Hi FashionPhotographyBlog.com readers! Last week the world was introduced to Caitlyn Jenner, the new identity of former Olympian Bruce Jenner, with a stylish entrance; being on cover of Vanity Fair, as the magazine’s cover model.
Bruce Jenner was most known for his past Olympic exploits as a track and field athlete, winning gold in the men’s decathlon event at the Montreal Summer Olympics in 1976 and revered as “an American hero”. His gained television celebrity status when his former wife, Kris Jenner (formerly Karpashian) and their children appeared on the well-known reality TV series “Keeping up with the Kardashians”.
Following the divorce of Bruce and Kris Jenner in 2015, Bruce Jenner revealed in a public TV interview with Diane Sawyer (April 2015) for the 20/20 show that he was now living life as a trans woman and was in the process of transitioning. This news received major media attention, and many news sources label the celebrity as the most open and famous transgender person in the world.
I want to congratulate Caitlyn Jenner for the tremendous courage it took to take ownership of your life and living it as the true you. It is a difficult issue to deal with, gender dysphoria, when the world tells you that you have to look and behave a certain way. Not to mention the added pressure of having the media watching everything you do because you are part of a celebrity family that’s constantly the hot topic of public scrutiny and Hollywood gossip.
So what does this all have to do with fashion photography? Lots actually which I will explain, but first I want to compliment, renowned celebrity photographer, Annie Leibovitz for doing an amazing job in capturing the essence of Caitlyn Jenner. The Washington Post commented that Caitlyn Jenner’s debut on the Vanity Fair cover, shot by Leibovitz, had a significant impact to the subject “After all the magazine covers that featured the former athlete, once lauded as the ‘world’s greatest athlete.’ the Leibovitz photograph will be the most meaningful. Looking directly at the camera, Jenner is finally herself for the first time publicly.”
Caitlyn Jenner’s appearance on Vanity Fair, created a historic moment in the fashion industry as she is the first openly transgender woman to feature on the cover of the fashion magazine. I think it is really a great achievement to create a positive visual statement printed by a world-recognized publication, while bringing aware of the issues and hardships that transgender people face. This may just be the starting signs of the fashion industry finally realizing that the world is a lot more diverse than they thought it was, and that we can see more of the cross-section of humanity.
What do you think of Vanity Fair’s decision to choose Caitlyn Jenner as the cover model for their magazine and Annie Leibovitz as the photographer for the shoot? Please leave your comments below. If you like to find out more news and information about diversity in the modeling industry make sure you visit DiverseModels.com.
Feature image & images 1-4: courtesy of Vanity Fair.