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Vice Magazine Attempts To Turn Famous Suicides Into A Glamorous Fashion Spread

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Vice magazine publishes fashion spread featuring famous female literary suicides

There's a VERY fine line between art and a totally tasteless portrayal of suicide, and Vice magazine definitely straddled it with a fashion spread called "Last Words" in the their Women in Fiction issue.

The spread features models reenacting the suicides of famous writers, including Virginia Woolf, Dorothy Parker (who attempted suicide several times but ultimately died of a heart attack at 73), Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Sylvia Plath, Taiwanese author Sanmao, historian Iris Chang, and poet Elise Cowen.

Like any typical fashion story, the models' outfits were meticulously styled and credited, which seemed to glamorize the whole thing.

The clothes are meant to be sold after all!

After being called out for the unsavory mix of death and consumerism, the peeps at Vice pulled the spread from their site and issued this statement:

"

The fashion spreads in VICE Magazine are always unconventional and approached with an art editorial point-of-view rather than a typical fashion photo-editorial one. Our main goal is to create artful images, with the fashion message following, rather than leading.



"Last Words" was created in this tradition and focused on the demise of a set of writers whose lives we very much wish weren’t cut tragically short, especially at their own hands. We will no longer display "Last Words" on our website and apologize to anyone who was hurt or offended."

Check out the spread for yourself in the gallery (below)!

What do U think — edgy or totally out of line???

[Image via Vice Magazine.]

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21 comments to “Vice Magazine Attempts To Turn Famous Suicides Into A Glamorous Fashion Spread”

  1. Nikki says – reply to this


    1

    I find it kinda tacky! I know everything can be art- I studied art history and now in fashion design. But should it be art? As someone, who did try to kill themselves when I was younger. I can say- it is horrible. Suicide is not glamorous and I see what the photo editor was trying to do. But as we see through some fashion figures, such as Alexander McQueen,Woo Seung-yeon,Ambrose Olsen these deaths were not glamorous and quite sad . Suicide is a serious issue and I feel we all know someone who attempted or did commit it. According to the WHO "Every year, almost one million people die from suicide." I believe mental health problems are something people do not like to share. I believe the campaign could have been more powerful if they had models who survived mental health issues, lived through depression and survived a attempted suicide. It would have gotten people talking and would not have made suicide look like a walk in the park.

  2. emily says – reply to this


    2

    this is gross



  3. 3

    Oh stop your fucking whining. People who commit suicide are selfish assholes who are better off dead than creating pain and misery around them. Most people who go down the "I'll kill myself road" are guilty of reprehensible emotional blackmail because that's how they get their way; others who sound a warning are looking for attention because if you're serious about it, you'll DO IT, not fucking talk about it. You liberal fucks need to pull the sticks out of your tiresome asses and stop telling others what is and is not acceptable; you're all worthless shits who bully others into being quiet because you're too fucking stupid or too fucking wimpy to recognize merit even when it goes against your lame-ass beliefs.
    .
    Re: Nikki – You should've been an abortion, you narrow-minded, pretentious shit.
    .
    Re: emily – So is your mother.

  4. Nikki says – reply to this


    4

    Re: Pansy Hunter – LOL! I am just laughing and find it funny! I am ok with trolls and don't care. Yes let me jump off the bridge, I am so hurt. I will cry now and I*hits self* should have been a abortion. I been in a abusive relationship and heard MUCH worse !!! You have NO idea who I am and you just like saying STUPID stuff for attention!Which is kinda weird! But I think you just need to be shocking so good for you!

  5. Nikki says – reply to this


    5

    Re: Pansy Hunter – Also I agree that it should be talked about. However…you know what I am reasoning with someone not worth any time or effort and loves just rises out of people!And just says stuff without thinking and a reasoning of a bratty teenager. Here I will talk your language(since I a portentous shit:): I think you are a poo poo head!



  6. 6

    These are morbidly beautiful. I don't condone suicide, but if it hadn't been in a magazine someone would've bought these at an art show. I don't think it glamorizes it as much as it is just capturing reenactments of it. I don't think it is appropriate to sell clothes through these type of ads, but if it were on Investigation Discovery as an in-depth look at the suicides of famous women artists no one would complain. I think it is the context. I think they are morbidly pretty and haunting. I like weird stuff from ID and shows like that though. Not because I think it is glamorous, but because I find it fascinating. So I find these pictures oddly pretty, interesting and disturbing all at the same time. Interesting concept, wrong outlet. A magazine isn't the place for these.



  7. 7

    Re: Nikki – It didn't look like they were making light of the issue of suicide. If they were wearing bright colors and lots of makeup, to make it look fashionable, then I would think it was tacky. I just think a magazine isn't the right outlet. If it were in an art book or book about these women, then this wouldn't even be news. I understand how this could be sensitive to those who have attempted such things. Wrong place to publish these photos.

  8. Ali says – reply to this


    8

    I don't know if it's actually funny that Vice spent money on this drivel or sad? Anyways, that's some crappy magazine I won't be buying. That's what I like about the internet, you get to see the crap for free then you forget about it.

  9. Ali says – reply to this


    9

    Re: Pansy Hunter – Very true!



  10. 10

    Thanks Nikki for understanding <3

  11. Arya421 says – reply to this


    11

    Suicide and art do NOT belong together. It is glamorizing a serious mental illness and it is worrying someone would OK this spread for the sake of "art"

  12. LIZ says – reply to this


    12

    Re: Pansy Hunter – YOU'RE THE DISGUSTING ONE YOU PIECE OF SHIT. PEOPLE WHO EVEN CONSIDER SUICIDE ARE IN SERIOUS AMOUNTS OF PAIN AND ARE NOT IN THEIR RIGHT STATE OF MIND. HAVE SOME COMPASSION YOU FUCKING MONSTER!!!



  13. 13

    Re: Arya421 – Many of the most famous pieces of art were done when the artist was incredibly depressed. The Scream by Munch was painted when he was in a very mentally unstable place. Listen to music. A lot of musicians write music throughout their mental illnesses. Mental illness and art do go together. I just think a magazine is the wrong place to publish these. If it was an art book or something like that then this would be more acceptable. It is the easy access to the masses and the mass publication that is troubling. If an artist finds inspiration in suicide then that is where they get inspiration from, as long as it doesn't harm anyone directly.



  14. 14

    Ive come to think that VICE magazine is pretentious as hell. It used to be displayed all around my apartment years ago while in college in SF where hipsters spread the area like a wild fire, but now I'm just annoyed. They are trying to pump up/hype up those ATL twins- the twins that sleep in the same bed and only have sex with the same girl together… they never have sex seperately….. gross. There is a difference between being edgy/obscure/unique/artful & trying too hard & reaking of snobbery.



  15. 15

    Re: Pansy Hunter – You are a bully & an idiot. Why call people names to get your point across? I'm calling you names because you opened the can first. That's all you have to be heard? Mean shit ? Weak. Boring. Unoriginal. But hey keep posting because you make me laugh out loud alot by your stupidity. I roll my eyes every time you post. You complain alot but you sure do stick around and troll for a moment you can cut right in and be an asshole. Dad left you when you were younger and didn't get the attention you need or whats your story?

  16. gg says – reply to this


    16

    I found it really interesting. It just made me look up all those people, some I recognized their work and others I did not. In a weird and twisted way, it brought some history into my life and a new knowledge of writings I may now read.



  17. 17

    I think as an art piece it could have been beautiful. The height of a person's emotion … someone so sensitive and so beautiful being taken from this world and really not by their choice no matter what people think. However, to SELL something makes me feel sick inside

  18. az says – reply to this


    18

    How very gauche!

  19. Mimikatherine says – reply to this


    19

    No. Just no. Glamorizing suicide in any form or fashion…especially in a fashion editorial. Not art…especially not the direct way in which it was done.

  20. lily says – reply to this


    20

    while the images are beautiful, I hate how the media glorifies and romanticizes the desperate emotional state someone is in when contemplating or acting out a suicide attempt. There is nothing beautiful or glamorous about true depression. It is an ugly, horrific state to be trapped in. so I have a hard time being okay with this idea. it makes it harder for people to understand mental illness, it makes it seem like a frivolous, whimsical situation.

  21. @v@ says – reply to this


    21

    Egads. I know it's supposed to be edgy 'art' but it comes off as bizarre promotion, imo.
    This will be big trouble for them.