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Vogue Portugal defends controversial mental health cover

Vogue Portugal defends controversial mental health cover

By fijivillage
Monday 06/07/2020
Vogue Portugal recent magazine

Vogue Portugal has responded to criticism over its depiction of mental health treatment on a recent magazine cover saying its aim was to "shine a light" on the important issue.

The "Madness Issue" features a woman in a bathtub in a hospital setting with a nurse pouring water over her head.

Mental health experts and sufferers said the cover depicted a "dystopian" and "outdated" idea of treatment.

Vogue Portugal said the image was intended to "start a discussion".

"The cover story explores the historical context of mental health and is designed to reflect real life and authentic stories," the publisher said in a statement posted on Twitter on Saturday.

"Inside the issue features interviews and contributions from psychiatrists, sociologists, psychologists and other experts," the statement added.


View this post on Instagram

THE MADNESS ISSUE. COVER 1/4 It’s about love. It’s about life. It’s about us. It’s about you. It’s about now. It’s about health. It’s about mental health. #themadnessissue It’s about time. . Edição julho/agosto disponível em vogue.pt/shop Nas bancas disponível a partir de 10 de julho. ___
 July/August issue available at vogue.pt/shop Newsstands available from July 10th. . Photography @branislavsimoncik Styling @ninaford_ @nemamconaseba Hair @janmolnarofficial Make up @lukaskimlicka Models @simonakirchnerova Assistants Branislav Waclav / @PatrikHopjak / @fosia.rvs @exitmodelmanagement . #vogueportugal @lighthouse.publishing #editorinchief @sofia.slucas #creativedirection @jsantanagq

A post shared by Vogue Portugal (@vogueportugal) on


'Very bad taste'

Portuguese model Sara Sampaio said images like the one portrayed on the Vogue Portugal cover "should not be representing the conversation about mental health".

Ms Sampaio, who said she had suffered with mental health issues herself, said she considered it "very bad taste".

"It looks like its in an [outdated] mental hospital" that used to "torture" patients, she said in a video posted on social media.

She added that it comes at a particularly sensitive time "because of Covid and the way that mental health has been dealt with" while many people have been isolated or directly affected by the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

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