Vogue Under Fire for Sensually Posing the Hadid Sisters Completely Nude

Vogue Under Fire for Sensually Posing the Hadid Sisters Completely Nude

The upcoming March issue of British Vogue has a Hadid sister on the front and back cover draped in shimmering Versace gowns and in the inside spread a photo suggesting incest? 

Right when British Vogue shared this image to their Instagram, I took a screenshot because I found it instantly weird. To me, everything about this image is a little strange; the posing, the nudity, the editing, and especially the fact that the two very well-known models are sisters. I was wondering if people would notice this weirdness, and they sure did. Twitter users are uprearing about the image, calling it disgusting, disturbing, and even that it promotes incest. 


In addition to the social media war about whether this photo taken by Steven Meisel is inappropriate or not, viewers are also criticizing it's overly edited appearance. Some are saying Bella, on the left, doesn't even look like herself. Many people are also addressing the nudity, saying it's far from fashion. Every element of this image is making the Internet uncomfortable, causing a back and forth about its presence. I want to know what you all think of this controversial image.

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Spy Black's picture

Yeah, I dunno, a bit over-reaction in light of recent events. You're always going to have people making noise like that. If the girls felt it was demeaning, would they have done the shot? I like the shot, I think it's OK. Not that it's the greatest shot or anything like that, but it's still a nice shot.

LA M's picture

Meh...dunno how to feel about it. Nice looking gals though and before anyone complains..I would equally admire the photo if it were two good looking dudes.

Gabrielle Colton's picture

I'm unsure too, I do know one thing though the technicality of the posing drives me bonkers. Bella's arm and both of their backs. It's an iconic shoot since people are back and forth about it, so I wish they would have nailed the posing and editing at least!

Glen Grant's picture

Gone are the days where artistic works are considered art and simply become targets for others passing judgment without real cause. Positions, editing, siblings etc.
The only thing I find weird are people that try to exact high moral standards on our works.

Kirk Darling's picture

It certainly seems that back in the 70s Vogue could have published such a photograph without such a brou-ha-ha. It's rather chilling that we are entering an age of such anti-art prudishness and ideological testing--which is quickly surpassing anything religion or politics has ever committed.

Samuel Flores Sanchez's picture

I think is completely natural for two sisters to pose like that if they have that kind of confidence.

here you have twins film and photograph by Peter Hegre. They are having fun, the perversion is in the mind of the people who think otherwise



"perversion is in the mind of the people who think otherwise"... you do realize Hegre's work is pure hardcore porn, with emphasis on showcasing and implying the young age of his models, right? No matter how artsy, or classy, or whatever, it's... straight up porn. So, no - sex is not just implied here but is actually emphasized.

Personally I've no issues whatsoever with the Vogue cover or Hegre, but masking it as something that is pure and devoid of sexuality is... silly.

Samuel Flores Sanchez's picture

Hegre's work isn't hardcore porn. I don't think is even porn but if have to be labeled "porn" I think "softcore" is more appropriate.

And what was emphasizing by magazines like Vogue and the whole fashion industry the last 50 years? The only pure fashion photographer that I know, Bill Cunningham, and I don't think he was a fashion photographer.

I don't mask anything. I say, it has sexuality if is in your mind. They are sisters, and they are having fun and earning some money. But for them is completely natural because they have that kind of confidence and they are used to it. Of course, they implied, images do that and they try to sell mags.

I've photograph porn actors "working" and they are really working. Sure they are having fun, but they are working and they take very seriously his work. it doesn't even occur to me "masking" sexuality in any way because is completely natural.


Fair enough. Though, while I certainly don't claim to be an expert on porn classification, having seen my share of Hegre's work it ranges from benign to pretty hardcore, but... we digress.

Funny thing is, I recall seeing other images of one of the Hadid sisters sandwiched between two other Angels, nude, on a cover somewhere else not long ago and don't remember reading all this fuss. I guess including "incest" comments is the way to get the crowd going.

Alexander Petrenko's picture

In 1960's displaying pubic area covered with hair was considered porn.

Fritz Asuro's picture

Oh the world we live in. Everything is an issue nowadays. It's not like the Hadid sisters are new to that kind of shoot.

Gabrielle Colton's picture

Agree with you, I just hope they keep talking about the real issues in the industry, that would be lovely :)

David Moore's picture

Well, the @jwalton account has like 8 tweets so it's just someone that complains. @jenk simply used not like a photo of the property bros as their reason to not like it? Eh, who cares what these people say. It's fine.

Christian Santiago's picture

I mean I am assuming the sisters approved the shoot and were ok with it...soo why should we be outraged if they seem cool with it

It’s a bit unorthodox and probably not the way I would pose two sisters but in the grand scheme of things it’s not that big of a deal.

thomas Palmer's picture

Indeed, it's not the first time art causes that and won't be the last.

Michael Aubrey's picture

Cue all the comments from defensive males!

Oh wait, I'm already too late.

Gabrielle Colton's picture


Gabrielle Colton's picture

And Bella's head!!

Mokhtar Chahine's picture

Can somebody explain to me how women are empowering other women by using their naked bodies? The are being “used” as tools.

In my opinion women that aim to empower other women should know better than to use their bodies as tools.

Mokhtar Chahine's picture

Yup nothing wrong with it Bob.

thomas Palmer's picture

An empowered woman does exactly what she wants with her body without paternalist mens telling if it's wrong or not. They are adults, they signed a contract.

Mokhtar Chahine's picture

As much as I respect the views of others, I believe women have way better potential than to empower eachother through nudity. Seems like an overplayed lazy way to empower women.

Gabrielle Colton's picture

True, I do believe that when we do exactly what we want however there’s a way to do it so that it does actually empower others to do the same. Maybe that’s not what they wanted I guess. I just find it low quality for who they are

Gabrielle Colton's picture

I don't know whether it's meant to be empowering or not. The posing isn't empowering, at least to me. It's very vulnerable. I love artistic nudity but not really a fan of this, wasn't done right in my opinion

Code Trick's picture

If this 2 sisters did this completely voluntary and for fair payment and no coercion was used. Who are you or any other person to say anything about it that halt this type of work?.Of course all of us has a free speech opportunity. but it should no be used to push some prudish agenda.
I usually tell people around me Why do we complain about women in Muslim countries using the veil over their head/face/body if we complain all the time about a women chest or butt been exposed to everybody? The only reason some people complain about naked human to be walking on the street is religion. Even those who are not into religion they have ingrained the sense that been dressed is moral and correct. I guess that natives in Asia S.America and Africa are not human.
Disclosure. Muslim women using the burka or hijab that are coerced to use it is a different thing I am talking about those that use it voluntary as cultural tradition.. most of them. I am not religious, nudist or has any connection with muslims

Anonymous's picture

you are probably a big fan of sharia....

Dog Bruna's picture

You do realize you are on a photography forum, right?

Cody Schultz's picture

I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. For those who do, is it also then wrong to take a bath with your siblings, as many children do when younger? Why do we feel the constant need to sexualize the human body? That over-sexualization is why we have the #metoo and other movements, NOT because of a nude photograph of two sisters.

It would be one thing if they were forced to pose as such, or if they were told to kiss or do something sexual. But as they are not, I feel there should be no fuss about it. It reminds me of this shot by Peter Coulson, although I much prefer his. (http://blog.peter-coulson.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Milu_0191.jpg)

Anonymous's picture

You're right Cody and Peter's picture is nice.

thomas Palmer's picture

So if we bring back the best fashion photographers (the ones who published in vogue France in the 70's) like Helmut Newton or Guy Bourdin, that would be fun to watch. Helmut Newton did a shoot called "animal spirit" with a girl and a saddle, wouldn't be able to publish that today without being twitter slapped.

From an historian perspective, fetish is the root of fashion photography, what differentiates some pictures from porn is solely the women's attitude.

Carlton Canary's picture

Everyone who is offended by this is just supporting the idea that a woman's body is inherently a sexual object. Nudity is our most natural form. Just look at the controversy Sally Mann caused years ago with nude images of her family, including her children. Assuming all parties were willing and comfortable, I don't see the problem with this at all. We may not be able to see ourselves posing this way with our siblings, but does that mean that there is something sinister happening when someone else does it?

Motti Bembaron's picture

European (even Britons) have very different views to nudity, sex, sexuality etc. Needless to say they are more comfortable with then it is in the US.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Yes, I compare an attitude of a continent to the US. It is a generalization however, Working with European youth (of many countries), having a close relationship with a couple of them and traveling in Europe many times, I can tell you that the overall attitude to sex, sexuality and intimacy is way more relaxed and natural than it is in the US. And it starts at a young age

LightAffaire Photography's picture

Bob, I find that to be very arrogant and certainly misinformed.

Visited all 27/28 EU countries over the years and on average they are very easy going and liberal with respect to being human and all that endures.

I have also visited the US numerous times both work related and on vacation. The only 3 areas I would view as laid back and worth considering to live there would be florida, california and hawaii due to the weather... oregon and montana if weather is not relevant.

LightAffaire Photography's picture

got a hot tip for you... surf on over to dpreview.com and team up with Sarah Terra... you will hit it off with her straight away... same mindset!

now you have a good day boyo...

best wishes from big island

ps. nice portfolio you are showing here to the fstoppers community ;-)

Alexander Petrenko's picture

How many American countries have you visited to be so sure about America?

Alexander Petrenko's picture

Your answer sounds like "one"...

Alexander Petrenko's picture

"America" (some add "s") is 2 continents, 35 countries... Which specific American country culture you mean?

Alexander Petrenko's picture

This is undeniable fact that America consists of two continents and is not a country. Just look at map module in LR.

Alexander Petrenko's picture

My undeniable fact is more undeniable than yours. So, how many except Republic of Texas?

Gabrielle Colton's picture

Woah guys, a lot of geography going on here lol. 💙💙💙

LightAffaire Photography's picture

bobby boy why would you need to discuss C1 or LR? you have an empty portfolio here so who is the troll now lol ?

LightAffaire Photography's picture

No mate... its a _photography_ forum and site so either put up your work or become a lurker as most here would see an empty profile == troll profile bobby boy lol

Motti Bembaron's picture

Hi Bob, I worked with young individuals from all Scandinavian countries, Germany, France, England, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Austria, Netherlands and Belgium. I had very close relationship with a German English and Hungarian females.

Maybe I generalized all of Europe but in all honesty, just about all individuals I encountered (regardless of nation) had a very similar attitude towards intimacy. I also visited the families of two of the girls I was close with and they had a very similar attitude as my family had towards relationship and intimacy.

When I immigrated to Canada (Quebec) over 30 years ago I found it to be a bit more conservative but quite relaxed. However, I soon realized how different it was in US. I got to know a couple of young families with teenage kids and was surprised to see how uncomfortable and awkward they were when it came to sex and intimacy.

I can say without any doubt that as a 70's teen (that is forty years ago) I had more freedom and tolerance (from parents, teachers etc.) than US teens have today.

I am always amazed to see that kids here are free to watch extreme violence, on TV and video games) but are lectured, discouraged and even punished if do the same with porn and nudity.

I should add that this is just an observation from one individual living over 30 years in North America.

Gabrielle Colton's picture

Thanks for bringing up this point Motti, you are right nudity is seen in a much different light.

Wayne Denny's picture

"Every element of this image is making the Internet uncomfortable, causing a back and forth about its presence." The total number of likes & comments on those tweets is 8. I see this way too often on articles (not just here) where 'the Internet is up in arms' over something. How long did you have to search to find these three accounts? And if there truly is an Internet uprising, why not use a more popular account to show this?

LightAffaire Photography's picture

I am soooo happy that when I started out one of the first things i did was get a good set of pay and test shooting contracts done.

What goes in the contract stays in the contract...

2 models that are sisters... been around one another their whole lives... either they agree todo the shot or not.

Depressing that other people who do not have all the facts are now dragging this onto their oh so holy moral pedestal.

The latent landscape photographer in me is awakening.

Mark Rich's picture

The photo doesn't bother me at all. It's a strange pose but not sexual as some suggest, in my view. The women are adults, agreed to the pose and agreed to it's release. American Puritanism is often way too sensationalist and sensitive to the modern world.

What it does do, however, is remind me of there Benneton ads of the 80s and 90s which had nothing to do with their products but kept them in the public the so people visited the shops. How many people are now aware of Vouge who gave no thought to them before? It's good marketing, if nothing else.

David Wilder's picture

I think everyone who is “offended” by the image need to take a step back and relax. If this were a pic of a man and one of them, it would have been labeled racy because they were naked but more people would have found it less offensive.

If it were one of the sisters and another woman it would have also be racy but maybe considered more empowering because it could have symbolized same sex love or it could have been considered pornographic. If it were two men people again would have probably said the same thing

Either way people who find it wrong are only projecting their own self insicurities onto the image. Had it been just one of them the same people would have found something wrong there too.

For those people out there who are siblings,you can’t tell me that growning up your parents didn’t put you and your sibling in the bath together so you guys could bathe and play with toys in the tub. You see this everywhere.

So why is it so wrong that two grown adults who are siblings do the same thing for a photo? I think it shows their bond and love for one another.

The pose is to suggest closeness if you post them apart it would not have the same close relationship feeling. Sister love and protection. It’s not sexual in nature at all.

The arm reaching back to hold on to the foot is a little out of place. It just looks like they didn’t know what to do with the arm but that’s just a technical point. I would’ve had her probably curl her arm into her own vest while they’re still leaning into each other.

Just like any other form of art you can’t please everyone. You’re going to get people that love it and people that hate it. That’s what art is meant to do is bring emotion out, but in some cases when people can’t see the good in something they may have bigger problems than just the image.

Daniel Rothenberger's picture

If you want puplicity at the moment - shoot naked famous people and retouch them like hell ;)

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