For Caitlyn Jenner, an old-school vision of beauty

Caitlyn Jenner's image on Vanity Fair is more Marilyn Monroe than Kim Kardashian

An ivory satin corset, milky white skin and bouncing waves — it’s an old-school vision of beauty for Caitlyn Jenner, nee Bruce.

Jenner introduced Caitlyn to the world on Monday, posing for the new cover of Vanity Fair shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz.

The image is more Marilyn Monroe (who, incidentally, would have turned 89 Monday) than Kim Kardashian, Jenner’s famous stepdaughter who has redefined the female ideal and challenged ethnic stereotypes by moving the focus from the bust to bum, and letting anything and everything hang out.

Then again, Jenner is 65 years old and would have grown up with traditional corseted images of mom, Esther, and sisters Lisa and Pam, in the 1950s and early 1960s. And introducing Caitlyn as a hyper-traditional-looking trans woman is smashing its own kind of stereotype by saying to the world, "There’s nothing to be afraid of, you’ve seen this before.”

Jenner’s facial and body hair have been removed, her nose fixed and trachea shaved. But she has not undergone genital surgery, according to the article.

It’s appropriate that Jenner chose Vanity Fair for the debut. In 1991, Demi Moore debuted her nude, pregnant bod on the cover of the magazine, defiantly proud of her body and announcing to the world that it was worthy of celebrating rather than hiding. The image, also shot by Leibovitz, helped launch a trend of flaunting your bump, which reverberated throughout culture, helping to spark interest in pregnant celebrities and their offspring, and to spawn pregnancy chic clothing lines and accessories.

No doubt, Jenner hopes this cover will do the same, sparking a celebration and understanding of transgender individuals.

Jenner will be honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award July 15 at the ESPYs, where she will be joined by all 10 of her children and stepchildren, according to the Vanity Fair article. It will be interesting to see what she chooses to wear.

booth.moore@latimes.com

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