Earlier this week, Evelyn Frick wrote an insightful open letter to Contrast that was published on Boilerplate. For anyone that didn’t see it, you should certainly give it a read. In the letter, Evelyn conveys her concerns that “any plus-sized person, fat person, larger person, curvy person, or any person who has a body which is considered to be an unconventional size do not see themselves reflected in Contrast.” We take this criticism very sincerely and want to use this as an opportunity to explain how Contrast will be changing going forward.
Unfortunately, these changes cannot fully be reflected in this semester’s issue, which will be launching on May 16th. When Evelyn’s open letter was published on the 4th, this was the first time we were made of aware of her concerns. As such, there would not be enough time to revise the issue and send it to print.
As future leadership in Contrast continues taking this criticism into account, we hope anyone else with concerns feels comfortable expressing them directly to Contrast. If we had been more conscientious about this earlier, there would certainly be room in our pages for the editorials about plus-size fashion that Evelyn has recommended. We would love to publish this content, and everyone that comes to editorial meetings gets a chance to write. We are consciously working to better center the perspectives of more diverse contributors all the time.
As for models, we host an open model casting each semester that all are welcome to attend. From the long list of interested models, we then reach out and try to accommodate scheduling for the handful of shoots in each issue. This process has been hectic in the past, since students are so busy, and we often make last minute changes. Evelyn’s letter has driven home the necessity of more consciously and methodically engaging in this process to ensure that the models that end up being photographed are representative of all the students on campus.
Contrast is Vassar’s fashion magazine and it should reflect our student body. There is so much room for any and all to come be a part of Contrast and share their piece to make the magazine reflect what they want to see in the world. If we have failed in the past to reach out or foster an environment where individuals feel comfortable doing so, we sincerely apologize. We remain open to feedback and hope to serve you better in the future.