28 October 2009

Teen Vogue debuts teen pregnancy

You might not believe it but the model on the left, Jourdan Dunn, is pregnant. And 19. When Teen Vogue editors booked her for the gig they didn't know she was pregnant until she revealed the news for a feature on she and her fellow model friend Chanel Iman (on the right). While the pregnancy is not explicit, it is heartening to know that Editor-in-Chief, Amy Astley said the editors of the mag had no intention of pulling her from the Nov edition.

"Teen pregnancy is a difficult, real-life issue that Teen Vogue readers (with an average age of 18) are mature enough to be exposed to," Astley said in a statement. "Teen Vogue felt it was important to support, not punish, Jourdan Dunn, who contributed to a beautiful photo shoot and who will surely have an ongoing and successful career in fashion."

But, I wonder, if Jourdan was visibly pregnant would they still have put her on the cover of a 'teen' magazine given all of the moral panics about teen mums? Jourdan is almost eight months pregnant now and due in December so obviously the shoot was done very early in her pregnancy. As I noted in an earlier post, Jourdan and her belly were featured in a sort of Gladiator-esque pregnancy corset by Gaultier during Paris Fashion Week.

Of her pregnancy, Dunn has said: "All I could think about was what my mom was going to say, my agency, my boyfriend. When I told my mom, she started crying and blaming herself. She got pregnant with me at the same age, and she said, 'I don't want you to have to go through what I did.'"

Sure it is great that Vogue editors didn't want to 'punish' Dunn for her pregnancy but one wonders whether the realities of young parenthood are made clear to the readers of Teen Vogue in the issue. Dunn is a beautiful woman but pregnancy for celebrities or in the world of fashion is invariably enrobed in glamour and it might have been more useful or perhaps progressive on behalf of the magazine to allow Dunn to express some of her worries about parenthood in order to educate other young women as opposed to pretending that everything is great.

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