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TIME Explain The Mysterious Woman On Their 'Person of the Year' Cover

TIME Explain The Mysterious Woman On Their 'Person of the Year' Cover

It's that time of year where TIME magazine tends to release its Person of The Year - and this year, it isn't Donald Trump. After all, he turned it down... Apparently. He got first runner-up instead.

Instead, the influential magazine has given 2017's accolade to 'The Silence Breakers' - the numerous women who called out sexual harassment and assault this year.


On the cover, you can see five prominent women who championed the #MeToo movement in 2017: Ashley Judd, Taylor Swift, Susan Fowler, Adama Iwu, and Isabel Pascual, an anonymous woman whose name was changed to protect her identity.

However, if you look more closely at the cover, you can also see the right elbow of an anonymous figure whose face isn't visible. Is this some sort of mistake? Of course not.

In an interview with American morning breakfast show Today on Wednesday, TIME's Editor in Chief Edward Felsenthal was more than happy to shed light on the mysterious woman.

In the interview Felsenthal explained that the woman is symbolic of all the victims of sexual misconduct - male, female or otherwise - who perhaps aren't famous and have yet to step forward to tell their story. Pretty bold and clever.


"The image you see partially on the cover is of a woman we talked to, a hospital worker from the middle of the country, who doesn't feel that she can come forward without threatening her livelihood," Felsenthal said.

TIME's National Correspondent Charlotte Alter told Buzzfeed News that the inclusion of the elbow was 'very intentional'.

"A huge part of this story we're trying to tell here is that as much as the stigma around this has been removed this year because of the 'Me Too' movement, it's still really difficult for a lot of people to come forward," she said.

The cover image - shot by photographer team Billy & Hells - was actually a composite of two photo shoots which took place in San Francisco and Los Angeles. They also created a series of 24 more photos beyond the cover image.

Describing their 'Person of the Year' decision, TIME explained how Judd, Pascual, Fowler, and Iwu gathered in San Fran to meet and pose for the image, joined by an anonymous woman described as 'a young hospital worker who had flown in from Texas'.

"She too is a victim of sexual harassment but was there anonymously, she said, as an act of solidarity to represent all those who could not speak out," TIME noted.

"From a distance, these women could not have looked more different. Their ages, their families, their religions and their ethnicities were all a world apart ... But on that November morning, what separated them was less important than what brought them together: a shared experience."

Featured Image Credit: TIME

Topics: News, Sexual Assault, sexual harassment, US News, Time

Chris Ogden

Chris Ogden is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing before completing his NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism. Chris has previously written for the independent culture magazine The Skinny, among other publications.


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