The Problem With Candice Huffine’s Vogue Cover

Elise Solé

Plus-size model Candice Huffine just landed the cover of Vogue, and while her photo is gorgeous and ethereal, the moment is a missed opportunity for fuller-figured women.

On Monday, Huffine posted a photo of her upcoming Vogue Mexico cover. In the image, the brunette beauty is completely naked, clutching a strategically placed bouquet of flowers. “The change is now!” Huffine wrote in the post that received more than 3,500 likes. “It’s an honor to be on the cover celebrating beauty for all!”

Still, why is Huffine’s body completely covered up? Yes, she’s naked, but couldn’t a plus-size model on the cover of a fashion magazine be wearing plus-size designs?

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There’s no doubt that over the past few years, plus-size models have been breaking barriers in the fashion industry. Huffine was the first plus-size model to pose for the Pirelli calendar, coveredVogue Italia and Women’s Running, walked in shows by Christian Siriano, and is starring in Victoria Beckham’s new campaign for Target. Ashley Graham scored recent covers of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and then subsequently on Vogue alongside conventionally sized models including Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner. Clothing lines such as American Eagle’s Aerie are casting plus-size models in campaigns free of airbrushing, and designers like Prabal Gurung are collaborating with such retailers as Lane Bryant. Helping power this self-acceptance movement are social media activists who proudly share images of their so-called imperfect forms, empowering other women to follow suit.

Still, there’s progress to be made. When plus-sized actress Melissa McCarthy covered Elle’s “Women In Hollywood” issue in November 2013, she was wrapped in a bulky teal Marina Rinaldi coat, a contrast to alternate covers for that issue, which featured Reese Witherspoon wearing a tight black dress and Marion Cotillard in a purple bra top. In fairness, after fans accused the magazine of body shaming McCarthy, she issued a statement, clarifying, “I picked the coat.” In 2014, when Elle issued four separate covers for its “Women in Television” issue, Mindy Kaling’s cover was cropped to show her from the chest up, while fellow cover stars Zooey Deschanel, Allison Williams, and Amy Poehler were given full-body shots. And despite recent research that shows that the average woman wears a size 16, it’s still challenging for many to find trendy plus-size clothing.

Model Candice Huffine landed the cover of Vogue Mexico. Why is she all covered up? (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
Model Candice Huffine landed the cover of Vogue Mexico. Why is she all covered up? (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

However, Huffine’s cover is hopeful, according to New York based stylist Andrea Caprio, whose clients range from size 00 to 32. “I would much rather see a plus-sized model in a plus-sized outfit, and one that hugs her curves, exudes confidence, and shows how the right fit can make all the difference in the world,” she tells Yahoo Style. “But featuring a model at a healthy weight is always a good message to send.”

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