Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen on the cover of ’Newsweek.’
Photo: Courtesy of Newsweek
OK, I just wrote, edited and then erased about 143 words on my thoughts on the restructuring of Newsweek, the redesign, and my thoughts on Tina Brown. Then I remembered that 100 percent of you don’t care, and 111.34 percent of you think I meander too much (ha, what has two thumbs and did it again? THIS GUY), so let’s just go ahead and look at this image. We’ve got Newsweek. A white seamless background. Some pretty hard-core lighting. And Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen looking… well… newsy? Maybe it’s that they’re not wearing sunglasses. Maybe it’s that they’re actually making eye contact. Maybe it’s that they don’t actually appear to be mouthing the word “prune.” I’m not entirely sure, but there’s SOMETHING that makes the overall effect crazily jarring to where I wanted to pull it out from our usual Cover Girl Roundup to talk about it in detail.
While not unattractive, this magazine looks like a Newsweek in a movie. Or like they used preexisting pickup art of the twins. Preexisting pickup art of the twins that was maybe taken as a joint mug shot? GUH. I know the description sounds wildly uncharitable, but at no point am I saying that I don’t like it. I like it. Maybe a lot. But the lack of fashion editorializing makes me feel uncomfortable. I knew that the Olsens were incredibly prolific, canny and legitimately dialed into how to make us want their stuff. The thing that I perhaps wasn’t taking seriously enough was how sort of scary they are once you pluck them out of tabloids and fashgossblogs and think about them as an enterprise.
Is it the presence of the Newsweek logo? Is it that I’m a self-hating textilephile? Is it the news that Michelle Obama wears The Row? This is DEFINITELY a late pass, and I’m almost mortified to admit it but maybe, until this cover of these two not just looking “cool” or “stylish” but looking like they’d take names and buy and sell EVERYBODY, I could still dismiss them a bit as straight-to-DVD actresses. Whatever. All I know is that I’mma read the CRAP outta this Robin Givhan story because she’s a genius and if anyone’s going to extract the real scoop on these two, it’s her. Dudes, she won a PULITZER for writing about fashion. Read up. Oh, and I want this shrunken leather jacket for my spring throw-on.