Same Celebrity, Different Month: The Problem with Celeb Magazine Covers

Raise your hand if you're tired of seeing the same celebrity on the cover of the same magazine month after month. The newsstand displays the same faces over and over again and it's frustrating and boring.

I mean, how many times can you see Sarah Jessica Parker on the cover of Elle, Nicole Kidman on the cover of Vogue, Mary J. Blige on the cover of ESSENCE, Lauren Conrad on the cover of Seventeen and Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt/Jennifer Aniston on the cover of [Enter Gossip Magazine here] before it just gets stale?

And once you open the issue and arrive at the Cover story, you learn the magazine cover is just as dull as the accompanying article. Beyonce has nothing new to reveal about her relationship with Jay-Z and Angelina Jolie is still volunteering in foreign countries, having babies and getting tattoos. Yawn.

Celebrities are even starting to shed their clothes in magazines (hello Kim Kardashian and Christina Aguilera!) to show us something we haven't seen already. Snore.

The good news is that the magazine industry may have finally woken up. Here's what editors are saying about the same old celeb covers via The Daily Beast:

Glamour editor Cindi Leive explains:
"I think what you’re seeing in the magazine world is a certain amount of fatigue with the same old, same old faces. One reason we had a nice sale with Taylor Swift was that you hadn’t seen her on a million magazine covers before and there was actually the hope that ‘Oh my God! I might actually learn something new.’ I think taking risks is serving people well right now."

But magazine guru Samir Husni says with some celebs, there's nothing new to learn. He argues:
"What else do you really want to know about Angelina Jolie? With a lot of these celebrities, there’s nothing left to show unless they actually take their clothes off. We’ve covered them from every shape, every corner. We’ve shown them with their kids, and with their boyfriends and with their girlfriends, so that’s why you’re starting to see semi-naked soccer players and a semi-naked Tiger Woods. That’s what it takes to survive in a digital age."

Elle's creative director Joe Zee suggests: 
"It’s about commerce. At some point, you have to go and find something new."

Yeah, duh. 

No one pins down the source of the celebrity cover backlash in the article; suggestions run the gamut from reality TV stars (everyone is a celeb these days, the reasoning goes) to the digital media shift (no one reads mags anymore to begin with). But the upshot is the same: it's time for a new cover subject.

Many are arguing that the answer is to go back to the original subject of magazine covers: models. Having worked at a magazine, there are so many upsides to featuring a model over a celebrity. They are trained to give a great photo (they're masters of the smize). Conversely, you can go hoarse trying to coax a camera-shy celeb to come out of her shell. And rather than arrive with their boyfriend, publicist, manager, mom, best friends, doctor and personal paparazzi in tow, (most) models come, do a job and then leave. They have a more business-like approach to photo shoots as modeling is their main profession. 

The problem is the magazine-buying public is so accustomed to buying an issue because of their favorite celeb that some wonder: will they be inclined to pick up a book with a relatively unknown, yet beautiful, model's face on the cover? What do you think?

Are you tired of seeing the same celeb faces? What's the solution? Are models on magazine covers a good alternative? Do you even buy magazines at all? Discuss.




Rainy Day Diva said...

You took the words right out of my mouth. I understand that celeb covers sell, but we are all tired of seeing the same celebrities. I'm rooting for the return of the model!

DJ Taurus said...

THANK YOU for posting this! It's one of the factors that contributed to my boycott of magazines. Here's to models modeling!

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