Kendall Jenner doesn't represent Indian values, fashion, culture, or beauty. She is a fair skinned, American girl who has never even been to India. Young, Indian girls (like myself) are always told to stay out of the sun and use skin lightening creams like Fair and Lovely to be beautiful, since dark skin was associated with a lower caste, while fair skin was associated with a higher caste. In modern-day India, there isn't as much emphasis on the caste system; however, appearance still revolves around the Eurocentric standards of beauty, which include features like round eyes, straight hair, and white skin. Vogue India's 10th anniversary would have been the perfect opportunity to showcase the beauty of a dark-skinned, Indian woman, or any Indian woman for that matter. Having Kendall Jenner, a rich, white girl, on the cover further glorifies the opinion that white skin is synonymous with high class and status. This is another missed opportunity to represent a woman of color, such as Deepika Padukone or Aishwarya Rai, who have actually contributed to Indian society. Both have spoken out about issues that are very taboo in Indian culture like depression, education for girls, domestic abuse, gender roles, and feminism. Vogue India's 10th anniversary should have been used to showcase the progress that India has made, but that was compromised for a white, privileged American. Vogue India released a statement saying that "in the last 10 years, [they have] had only 12 international covers, including Kendall Jenner, in 2017," but as an Indian-American girl, I would have loved to see my skin color on the cover of India's Vogue, since it's rarely displayed in America's. America likes to call itself a melting pot of different cultures, skin tones, races, and ethnicities, but they're rarely represented in popular media. Vogue prides itself on "redefining beauty," but most of the issues have the same, conventional-looking models each year, and to see one of them on the cover of Vogue India is really a step back.
Dear Vogue India, Please Take Kendall Jenner Off Your Cover
May 8, 2017