Social media exploded today with Vanity Fair’s release of its Caitlyn Jenner cover spread, with “Caitlyn Jenner” dominating the top spot in Twitter’s trending topics throughout the day. Praise for Jenner’s bravery in “introducing” herself reached as high as the White House, which retweeted this post by Valerie Jarrett.
Morehouse College professor and CNN mainstay Marc Lamont Hill managed to put a damper on the party atmosphere with a pair of tweets taking issue with just what it was some were celebrating. Jenner’s bravery? Fine. But calling her “pretty”? That’s just reinforcing our socially ingrained “cis/Eurocentric narratives about womanhood.”
Considering every fashion magazine’s extensive reliance on Photoshop, standards of beauty of all races are strictly enforced. Others chose to make the Vanity Fair cover a class issue.
And then there are those trans people who do represent non-Eurocentric standards of beauty.
So what exactly is Hill’s point? Are we blaming someone here?
It’s anecdotal evidence to be sure, but most reactions to the cover we’ve seen have mirrored that of YouTube star Tyler Oakley posted above; the Vanity Fair cover is just the start of a broader conversation.
Well, Caitlyn must have had some approval over the way she appeared, Eurocentric as it may be.
Telling the rest of the world what to do? Business as usual, then.