2014: The Triumphant Year Of The Intelligent Fashion Underdogs (PHOTOS)

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Out of the dense morning fog in New York City this morning, came a treat we were all anticipating, but not really waiting on: Lena Dunham on the cover of Vogue Magazine.

In retrospect, we should have noted the patterns: Lena’s absence from all TV-issue glossy magazines while her fellow cast flourished, Anna Wintour making a loud appearance on the GIRLS premiere red carpet swaddled in Prada despite the polar vortex, and of course, Lena’s recently polished red carpet looks that are a departure from Hannah’s frumpy ‘fits and home haircuts. The signs were there, but they didn’t make the arrival of a kohl rim-eyed Lena on the cover any less exciting, because for the first time in a long time (we’re talking Grace Jones long) the publications who celebrate modelesque perfection are making role models out of women who are celebrated for something other than their looks.

In the previous months, we have seen an uptick in cover features, not back of the mag features, of celebrity women who aren’t renowned for their number on a scale, but for their actual skill. And it’s quite a beautiful thing.  

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Melissa McCarthy on the cover of the November Issue of ELLE Magazine sparked a bit of controversy amidst claims that her body was shielded in an oversize coat, and the controversy arose again when Mindy Kaling was put on the February issue of the magazine. Critics claimed it was offensive Mindy’s face was cropped in on, rather than showing her body like the other, thinner actresses who were also featured. In both cases, the women made it very clear they had no quarrels about their cover images and loved the outcome, and so we continued to love them as well.

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And much like last year’s love for Viola Davis, this year’s awards season obsession isn’t a conventional blonde, it’s first-timer Lupita Nyong’o. She doesn’t have flowing weaves and facial features that epitomize the European standards of beauty. She has a dazzling smile, a cropped natural haircut and a penchant for bright lipstick – and photographs like a professional.

From Lena on Vogue, to Mindy on ELLE, and Lupita on Dazed, it’s safe to say that this season isn’t about stick-thin perfection, it’s about women being feted for their creative ingenuity in a world dominated by unreachable beauty ideals, and that is a trend beyond any runway that I sincerely hope doesn’t fade.

Raise your glasses and cheers to the women who are “it” for a little something more than their looks.

-Rachel Hislop

Rachel is the Style Editor for GlobalGrind.com, proud graduate of a SUNY school, and as sarcastic as they come. Follow her on Twitter for random daily ramblings @MiissHislop and on Instagram for as many puppy photos and selfies as you can handle @AmazingRach 

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