Vogue April 2008 Cover: Controversial?

I will shamelessly admit, as a guy, I have a subscription to Vogue. Anyhow, I was playing Buzztime Trivia with some pals up at the usual Tuesday night gathering, and one of the questions was about a controversial Vogue issue. None of the other guys at the table knew anything about it naturally, though I’d gotten the April 2008 issue just recently but never noted anything controversial about it — but it turned out that the new Lebron James cover was, in fact, the one they were talking about. I went back home after the trivia had concluded and looked at it again. Either I’m just dense, or I’m blind to gossip, or something. I had to look up why it was so controversial.

I found this article that described the big problems people had with it, which totally flew over my head as bizarre leaps of judgment — Lebron fitting into an angry black man stereotype (no, he’s a basketball player and sports figures frequently attempt to appear menacing to psych out opponents, it’s part of the game; and possibly imitating King Kong — which is not a shady attempt at the ape slur, either). It seems puzzling to me that people are so wrapped up in stereotypes instead of people being simply who they are. I do not find black men to be traditionally angry, in all my experiences, so perhaps that one may have escaped me. I do, find, however, that it was a clever way to portray “size 0 to 16” visually. Although I have no idea what size zero looks like, per se. *shrug*

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