As you may have started to notice, all 19 editions of Vogue, from the U.S. to India, dedicated their June 2012 issues to health. The collective decision to do so is a part of the new Vogue Health initiative, which aims to promote healthier, more realistic body images in magazine pages.
It's good timing. Not only are health and body image hot topics of late, but as summer begins we could all stand to feel a little better about our bodies--or, alternatively, get a little inspiration (not in the form of a prepubescent model) for our bikini season-induced efforts to get in shape.
What's interesting about the issues is that despite following the same "manifesto," the Vogues interpreted it in very different ways. Today, Vogue Italia released its June cover, which features a simple portrait of Isabella Rosellini. While some focused on being active and healthy living, others focused on presenting women of all sizes and ages. Some were more literal and in your face, while others were more subtle. Interestingly, most of them feature genetically blessed models on beaches.
So, we letter graded all 19 based on how well we feel they captured the health theme. Click through to see all the covers and what we think each one says about that particular Vogue edition's interpretation of health and wellness.
Italy: Italian Vogue went in an unexpected direction, as they like to do. While this may not be our favorite cover of all time, the iconic Italian actress does look like she's feeling good and the accompanying spread highlights how different women, from Rossellini to model Guinevere Van Seenus, define wellness. B-
US: Our local Vogue edition really went for the gold, putting, not models, but actual Olympic athletes on the cover, all of whom couldn't look happier or healthier. They're rounded out by grabby health-themed headlines. At the same time, the cover has been criticized for not being fashion-y enough. It is Vogue after all. A-
UK: A sharp contrast to American Vogue's athlete-covered issue, British Vogue went in a more high fashion direction and tapped their favorite supermodel Kate Moss, who, we have to admit, has never quite been a poster child for health. Still, she looks amazing in Versace and is holding a fitnessy rope behind vague headlines like "Going for Gold." We like that they didn't make it too literal. B+
Paris: French Vogue made it very clear that this is their Health Initiative Issue and that Gisele Bundchen has a perfect, healthy body that we all want to have. And maybe we can, if we read whatever is inside this issue (yeah, right). B+
Australia: Australian Vogue's June issue is actually dedicated to glamour, not health, hence a svelte--but healthy-looking--Daria Werbowy gracing the cover in fringe-y Balmain. Health is instead addressed inside with a letter from the editor and interviews with plus size model Chelsea Bonner and ex-supermodel Carré Otis, who has battled eating disorders. Did Australia misinterpret the assignment with this one? Maybe--or maybe the health message doesn't need to be so in your face. B-
Brazil: From what we're able to translate, Brazilian Vogue's cover headline is about celebrating curves--and, at least for a model, Victoria's Secret Angel Isabeli Fontana definitely has them--though, we're not sure that denim bodysuit is doing doing much for them. There's also something on the top left about testing diet pills--not necessarily healthy, but interesting. B
China: Another healthy-looking Victoria's Secret angel covers Vogue China. Doutzen Kroes, whose body we'd take over a starving 14-year-old's any day, is wearing a fairly modest swimsuit against a water-like background, so the implication of physical activity is there. Basically, if it means we can look like this, we want to know more about this "healthy living." A-
Germany: We think Carolyn Murphy definitely fits the bill for a health-focused magazine cover. She's 38 and looks amazing, but not in an I-starve-myself-and-have-my-plastic-surgeon-on-speed-dial kind of way. Cover headlines mention some sort of cultural history on curves and Beth Ditto--both of which sound like interesting stories. We also know the issue features a Peter Lindbergh-shot editorial called "The Naked Truth," which depicts powerful women sans makeup or retouching. It's a nice idea--though in one photograph actress Nina Hoss is smoking a cigarette--not exactly the picture of health. B+
Greece: Jessica Stam covers Vogue Hellas' health issue. We'll leave that casting choice up for debate, but she does look like something of a Grecian statue here. Aside from "Healthy Living" (which seems to be the default headline for non-English editions) and "Greek Gourmet," we don't know what anything on this cover says, but Greek food does tend to be healthy. C+
India: Vogue India clearly went more in the "how to get an amazing body and look like this hot actress" direction as opposed to a "here's what women really look like" one, but we're glad they chose someone who looks healthy and has some curves, even if she is impossibly gorgeous. We also like that they're getting the word out with that little flag in the corner. B
Japan: Vogue Nippon, it seems, had the same idea as Vogue Australia and did a glamour-focused cover with Candice Swanepoel wearing sparkly Gucci. It's not unusual for some international editions of Vogue to use the same content, so that could be what happened here. We don't get a major health vibe from this cover, but we like Candice Swanepoel. C
Korea: Vogue Korea decided to address the health of both humans and the environment with its June issue, covered by model Han Hye Jin, who shows us her unyielding strength by holding a metal bar above her head. "Health initiative starts!" exclaims the biggest lettering on the page. B
Mexico: Karolina Kurkova looks sultry and curvy on the cover of Vogue Mexico in Dolce & Gabbana. Headlines mention, excitedly, "curves" and "real women." The issue feels fun and like it isn't taking health too seriously. B
Netherlands: Vogue Netherlands' cover, starring Guinevere Van Seenus declares "love for a new silhouette," which we're pretty sure is referring to fashion rather than body type. While van Seenus isn't unhealthy-looking, we wouldn't exactly describe her as curvy, so this seems to be one of the more subtle interpretations. B-
Russia: Russian Vogue went with an athletic (and '80s?) inspired look for Natalia Vodianova, who once admitted to practically starving herself to lose weight after giving birth. Given how svelte she looks here, we can believe it. Overall, the health message is definitely there, but is it delivered the right way? C+
Spain: Spanish Vogue's health issue is all about curves and being sexy and "the triumph of the real woman." It features Toni Garn in an appropriately curve-hugging Stella McCartney frock. B
Turkey: Constance Jablonski is like a supermodel seal on the cover of Vogue Turkey's June issue, whose headlines promise fascinating stories on health of mind and body, losing weight, eating well, confronting an anorexic dietician and Miranda Kerr's fitness secrets. The focus seems to be more on informative content than revolutionizing the way we see beauty. B+
Portugal: This cover mentions the health initiative, but, other than that, just looks like any other Vogue cover. While Russian model Snejana Onopka does look super chic, the cover isn't giving us much to think about. C+
Taiwan: Vogue Taiwan's June cover stars Shu Qi, a Taiwanese former porn star-turned-legitimate actress. That's pretty much all we can tell you about this cover. Based on aesthetics alone, we'll give this cover a C+