The Seven Deadly Sins
© Copyright 2018
Producing a magazine for Midwest Model Agency seemed like such a simple task. Like any other fashion magazine, it would feature beautiful people in beautiful clothing in a beautiful location. Simple enough, right?
Gwen Page (magazine consultant) and David Whitney (producer) discussed the dresses, costumes, models, and theme for the project. It was brilliant, but it still needed to be brought to life. To help with that daunting feat, we researched how other fashion magazines did things.

That makes sense. Seeing what the famous magazines do to reach their worldwide audiences would give us the blueprint for what we should do to achieve the same results.

By David Whitney and Gwen Page
That makes sense. Seeing what the famous magazines do to reach their worldwide audiences would give us the blueprint for what we should do to achieve the same results.
Before we go any further, let us review the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Heavenly Virtues. They are characteristics that can be found in small dosages amongst all human beings. There are color schemes for each one you can easily find on the internet.
We scheduled photo shoots, it started to really hit us that someone would have to wear red and be the embodiment of Lust. But our goal is to be family-friendly. How do we accomplish this?
Now, back to researching famous magazines. When David Whitney first decided to create a magazine, he researched popular fashion magazines to see what he needed to do. He was shocked. Mostly, he was shocked because he wasn’t impressed.
Growing up, he knew fashion magazines as a piece of literature with stories dealing with fashion but most importantly; beauty. Beauty was the heart and soul of all endeavors in the magazine. Beauty in fashion, in art, in the mind and body. Beauty found in values, faces, and places. But that’s not what can be found there anymore.
These magazines also live in a bizarre fantasy world. They seem to have the solitary purpose of creating an unrealistic world and a point of view that mimics real life, but lacks real life circumstances that real people deal with. They sell the audience on the idea of perfection and the path to their perfection is listening to their advice in what they eat, wear and do.
Our photo shoot had two objects that we used for symbolism. The apple and the rose. The apple was a Biblical element, referring to how the choice of the apple was the beginning of the path of sin. However, the rose is symbolic of virtue as seen by how the ‘rosa mystica’ is Mary, Jesus’s mother.
In life, we are presented many choices. Some of these choices are extremely difficult to make. We all have dealt with temptation to steal, lie, cheat, or commit acts of violence. But we also have the choice to not give in. We’re human. We are not perfect. We will sin. But the important part to remember is that virtues give balance to our lives.

If kindness did not exist, we could not resist the temptation to become mean and angry, nor would we appreciate kindness as much when we received a smile rather than a frown. The same can be said with every sin and every virtue.
We needed a big article with lots of models featured, or at least that’s what we decided. The meeting was long and there were many wonderful ideas discussed until we all agreed upon “The Seven Deadly Sins” as the featured topic.

Modern fashion magazines are now filled with politics. Not just any politics either, but slanted articles with agendas that the authors and editors don’t bother trying to hide. Agendas that have nothing to do with fashion or beauty.
Envy is cultivated in these magazines. Lust is promoted. Pride is pursued as the primary goal. Sloth is found slightly hidden in articles like “19 Foolproof Beauty Tricks That Will Make You Instantly Look Better In Photos” from Cosmopolitan. Wrath hangs in the air like a viper waiting to strike anyone who gets in the way of the fashion industry. They seem to have a nice grasp of beauty and fashion, or so their audience assumes. Greed seems to be the driving force for their lives and the lives they inspire in their audiences. Attaining wealth and material possessions rather than growing lasting relationships with people of virtue.
So, rather than portray our models in compromising positions, place them in suggestive poses, or even dress them in daring ways; we will let the colors portray the sins. We will let the beauty of their faces and the beauty of their surroundings show off the virtues of life.
We don’t need to show the ugly parts of life in a fictional story. We all know the horrors and blights of life first hand. No one welcomes a reminder of those atrocious things.
Let us name the virtues: Chastity, Temperance, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, and Humility.

Midwest Model Magazine is designed to be different. We’re no longer interested with competing with the other fashion magazines. Not on their turf anyway.

We are going to celebrate beauty in all it’s forms, and we’re going to do it in our own beautiful way. We are going to celebrate the diverse beauty we have and share it with the world so that everyone can see what we are so proud to display.
For us, the temptation to be like the rest and imitate modern ‘fashion’ magazines was staring us in the face, daring us to make a move and mocking us with sentiments like, “If you want to ever become something, you’ve got to do it our way”.

Well guess what?

We resisted.