The spread—called “Last Words”—features fashion models styled and posed as famous female authors, such as Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath, in the moments before they committed suicide. The section was published in Vice‘s 2013 Fiction Issue, devoted to female writers.
One model is shown kneeling before a gas oven, another wades into the water, and a third uses her tights to hang herself. The images even went so far as to include fashion credits for each item—you know, in case seeing a model with a gun in her mouth inspires you to want to buy her scarf.
Jezebel called the photo layout “almost breathtakingly tasteless.” Fishbowl NY said, “There’s nothing sexy, fashionable, or edgy about people killing themselves,” and Salon proclaimed the spread to be “maximum trolling.”
Vice pulled the spread from the website and offered an apology: