Who Wants To See Real People In Vogue? Not The Editor

David M. Benett/Getty

The editor of British Vogue has waded into the ever-heated debate over the idealized representations of women in fashion magazines by declaring that readers don't want to see 'real' people on the covers of glossy mags, "because they can look in the mirror and see that for free."

Alexandra Shulman, the editor of British Vogue since 1992, made the forthright comments in an interview with singer Lily Allen on Radio 2.

Mrs. Shulman said she was 'bored' with the discussion about why models are so thin and said she was "fed up" of having to deal with such questions.

When asked about her favorite Vogue covers, she told Allen: "Quite often the ones I really like are the creative, arty ones. But they don't sell as well."

"It's a real balancing act doing a magazine, between creativity and sales. If I knew exactly what sold it would be like having the secret of the universe, but I'd say broadly speaking, if you're going to talk about a model or a personality, it's kind of a quite middle view of what beauty is. Quite conventional, probably smiling, in a pretty dress; somebody looking very 'lovely'. The most perfect girl next door."

Pressed on the subject of thin models by the singer, she said: "People always say 'why do you have thin models? That's not what real people look like' But nobody really wants to see a real person looking like a real person on the cover of Vogue. I think Vogue is a magazine that's about fantasy to some extent and dreams, and an escape from real life. People don't want to buy a magazine like Vogue to see what they see when they look in the mirror. They can do that for free... I get fed up with having to deal with the question of why are models thin, that sort of bores me, but that's the only thing really."