Vice has always been good at stirring up controversy, and a new photo spread shows the magazine is still at the top of its game. The piece, titled “Last Words,” shows women portraying literary icons who committed suicide. Each model poses in the way in which the writer took their life. For Iris Chang, the model holds a gun pointed toward her face; for Sylvia Plath, the model is depicted staring at an open oven. You get the idea.
Last Words is gross because it glamorizes suicide. There’s nothing sexy, fashionable, or edgy, about people killing themselves. Hell, the least Vice could’ve done was list some of the writers’ work. But nah, why do anything to distract from the goal of trolling people?
Vice has — once again — managed to attract attention by publishing low brow material. Let’s not act surprised, or for that matter, upset. Let’s just acknowledge the fact that Vice is consistent.
Update (2:16 pm):
Vice has removed Last Words from its website. In its place is the following statement:
“Last Words” is a fashion spread featuring models reenacting the suicides of female authors who tragically ended their own lives. It is part of our 2013 Fiction Issue, one that is entirely dedicated to female writers, photographers, illustrators, painters, and other contributors.
The fashion spreads in VICE Magazine are always unconventional and approached with an art editorial point-of-view rather than a typical fashion photo-editorial one. Our main goal is to create artful images, with the fashion message following, rather than leading.
“Last Words” was created in this tradition and focused on the demise of a set of writers whose lives we very much wish weren’t cut tragically short, especially at their own hands. We will no longer display “Last Words” on our website and apologize to anyone who was hurt or offended.