Vice Magazine: Smile, Though Your Heart Is Aching


Plath. Not bad, but could have made more of an effort with her hair. Image via jezebel.

It isn’t the fact that Vice magazine thought it appropriate to illustrate the fashion section of it’s ‘Women In Fiction’ issue with images of models posing as female writers at the time of their deaths.

It isn’t even that Jezebel reprinted them in full, re-emphasising the point regardless of the critical copy that surrounded them.


Yes, but what did she look like when she wrote it? Image via goodreads.

What I find most upsetting is that in a world where women are taught from an innappropriately early age that their appearance is their defining characteristic, those who have sought to define themselves through their words, thoughts and experiences instead have been casually, thoughtlessly and, most importantly, unwittingly recruited into the same campaign.

The message to the next generation of thoughtful young women who aspire to to be more than the sum of their physical parts is thus:

It doesn’t matter what you think. It doesn’t matter what you write, or say or do or are. You will still be critiqued for how you look while you’re doing it. Even when you’re dying.

Remember that.

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