Covers Redefine Beauty

Magazine covers most often feature the faces and bodies of famous celebrities, sometimes scantily clothed, other times covered in some of the most expensive designer clothes. However, two magazines have recently decided to take a different route.

GQ has featured Richard Norris, a man who received a complete facial transplant after having most of his own blown off by a shotgun blast, on the cover of its July issue. Though his face is new, Richard still has noticeable deformities and looks quite different from the usual GQ cover boys. Obviously, it is a definite change from the GQ cover tradition, which consists of featuring the most sought-after male (and sometimes female) celebrities.

Another magazine that is making waves (in the best way possible) for its choices is The Australian Women’s Weekly magazine, which featured a burn victim on its cover. Turia Pitt was caught in a bush fire while running a marathon and subsequently has burns on 64% of her body. Though The Australian Women’s Weekly does not have quite the reputation of GQ in regards to celebrity features, it still means a lot that Ms. Pitt is on the cover.

The decision to feature these normal people with extraordinary stories gives hope that something other than physical beauty and fame qualify for a magazine cover. That, and the fact that beauty cannot be defined by one set of criteria.

Share these articles with young adults and discuss the effects of having Norris and Pitt on the cover of these popular magazines:

  • Why do you think these two magazines decided to feature these people on their covers instead of celebrities?
  • What are some other examples of big media sources honoring inner beauty instead of just outer beauty and fame?
  • In everyday life, what can you do to affirm pride in oneself, inner beauty, outer beauty and all?
  • What Church teachings or traditions come to mind when you think about the idea of seeing beauty in everything?