Controversies are nothing new to the fashion industry, but Interview Magazine may have just caused the biggest stir yet.
In its October 2014 issue, the magazine included an editorial spread entitled “Pretty Wasted,” featuring models who appear to be just that: black-out drunk and in need of major medical assistance. What’s even more alarming is that these sexualized women are left unconscious in dark alleyways, among empty beer bottles and copious amounts of trash.
While Interview is known for pushing boundaries in its publication, these disturbing images leave us confused. Fashion Scans Remastered, who originally posted the photos from the spread, summed up our feelings perfectly: “To be honest, I can't distinguish whether this editorial is supposed to be disturbing and dark or ironically funny and artsy, or just plain retarded.”
Despite our confusion, the spread also raises concerns about the portrayal of women in the media. Not only are these models depicted as weak, trashy, and helpless, but no men are present. What does this social commentary say to its audience? What is Interview really trying to illustrate?
It seems to us that the editorial is showing a one-sided story of alcoholism and glamourizing party culture. While we’re all for thoughtful, social commentary, Interview clearly failed in its efforts, leaving us disturbed and uncomfortable more than anything else.
Perhaps our interpretation of the spread was not the one that was intended, but one thing is for sure: this spread is a wakeup call to how we view women in the media and in the world.