Vanity Fair – what are they up to?

Vanity Fair is far and away my favorite magazine. Unlike a lot of the fluff in other magazines these days, it tends to be chock full of long, well researched, interesting essays and long, in-depth interviews about subjects that are more interesting than yet another list of how to get your stuff organized, or tips for better skin care. (Or one of biggest peeves – a super short interview with an interesting star that only tells me stuff I could have learned just by reading their website.) Instead of yet another article of the same relationship advice they gave last month, there is instead an intriguing article on the economic woes of Ireland. Instead of some starlet answering absurd questions that anyone with Google and a few minutes to spare could get the answers to, there is an incredible in-depth interview of the amazing Johnny Depp written by Patti Smith that actually gives some insight into what goes down in that brilliantly off kilter mind of his.

But they’re up to something. I can tell. It took me awhile to notice, but after I was done being mesmerized not only by the fact that Rob Lowe seems to have discovered the fountain of youth, and also written what seems to be both a humorous and fascinating look at young Hollywood circa the 1980s (and also includes some insight into the childhood of everyone’s favorite Vatican Assassin), it occurred to me – there is a trend going on here, isn’t there?

Let’s go back the last few months in covers:

May 2011 – Rob Lowe, former teen heartthrob

April 2011 – Rob Pattinson, current teen hearthrob

March 2011 – It’s the Hollywood issue, so it’s not entirely fair to include it, but Jake Gyllenhaal is on the cover, so that counts for something.

February 2011 – Justin Bieber, current teen heartthrob

January 2011 – Johnny Depp, former teen hearthrob

Looking back through the archives, it occurs to me why this seems so odd. Up until this year, Vanity Fair covers have overwhelmingly been dominated by women. Last years theme even seemed to be the year of the iconic woman – Cher, Lady Gaga, Angelina Jolie, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Liz Taylor, Meryl Streep – even the Hollywood issue was all about the young up and coming actresses that may some day join their ranks of fame and infamy.

Maybe the editors felt they needed to balance out all that red lipstick with some shirtless lads? Maybe there was a dip in female readership? Is this a clever ploy to entice teen girls to read about something more deep and enlightening than how to wear the latest trends? (If so, I completely approve of this tactic.) And yes, this still works with Depp and Lowe. I mean, just look at them! Talk about aging like a fine wine. But I digress.

I’m on to you and your little game Vanity Fair. Who’s up next? Given a certain event that’s set to take place later this month involving a certain couple VF has been following pretty closely lately, I”m guessing it’s Prince William, who was…. a teen hearthrob! Ta dah! Theme intact! But if that’s followed by an in-depth look at, say, the Jonas Brothers, I won’t be surprised.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Vanity Fair – what are they up to?

  1. Hah, I hadn’t noticed, but you’re right… the beefcake factor has been pretty high lately for VF.