As Ashley Mears, a former model who's now a sociology professor at Boston University, detailed in her book Pricing Beauty, bookers and agents often prefer a challenging, unconventional look. With so many models competing for the top jobs, it's natural that uncommon beauty is so highly valued — but the problem with uncommon beauty is … well, not everyone agrees that it's beautiful. Cara Delevingne is an example of a model whose newfound print success has opened her to criticism most of us couldn't bear. As Paulina Porizkova put it in the HBO documentary About Face: Supermodels Then and Now, "What I didn't know [when I was getting into modeling as a teenager], is that when they tell you you're beautiful, they can also say you're ugly."
This is all to say, I don't know what happens in Bette Franke's private casting meetings, but at least on the Internet, the rising model's beauty is as uncontested as it gets. The 23-year-old Dutch model has a look that's both alien and classic — no surprise that her career's climbing steadily. After a couple outstanding runway seasons, Franke started booking more and more print jobs, recently appearing in Miu Miu's well-received Spring 2013 campaign. She's also covered Vogue Netherlands, Vogue Japan, a Vogue Japan beauty supplement — and now Vogue Turkey.
Not all Vogues are created equal (the American, French, British and Italian editions are arguably the ones to lead the pack), but a Vogue is still a Vogue and models strive to appear on one of its covers or in editorials as it often leads to more high profile editorial gigs and lucrative commercial work. So there's something seriously disturbing about the raw deal Franke's getting from the Vogue family.
(Pssst…there's more below the slideshow, so keep scrolling.)
Vogue Turkey July 2013
Disappointing, right? The styling is flat, her pose is awkward and confused — the whole effect is limp, washed-out.
Vogue Japan July 2013
The publication tried to give the model a little boost of hype by styling her with the infamous Chanel hula hoop bag, but the selected photo is another disappointment. Everyone needs to stop with the tangerine lipstick.
Vogue Netherlands March 2013
More bad choices: the hat, the eye makeup, the hair color.
Vogue Japan beauty supplement April 2013
This is much nicer than her later full cover for the publication, despite the chair on her head. SHE'S WEARING A CHAIR ON HER HEAD. Expert modeling.
Image: GQ Japan via Forums
If it weren't for the rest of Franke's work (her Google Image search results page is a sea of maddening beauty), you might think she wasn't right for print work despite her success on the runway, but that's clearly not the case. The Dutch model is photogenicity personified, and that's not even a real word.
But right when I started to worry that there was some kind of vast international Vogue conspiracy to destroy Franke's fledgling career, images from an editorial spread she did for the publication's August 2013 Japan edition appeared online a couple days ago:
Lovely justice. Styled by Giovanna Battaglia and photographed by Sharif Hamza.
- Bette Franke Appears on the Cover of Vogue Japan July 2013, Carrying the Chanel Hula Hoop Bag
- C’mon Vogue Netherlands. Why Did You Do This to Bette Franke? (Forum Buzz)
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