Russia and Italy covers were all analysed – and the study’s results are shockingly similar considering the diversity of the contributing countries. The average face of each Vogue model is strikingly similar with almond eyes, light skin tones and similar features.

While the results aren’t necessarily surprising, the fashion industry has long been under fire for a lack of diversity in their features. Regularly featuring beautiful, slim, white women, the study isn’t unearthing an issue that’s gone unnoticed, but rather it’s measuring progress and placing an emphasis on the importance of representation in mainstream media.

To say Vogue isn’t making changes would be short-sighted with a number of recent covers over the past year featuring inspirational women such as Oprah, Lupita Nyong’o and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. In May, the fashion bible made history by featuring the first woman wearing a hijab on the cover.

If you look at newsstands today, they look much different than even just a year ago. With the highly-anticipated September cover issue reveals, inspirational women of colour are covering more media publications than ever before.

In fact, Vogue is making bounds in the right direction. In her cover story for the September issue, Beyoncé said it best, explaining why it’s so important to show representation in the media.

If people in powerful positions continue to hire and cast only people who look like them, sound like them, come from the same neighborhoods they grew up in, they will never have a greater understanding of experiences different from their own. They will hire the same models, curate the same art, cast the same actors over and over again, and we will all lose,” she wrote.

“My mother taught me the importance not just of being seen but of seeing myself. As the mother of two girls, it’s important to me that they see themselves too – in books, films, and on runways. It’s important to me that they see themselves as CEOs, as bosses, and that they know they can write the script for their own lives – that they can speak their minds and they have no ceiling. They don’t have to be a certain type or fit into a specific category.”

While there’s still a long way to go, the Faces of Fashion study is a reminder of the work that’s left to be done – but if the September covers are any indication, progress is moving in the right direction.

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