All's fair in love and the fashion media

Actresses steal supermodels' lunch! Plus: Naomi Campbell warbles for the masses.

By Janelle Brown
Published April 16, 2001 7:30PM (EDT)

Another month, another array of fashion magazines with actresses on the covers. Renée "I Hate Ice Cream" Zellweger graces the cover of Vogue, reminding us all that she should be gagged lest she once again tell the world how easy it was for her to lose the 20 pounds she gained for "Bridget Jones's Diary." Ashley Judd smirks on the cover of Harper's Bazaar. And Uma Thurman gazes serenely out from the cover of Elle.

It seems that actresses get to have all the fun these days. While supermodels get trussed up in corsets and trip their way down runways in 4-inch stilettos, the starlets get fed bonbons (well, in Zellweger's case, egg whites), pampered by editors and thrust on the covers of magazines. In fact, models so rarely get covers these days that the one time "it" model Karolina Kurkova showed up on the cover of Vogue, it was actually news. That lucrative Lancôme spokesmodel contract? It went to Thurman. L'Oréal? Virginie "The Beach" Ledoyen. Maybelline? Sarah Michelle Gellar. Cindy Crawford was dumped by Revlon, and rumors were that her face would be replaced by the mug of precocious Hollywood ingenue Kate Hudson.

Meanwhile, even über-super-mega-model Gisele Bundchen is finding the screws tightening around her. Sure, she nabbed Leonardo DiCaprio as a boyfriend, but last week the happy couple had to put their upcoming nuptials on hold: Her modeling contract forbids her from marrying Leo for another five years, according to Fashion Wire Daily. (Which is, of course, good news for both teenage girls and the lingerie-catalog-reading men of the world.)

What with the Draconian contracts and cover snubs, it's tough to be a supermodel these days. So perhaps it's no wonder that models are looking for careers elsewhere. Unfortunately, the proper route back to those covers is probably not via Hollywood, as witnessed by the miserable failure of most supermodel acting stints (read: Cindy Crawford). Which explains, perhaps, Kate Moss' recent decision to try a film career -- behind the camera. Moss is planning to adapt a children's book called "Good Fairies of New York" to film. (Perhaps the film's publicity can include stills from her latest Gucci campaign, in which she is naked but for a shredded T-shirt and bondage stiletto heels. The kids will love it!)

And despite the fact that Naomi Campbell's first pop album tanked (if you didn't know she put out a pop album, you are not alone), the notoriously mercurial model is signing another deal. (At least she already has the diva behavior down.) And Gisele, who apparently hasn't spent much time chatting with Crawford recently, also wants to try her hand at acting; Fashion Wire Daily reports that she's pursuing a role in an upcoming movie about a Brazilian sect called "Muckers." Perhaps Zellweger will give Gisele some acting tips -- that is, if she's not too busy being Vogue's new couture mannequin. If nothing else, she might take pity on the poor supermodel and share some of her egg whites.

Janelle Brown

Janelle Brown is a contributing writer for Salon.

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