RANT: Get my superhero out of your Vogue!

…or at least come up with a better spread than this.

The January issue of Vogue features an editorial spread by Mario Testino entitled, I believe, “Supermom.”  It features Superman and his wife and child out for a family gathering (and I’m not even going to get into the discussion about how that child exists, we all know and worry about Lois’s uterus and Superman’s “super sperm”).

I first heard about the spread on io9.com, a lovely scifi blog that I frequent almost everyday.  My initial thought upon hearing that Superman was going to be in Vogue was, “Hey, that’s kinda cool.  Sure they’re jumping on the superhero bandwagon a little late, but whatever, it is nice to see some nerd flavor mixed into high fashion.”  Then I saw the photos.

click image to see more photos from layout.

click image to see more photos from layout.

I’m mean, I kinda get what they are doing here.  The clothes in the layout have a very “retro” feel to them.  They do almost all look like something a housewife from the fifties would be wearing, but couldn’t they have come up with a better concept? Just because the dresses are in the fashion of the ’50s, does that mean that the woman wearing the dress has to revert back to the idealized ’50s woman?

Before I knew what the spread was about, my first reaction to the picture above was, “Really? Superman fixing a flat? THAT’s what he’s doing? Sorry, Superman, I know that I am a lowly weak female, but I can fix a flat on my own. How about you go save that kitten in a tree or something?.” Even now, knowing that the spread is supposed to be depicting a family vacation, the photo still bothers me. (The photos all around are pretty craptastic – the models are dead looking and the photos themselves are just lacking, stylistically.)

I guess what bothers me most about these photographs is the missed opportunity.  This could have been a really brilliant spread.  They should have had some fun with the concept of Superman and ‘Supermom’.  Have a photo with the two of them arm-wrestling, show Superman sitting in the car frustrated while ‘Lois’ is asking for directions, heck, show them at the beach standing next to a crater that Superman just made because he accidentally spiked the volleyball to hard.  There are a million better ideas than the ones they used.  I can even cut some slack to the one of Superman pushing the car (almost.  I mean you can clearly see that the car is being towed due to the angle of it), at least in that one the little girl is showing some power.

posted by:  Wendy


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