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Uncovered: Grazia honours the heroes of health care

Great magazine covers are a cultural moment distilled to its essence. Even for fashion magazines it is tempting to use a historic event like the current corona crisis to create impact but mistakes are easily made (see this recent cover of Vogue Portugal) and there is a risk of being accused of woke washing. Fortunately some fashion magazines do understand how to handle the crisis: be relevant and respectful.

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Grazia Magazine in the UK has paid tribute to NHS staff (National Health Service) serving on the frontline of the coronavirus outbreak with a dedicated special issue celebrating health workers. Even better: digital downloads of the landmark edition are being made freely available to all NHS workers.

In regular times, U.K. weekly fashion magazine Grazia is likely to feature celebrities of the caliber of Meghan Markle, Gwyneth Paltrow or Kate Moss on its front cover. However, the April 6 issue is a little different: it features four different covers, all featuring a different frontline female healthcare workers. The cover stars include an intensive care doctor, a nurse and a paramedic, as well as U.K. Member of Parliament Rosena Allin-Khan, who is also an emergency room doctor. They all feature the copy « From the Frontline. » Their stories can be read inside the magazine.

NHS workers

“The great covers […are] most of all, a cultural moment [..] distilled to its essence.”

Featuring four split covers each displaying a different member of staff the magazine was diligently put together by staff working from home with photographers obeying social distancing guidelines by capturing their subjects in hospital car parks at the required distance.

Grazia editor Hattie Brett commented: “Undoubtedly there are many heroes that have emerged over the last few weeks – from delivery drivers and supermarket workers to teachers keeping classrooms open. But those on the frontline, most exposed to the virus, are the NHS workers. They’re going above and beyond to battle the physical and emotional effects of Covid-19 – risking their own lives to help us all. We owe them all enormous gratitude; and this week’s issue of Grazia is our attempt to say thank you to the NHS and let their workers send a clear message to us all.

“The cover shoot was like none I’ve ever worked on; shot in a matter of minutes in the car parks of NHS hospitals, maintaining social distancing, before Dr Janitha Gowribalan, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, paramedic Sarah Blanchard and nurse Richenda Browne went back to their day jobs – saving lives.”

Grazia publisher Lauren Hollyoake, added: “The team have created a powerful issue – all done with each individual member working from their own home. An outstanding feat. Grazia will continue to create relevant first-class content and adapt in order to connect with the changing lives of our audience in the coming weeks and months.”

Source: The Drum

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