The June issue of Vogue U.S. has recently hit newsstands, and gracing its cover with her signature pout and voluptuous body is none other than Kate Upton. Yes, you read that right. Kate Upton, on the cover of Vogue. For those of you who have never heard of Kate Upton, she is a bombshell Sports Illustrated swimsuit model and YouTube sensation (check out her videos- she can dance the Dougie and Cat Daddy!) with loads of sex appeal and killer curves. In other words, Kate is better known for goofing around in her bikini than she is for modeling couture clothing. But that image seems to be quickly fading away. Shot by Mario Testino and styled in a retro floral one piece that tastefully highlights her feminine figure, Kate’s cover look is reminiscent of a glamorous 1950’s movie star. The curvaceous, Marilyn Monroe-esque model looks absolutely gorgeous and right at home on the cover of Vogue.
Upton’s appearance in Vogue seems to hold more societal value than that of the average cover girl. Looking at Kate’s stunning spread in the magazine, you would never guess that she has battled endless criticism about her body shape and “curvy” figure throughout her career. From being labeled “fat,” to being likened to a “footballers wife,” Kate has heard it all. But landing the prestigious cover of Vogue U.S. isn’t just a landmark in Kate’s highly controversial career: it symbolizes a revolution in the fashion world—if only a small one—that calls for a new standard on which body types should be deemed “worthy” of high fashion covers. With Vogue’s bold headline declaring Kate Upton to be the “the hottest supermodel on earth,” it seems as though there is finally a place for curves in the fashion industry again. And judging by the look in Kate’s eyes on the cover, it’s safe to say that curves—at least Kate’s curves—are here to stay. There is something in Kate’s sultry gaze on the cover that just oozes confidence. It’s as if she’s shooting daggers (very, very sexy daggers) at her weight critics, and those who have constantly questioned her place in the world of high fashion.
Kate’s “take it or leave it” attitude is rarely found in the modelling industry today. With swarms of starving models desperate to fit the measurements necessary to model most designer duds, waif-like body types seem to hold any and all high fashion credibility. Like all things cultural, fashion and its models are a reflection of the times. So why should this era be remembered for only glorifying stick thin, skeletal models? Kate Upton’s rising fame is challenging our societies’ obsession with being skinny and constant celebration of under-weight bodies. Her presence as a model has the power to start a new era: one where health and happiness make up a desirable body, not skin and bones. And with summer on the horizon—signaling the much dreaded bikini season for many women—Kate’s cover is the perfect reminder that real beauty does not lie in our ability to contort our bodies into an ideal. Instead, it lies in embracing the body that we have (no matter what type it is) and doing so with confidence.
The potential for curvy bodies to earn staying power in the fashion industry has always been there. But Kate Upton is proof that this once distant possibility has finally disappeared. Its official: hips are high fashion.
Abi Conners, Online Editor
Image: Huffington Post/Vogue