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ICYMI: Why a ‘mysterious woman’ appeared as Time’s ‘Person of the year’

The sixth and obscured face on the Time ‘Person of the year’ cover is symbolic of all the victims who have yet to come forward and may be struggling to do so fearing repercussions.

world Updated: Dec 07, 2017 17:53 IST
Time,Time person of the year,Person of the year
The cover of Time magazine’s annual “Person of the Year” issue unveiled on Wednesday packs a subtle yet powerful message. (Time.com)

The cover of Time magazine’s annual “Person of the Year” issue unveiled on Wednesday packs a subtle yet powerful message.

The magazine has featured those behind the #MeToo campaign, the social movement that brought the harrowing stories of women’s sexual harassment and assaults in public, as the “Silence Breakers”.

The cover photo has activist Adama Iwu, actor Ashley Judd, singer Taylor Swift, Mexican strawberry picker Isabel Pascual and former Uber engineer Susan Fowler and a sixth woman whose face appears to have been cut off but on purpose.

Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal later revealed that the faceless woman on the bottom left corner is a young hospital worker from Texas, also a victim of sexual harassment who feared that disclosing her identity would affect her family and livelihood.

“The image you see partially on the cover is of a woman we talked to … who doesn’t feel that she can come forward without threatening her livelihood,” he told NBC News.

Felsenthal said that the obscured face is symbolic of all the victims who have yet to come forward and may be struggling to do so fearing repercussions.

The deliberate and meaningful artistic choice to use an anonymous symbolism highlights the fact that it’s not just prominent personalities but women from all walks of life are victims of sexual assault and harassment.

The reference instantly struck a chord with people on social media as many lauded the publication for the bold decision.

Time’s annual issue recognises a person, group, thing or idea that it thinks had the greatest influence on the events of the year.

First Published: Dec 07, 2017 14:01 IST