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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Ignace Maenhaut van Lemberge's picture

About the fuzz: much ado about nothing..
About the picture: too much about arms and legs..

If they weren't sisters then we wouldn't be getting half of the hulls-balloo we're seeing. We'd have the recurring argument of over sexualizing women along with the new #metoo movement. Their facial expressions area very easily considered sultry and the look girls give their boys when sex is on the horizon. So, yeah, I can understand the reactions. Life moves on.

Hey, I got some lenses to clean, images to process, and ...

Meh. Overblown just to troll for "outrage." I suppose folks see what they want to see in a photograph. That personal perspective is a bit of the point in artwork. Didn't think about it as particularly sexually suggestive 'til others mentioned it.

It's a beautiful and fantastic picture. Steven Meisel is fabulous. That said, this is not a fashion picture, it's a nude.

For all those who say things like, “being naked is not sexualizing,” or, “nothing wrong with nudity,” I agree one hundred percent.

For those who think this image is sexual, I agree one hundred percent.

When I look at the mood, the expressions, the pose,… it is very sexual. Two naked women in an embrace is not necessarily sexual; …but this is. …And just because two adult females got paid to, and agreed to, getting shot this way, does not mean that it is an image of empowerment of women. We have no idea if they did what they wanted to do, only that they did what they were paid to do.

But that aside…. This is a photography channel, so let me judge it as a photograph, a work of art.

In my opinion, it is too mechanical, not well done. Hard, dramatic lines are mixed with curved, sensual lines, but not in a good way. The expressions on the faces look manufactured, sort of a, “we are just relaxing here with each other, thank you for coming along,” mixed with a, “I'm so bored, I don't know what to do,” look.

The poses themselves look quite unnatural, and uncomfortable, as if they were attempting to get into a more pleasurable configuration before the viewer interrupted their ‘alone time’. It does not look like an embrace, nor a hug, nor any other pose of affection, but pure, sexual aggressiveness, yet not in an attractive way.

Whether they are twins, sisters, roommates, best friends, or total strangers is absolutely irrelevant to the discussion. I think the image is below the quality standard of Vogue. Better images of naked women embracing each other? Yes!


I could talk about Sally Mann; I never thought any —okay, maybe one— of her images were sexual, and had no problem with her naked children. I never thought they were inappropriate. On the other hand, I never liked any of her work. They were just not my cup of tea. I always found something or somethings in her images as distractions, and her images never spoke to me. They looked like snapshots, but the nudity of her children was never the issue.

I sort of feel the same way here, but not really. I feel this image is definitely sexual, is definitely posed, and studio shot. My problem is not with nudity, nor nude women embracing, nor sisters embracing while nude. I don't even have a problem with art being sexual; I just do not think this particular image is good art.

That is my opinion. Thank you for asking, Gabrielle.

Gabrielle Colton's picture

Thank you SOO much for your input on this, I greatly enjoyed reading it. I was just reading a new discussion on Sally Mann the other day. It's all very interesting, and there is definitely no one and done answer to any of this.

Anonymous's picture

People confusing nudity with sex. I definitely wouldn't take this shot, but at the end of the day it's two adults voluntarily creating an artistic image. If you don't like it, don't pose nude with your own siblings.

20min later and I'm still trying to figure out why one would want to write an article about the two most common things on the internet: images and toxic comments.

Based on the content of those twitter accounts, it's nice to see the left and the right coming together on their outrage.

user-156818's picture

The left has gone so far left that they've now become the right. ;-)

Anonymous's picture

Perfect picture. Congrats to models and photographer!

Douglas Neese's picture

much ado about nothing.........

Gabrielle Colton's picture

Absolutely, love this saying lol ;)

Michael Ciurleo's picture

People think too much. It's a cool image. The posing could have been a bit different in my mind, however, there's nothing wrong with it.

Hiram Baasch's picture

Nice pic.

The bottom half of the image looks strange to my eye, like it was a wide angle lens that was shot upwards from under the eye line making the legs and feet look oversized, and the heads a little undersized. Makes the feet look like the most prominent feature of the shot. As for the content... shock piece... we're talking about it, so it worked.

jonas y's picture

This is the kind of censorship I talked about. As artists, I believe we should all reject this madness.

On a social level, this kind of principal-less movement kept pumping out puritanical rules that interfere with art and humanity has to be rejected. We need to setup or return to a standard that we can follow regarding decency, and the standard should be universal instead of based on identity such as gender or color of one's skin.

World you pose your sisters or daughters of the same age this way?

Social media. These whispers from the prudish would’ve otherwise only be shared blushingly during a coffee break, never to be having had any significance or impact. Now everyone’s a hero.