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Beyonce performs at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S. on February 12, 2017. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)
Beyonce performs at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S. on February 12, 2017. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)


The Week in Women: Beyoncé takes on Vogue, an emoji controversy, and a pioneering war photographer

By Brigit Katz on August 3, 2018

They say a picture is worth a thousand words which, ahem, is not an expression that we love. But we won’t deny the power of an arresting image, and our latest newsletter is devoted to the photos and videos (and emojis) that made an impact this week. Let’s take a look back, shall we?

Our queen Beyoncé was given full creative control over the cover of Vogue’s upcoming September issue, and she has chosen 23-year-old Tyler Mitchell for the shoot—marking the first time that a black photographer has been hired for the job in the magazine’s 126-year history.  Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour is known for wielding exacting control over the publication­—normally, cover models are given little say about what outfits are worn or what photos are chosen for the cover—but a special exemption has been made for Bey, because you don’t say no to the woman who conquered the Louvre in a purple suit.

This week marked the 108th birthday of Gerda Taro, widely considered to be the first female wartime photojournalist. Taro was also the first female photographer to die while working in a conflict zone; she was covering the Spanish Civil War in 1937 when a tank crashed into a car that she was riding in. Before her untimely death at the age of 26, Taro, who was German-born, captured images of troops and refugees from the frontlines of the war, and sold them to French newspapers. She was remembered this week with a Google Doodle.

Marie Laguerre, who posted an awful video of a man slapping her on the streets of Paris after she rebuked him for making lewd comments, has launched a website that allows victims of harassment to share their stories. The platform, titled Nous Toutes Harcelement (“We are all harassed”), lets victims share their experiences anonymously; Laguerre said she created the space because “speaking is really important.” Days after Laguerre posted the video of her attack, French lawmakers officially passed a bill to make sexually harassing women in public a crime punishable by fines of up to $885.

The Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit organization that oversees the implementation of emojis on phones and social media, may add a one-piece bathing suit emoji following calls from women who want a less sexualized alternative to the bikini emoji. “I have nothing against bikinis,” Florie Hutchinson, co-founder of the group that suggested the addition, told the New York Times. “But not every woman or girl wants to wear one, and they should have the ability to make another choice.” The proposed change has been getting some pushback, however. Two (male) members of the International Organization for Standardization derided the one-piece emoji as unnecessary and mockingly asked whether “a Victorian bathing costume” should also be included. We have emojis for poops, barfs, pagers and saunas, but yeah, guess we have to draw the line somewhere.