A recent photo on the cover of Vogue Hommes International magazine has women’s rights and domestic violence advocacy groups upset. The cover features Stephanie Seymour being choked by model Marlon Teixeira.
According to the Daily Mail, four organization leaders came together to write a letter to Conde Nast, the publisher for the magazine. The letter explained how offensive and disturbing the image is, and how it “glorifies violence against women as an act of love.”
Sanctuary for Families, Safe Horizon, Equality Now, and the New York Chapter of NOW said in their letter that “choking is not a fashion statement, and certainly not something that should be used to sell in magazines.”
The photo features the woman in a pose suggesting she enjoys the choking, as does the male doing the choking. The advocacy groups said the image sends a dangerous message to those who read it, causing them to believe “choking is a sign of passion rather than of violence.”
The photographer was Terry Richardson, who was accused in 2010 of sexually harassing a model.
Upon opening the magazine, readers are shown images of the fashion spread, featuring Teixeria touching Seymour’s breast, and Seymour grabbing Teixeria’s pants.
In the letter, the groups pointed out the dangers and prevalence of domestic violence in today’s world.
They added that 11 cities had found 43% of women killed by domestic partners had experienced “at least one previous episode of choking” before they were murdered.
They explained that New York State had made choking a felony because of these startling statistics, and that “advocates, prosecutors, police officers, and survivors throughout the State have embraced the law as a way to save women’s lives.”
Along with asking that Conde Nast remove the cover from newsstands “immediately,” they have also asked the publishing giant to pledge not to use violent images again.