The July edition of ELLE is marketed as the magazine’s first-ever Women in Comedy issue. The special will be released with four different covers; one graced by Kristen Wiig, another with Kate McKinnon, one for Leslie Jones and one for Melissa McCarthy with interviews conducted by friends throughout all versions.
While ELLE never claimed to be an encyclopedia of all rising and underground female comedians, it’s a pretty limited line-up comprising this self-appointed “Women in Comedy” issue. Besides three of the four owing their professional starts to SNL, those featured as the alleged leading ladies of comedy obviously comprise the ensemble cast of the new “Ghostbusters” reboot. As of now, no information has been released implying the rest of the magazine will explore or promote lesser-known female comedians lacking ties to the franchise. It seems like this edition will focus on the experiences of four women instead of exploring any kind of history of women in comedy to alert lay-readers to the climate in comedy or what context “Ghostbusters” exists within. The co-stars’ interviews may shed some light on these circumstances, but that’s only educating readers under the masthead of a marquee. Considering the long-anticipated film opening in theaters the same month, the issue feels like more of a promotional stunt than social activism.
It’s been an interesting evolution as brands utilize the label of feminism as yet another marketing strategy. The commercialization of female empowerment seeks to link what consumers are instructed to buy or not buy with attaining a feeling of authentic feminism. Whether or not the movie is fun or worth the cost of a movie ticket is subjective, dependent on the film’s merits and only to be known come July.While each of these women undoubtably deserves the spotlight they are getting, we can’t help but think that ELLE isn’t showcasing female talent as part of a sisterly relationship of support; it’s just another advertisement.