Vogue Homme’s Choking Cover Spurs Domestic Violence Protest

Stephanie Seymour and Marlon Teixeira certainly smolder on the cover of the fall/winter issue of Vogue Hommes International. But does the cover also glamorize domestic abuse, and should the mag be pulled from newsstands? Several advocacy groups certainly think so, and have already taken it upon themselves to write in their demands to the mag’s publisher Condé Nast.

On the Terry Richardson-lensed cover (pictured below), Teixeira is seemingly choking Seymour, fondling her left breast, and caressing his lips in a moment of black-and-white passion. The image gives off a being-choked-is-sexy vibe, but advocacy groups Sanctuary for Families, Safe Horizon, Equality Now, and the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women are claiming that the cover just glamorizes domestic violence.

According to the media blog Romenesko, the groups have called out Condé Nast’s chairman Si Newhouse and editorial director Thomas Wallace in a letter:

Dear Mr. Wallace and Mr. Newhouse:

We write to express our profound opposition to your decision to feature a photo of Stephanie Seymour with Marlon Teixeira’s hand wrapped around her neck on the cover of Vogue Hommes International. This truly disturbing image of a woman being choked sends a dangerous message to anyone who sees this magazine – that choking is a sign of passion rather than of violence.

Choking is a huge predictor of future lethality. A 2008 Journal of Emergency Medicine study of murders of women in 11 cities found that 43% of women who were killed by intimate partners had experienced at least one previous episode of choking before being killed. That is why, in 2010, New York State made choking a violent felony, and advocates, prosecutors, police officers and survivors throughout the State have embraced the law as a way to save women’s lives.

In New York, your magazine appears on numerous newsstands and has enormous reach with young men and women. While this cover was perhaps intended to shock and thrill potential readers, the truly shocking fact is that it glorifies violence against women as an act of love.

Choking is not a fashion statement, and certainly not something that should be used to sell magazines. We are calling on Condé Nast, as a responsible company based in New York, to pull the magazine from the newsstands immediately, and to pledge not to use violent images like this in the future.

The four groups also started an online petition on Change.org to pull the issue off newsstands, which has received 191 signatures at the publishing time of this post.

This is serious stuff, and the groups certainly mean business. See the full cover below, and tell us if you think it should get pulled from newsstands:

[via Coco Perez]

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