“I am all for people finding enjoyment and beauty wherever and whenever they can. But I do think there’s an opportunity to sync with these images and the photographers and with other women pictured in the archive. We can do all of these things at once. We can hold the pandemic and the protests and the beauty of Viola Davis and her magnificent back—her stunning image—and hold that constant with what is meant to have been inspired by, and what is in the archive that also adds to that and complicates it.”
Jessica Marie Johnson, Assistant Professor, Department of History, on the controversy stirred by cover photos featuring actress Viola Davis and gymnast Simone Biles in Vanity Fair and Vogue, respectively.
Vox, July 23, 2020