Lea Michele for Nylon Magazine

Posted on August 21, 2012

LEA MICHELE! This is it! This is what we’ve been trying to get you to do for YEARS, girl!

Sweatshirt by Marc by Marc Jacobs, socks by Honeydew, headband by ASOS.

Lea michele covers the September 2012 issue of Nylon magazine photographed by Marvin Scott Jarrett and styled by Daniela Jung. Hair: Daniel Erdman at soloartists.com. Makeup: Melanie Inglessis at Magnet Agency using Nars Cosmetics.


On making people uncomfortable: When I was in Spring Awakening, every night I had to do this nude scene. I always loved to find the one person who I knew was going to be uncomfortable–who throughout the show was cringing in their seat–and when [co-star] Jonathan Groff would undo my top, I loved it!

On being open-minded: I grew up in a very, very different world than a lot of people did. Everyone I knew was gay–the weirdos were the straight people. Obviously we don’t just deal with homosexuality on Glee, but nothing shocks me. Nothing.

On all those diva rumors: I think I was fighting so hard to change [representations of my personality], that I was not really being myself. [But] I came to a place where I’m much happier personally in my life and because of that I really don’t feel like I need to explain anything or be anything. I’m really proud of who I am.

On her love affair with Glee: When the show first started I knew immediately that it was so special. But so much was happening for us so quickly that it was very much a whirlwind. And I don’t know what happened, but when this third season finished, I fell madly in love with it again.

Blazer by Emporio Armani, skirt by Daang Goodman for Tripp NYC, necklace by CC Skye, ring by Louis Vuitton.

Vest by Emporio Armani, top by Edith A. Miller, shorts by Jenni Kayne, pin by Ben-Amun, stylist’s own pin, cuff by Moschino.

Blazer by Love Moschino, swimsuit by Pret-A-Surf, shorts by ASOS, bracelets by Orly Genger by Jaclyn Mayer, sunglasses by Moschino.

Shirt by Love Moschino, shorts by Daang Goodman for Tripp NYC, socks by Urban Outfitters.


Try to ignore all the pouty-lipped sexy-sex posing. We’ve been telling her (in that endearing imaginary way) for years that her persona and appeal is NOT “diva in a gown” or “sexpot.” She comes from a long line of quirky, funny, talented, and sometimes unconventionally beautiful women, from Barbra to Marlo Thomas to Mary Tyler Moore. “America’s Sweetheart” is the term and we so wished she’d learn to embrace that. It was never about the amount of skin she shows, which is usually no more than the average starlet her age, but the fact that it was a persona that doesn’t make the best use of her talents. Cute clothes, girly clothes; lots of layering with adorable little jackets and trendy t-shirts. Big sweaters with leggings. Accessories: great shades, cute hats, adorable purses and shoes that make the ladies squee. That’s the look, girl. Every girl and every gay’s best friend.  This is the closest anyone’s come to doing it the way we think it should be done.

Now if only we could get her to believe that she looks her best and most appealing in these getups and the duckfaces aren’t actually helping her. Then again, neither is the excessive contouring.


[Photo Credit: Marvin Scott Jarrett for nylonmag.com]

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-TallGirl-Freeman/1043623567 Jessica TallGirl Freeman

    That interview did nothing to take her off my “celebrities I irrationally hate” list.  

    • Lori

      This. She’s just so annoying that I can’t imagine her as an America’s Sweetheart type. Maybe she could have pulled it off if she had gone with that from the beginning, but at this point I think she’s well past the ability to pull it off and no amount of wardrobe adjustment is going to fix it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-TallGirl-Freeman/1043623567 Jessica TallGirl Freeman

        Feeling the same way.  I’m not sure these pictures were a huge improvement either.  She tries entirely too hard, regardless of what she says in interviews. 

    • nannypoo

      Don’t worry. There’s nothing irrational about it.

    • http://twitter.com/TheRedZavodnik Ginger

      Oh dear, I don’t think it’s irrational to hate her. 

    • Kayceed


      • PinkLemon

         My thoughts exactly.

    • j_anson

      God yes. And all that posing, christ.

  • Sobaika

    She looks great (minus the preening) and needs to have these stylists on retainer.

    • Sobaika

      On second thought, I didn’t notice those cat ears or whatever is happening on her head on the cover.

      • Jessi03

        I meant to reply to this.  I replied to the wrong one.  Sorry, Sobaika!

    • Jessi03

      I like the cat ears.  If I were a stylist, I’d put all kinds of silliness on self-important hyper image conscious celebrities (case in point, Lea and also JLo).  “No, no.  This is in!  This is what all the kids wear.  Don’t you want to skew young?  Then you stay young forever!  Now add these paw gloves…”

  • charlotte

    So this is only of course-ish. That’s an improvement.

  • call_me_schmeg

    i would actually wear some of these items! can we just ignore the interview and look at the cute clothes? shhhhhh, lea. shh. inside voices…

  • HM3

    I dunno, you guys…that second photo with the Armani blazer still falls smack in the middle of “Of Course” territory.

  • elleg929

    The eye makeup is really bad.  She looks like she woke up after a bender and didn’t wash her face.

  • donkeygospel6

    She’s giving serious Darren Criss Face in that fourth pic. 

  • http://joyouslifesf.wordpress.com Kiltdntiltd

    Big, BIG improvement here. She looks more like a human being and less like a blow up doll in a Dior gown.

    • mjude

      i agree. i do like her she still needs to find the right gay uncles.

  • janetjb

    This is the best I’ve seen from Lea Michele and Nylon.

  • http://twitter.com/crescentgaia Liz Szubert

    My favorite is the one with the heart sunglasses.  She actually looks a bit normal in that one and less pouty face.

  • PeaceBang

    She is the opposite of charming, so these clothes actually turn me off even more than her usual disasters. They’re cute clothes and she’s so uncomfortable posing that the contrast is painful. These clothes need to be worn by someone with a sense of fun who knows and owns her look. I don’t see Miss Michele in the Streisand mode at all: she lacks a sense of humor, she has strong pipes but no real artistry. Yes, she has a prominent shnoz and a musical theatre background  — but she’s nothing original. And I’m totally grossed out by the last photo, which (yet again) casts her in that “barely legal” 8th grade sex kitten mode. Hate.

  • holzfaellen

    The posing (especially in the first picture…) is still a tad ridiculous, but the clothes, oh the clothes! Love the red-white cuff in the second picture!

  • nannypoo

    OK, so maybe this is the best she’s looked, but I still can’t stand her.

  • http://twitter.com/MajorBedhead MajorBedhead

    Those silver shorts look like a diaper. A shiny, shiny diaper.

    I don’t know, I can’t with this girl. I just can’t. 

    • newleaf1

      They also look like they are giving her a serious wedgie.  Ugh.

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    i dont care who she belongs to, i honestly honestly honestly, so help me, do not think people think of her as a sweetheart. america’s or anyone’s. really. maybe i’m not the right person to have a finger on the ordinary world’s zeitgeist, true, but i cant remember anyone from inside the ordinary to the very margins of the extraordinary thinking of saying, as below, i cant stand her about mary tyler moore, say, or marlo thomas. not even about someone as minor cindy– cindy– i cant remember her name any more, played shirley on laverne &, & who played the sweetheart role for the six months before pam dawber took it on, long ago, while ron palillo was still alive & before he came anywhere near out of the closet–& i was a much smaller sprite than i am still. &, of course, when the hate stuff was said about barbra streisand it was either considerably later–way past her sweetheart stage–or pretty much just antisemitism.

    theres a niceness to the people who fit the sweetheart standard–& that niceness, true or faux, hasnt room for the overburdening stench of ambitious & exhibitionism that wafts off this one as if she were running in the junior madonna stakes. it doesnt even matter if that niceness was real–it was what was projected, & people bought it. this one cant project it, doesnt want to & probably never will. it’s probably best for her, anyway, at least now to just get her hotpants on & show them to the world until she can no longer pass as even reasonably attractive. maybe then she’ll wise up a smidgen & do something else. she’s not gonna disappear into the woodwork, for heavens sake.

    • formerlyAnon

      “she’s not gonna disappear into the woodwork, for heavens sake. not unless she’s poisoned.”

      Man, the truth of this cracked me up. (Clearly, I’m not as nice a person as I’d like to think.)

  • Little_Olive

    Sort’a agree and sort’a don’t: It’s better. That may be in the direction she needs to go. She is SO not there and I wouldn’t praise so much. 

    Come to think of it, the released pictures might have been unintentional. She might have picked all those with her “this is my serious sexy face” face as on the first photo.  

    So, still no, Leah. Relax your jaw. Let your eyes sparkle. Breathe through your nose. Try and be normal, for Chrissake. 

  • Imasewsure

    Can’t stand her but I think she looks adorable in the last outfit… no duck face, no sexpot… just cute and quirky

  • Squarah

    I know they are oh so silly, but I adore those cat ears in the cover pic. I wish I could justify owning and wearing them! Apathetic to the rest.

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      Why is she wearing cat ears?

  • kimmeister

    That floral Armani blazer is adorable.  (I would, of course, wear something under it if I had the chance to wear it.)

  • SewingSiren

    I don’t really get why this girl is so disliked. She seems cute and talented. I usually don’t read anything stars say, but the worse thing I can say about the interview excerpt is that she sounds like a  somewhat naive 25 year old,  trying hard to sound very world weary.
    It’s funny that she thinks that anyone who goes to see a play that was written more than 100 years ago is going to be shocked by the content. And that she she is shocked by nothing. I bet she would be shocked if her personal assistant talked back to her. She seems silly in away. But in a neutral way. I save my hate for politicians.

    • AllisonSees

      I think I agree with you.  As someone pointed out, she’s got the pipes (though I can’t judge one way or the other about the artistry) and that’s more than a lot of them can say.  As grating as we can find too much ambition, I question whether it’s really worse than too little — that attitude of just coasting on celebrity and being famous for being famous.  She’s young and says dumb things, but I’m pretty sure everyone that age (including me) is likely to sound all manner of stupid/obnoxious when we talk.  She just doesn’t seem to have someone that she would actually listen to telling her to sit DOWN every once in a while.

    • MinkaL

      I think people are also forgetting that this is just an interview excerpt, not the full interview… Just quotes taken without context. I’ve read the full interview, and I thought she sounded like an awesome person. So I just kind of have to roll my eyes at most of these comments.

    • MilaXX

       she’s more annoying that anything else.

  • Sally3000

    I love her in the navy plaid shorts. In general, I like the short skirt/shorts look on her when paired with a top that provides more coverage and keeps the focus on her great legs.

  • http://twitter.com/jen_canary Jennifer Ford

    Guys, she’s hung out with homosexuals forever. NOTHING shocks her. Nothing. 

    I’ll give her this: she certainly talks like a teenager.

    • Lilak

      Hah!  Exactly!   
      (And that’s how they’ve dressed her here.  Sorry, I don’t think these clothes are “finally, what she should be wearing” — they’re practically a decade too young for her.)

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Space_Kitty Space Kitty

    I agree that the styling is an improvement, but she’s at Kardashian levels of overexposure.  What America’s sweetheart needs is a vacation from the spotlight.

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    I have a friend who worked closely with Lea Michele when she sang “America the Beautiful” at the Superbowl.  My friend said that Lea was a consummate professional who was gracious to everyone, humble and was primarily focused on making sure her performance was the very best it could be.  Compare this to Christina A. who flubbed the lyrics to the National Anthem when they were on a prompter.  Given the friend’s report, Lea Michele seems OK to me.  But I do wish she’d stop trying to be a sex kitten in the photo opportunities she has been given.  I concur with TLo.  I LIKE the idea that she ‘s quirky and attractive and apparently, quite down to earth.   TLo, can you just write her and offer to be her personal Gay Uncles?  

  • Susan Crawford

    She looks . . . CUTE!

    I don’t watch Glee, and I really only have exposure to Lea Michele in red-carpet photos (and, of course, on Tom and Lorenzo) so I am not sure why it is that she inspires so much negativity. Sure, the gossip mags trumpet that she’s a diva and a bee-yotch, but then according to them, pretty much EVERYBODY in film, music and TV is a diva or a bee-yotch, so I take that with a grain of salt.

    Aaanyway – she looks cute, and that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

    • birkatbaby

      I agree.  It’s so impressive to me that an entire following of a website here at TLO are all up in arms together over this celeb.  I wonder how it happened. 

  • formerlyAnon

    I’m not sure I go as far as America’s Sweetheart. So far, she hasn’t oozed the kind of “nice vibes” that go with that. But she darn sure should be dressing for cute & relaxed & fun. It looks so much better on her.  She can’t seem to get the “relaxed” piece down – and, maybe never will, she sings & acts, isn’t a model – but these are an improvement.


  • MilaXX

    She doesn’t need to hit Zooey levels of quirky, but the wannabe Diva looks ring false. If only she could find some middle ground.

  • Trisha26

    Can’t stand her no matter what she’s wearing. And taking delight in making an audience member squirm? Ugh.

  • Tamara Hogan

    Great cover shot. Love it. 

  • DaveinAlamitosBeach

    No no, she shouldn’t aspire to be MTM or Shirley, she should aspire to be Rhoda or Laverne.  Seriously.  She always seems to be behaving the way she thinks she’s supposed to be.  Someone told her to “be sexy,” but she really, really needs to find the comedy in all of it.   And if she can’t be Rhoda, then at least be Diane Chambers – brainy, annoying, perfectionist.  Not a brazen sexpot.

    And I can’t believe this is true but I’ve actually seen Lea Michele live twice at about ten feet away each time.  The first time was in Spring Awakening where she played a really lovely vulnerable teenager.  The second time was at a mini-concert at a restaurant in Hollywood before Glee happened.  She performed in a sundress and flip flops for about an hour and she was low-key and sweet, and incredibly talented.  What happened to THAT girl?!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3JSTXMWWVZN2QNP2UEKJMTWD7U Isabel

    She looks her age. Fab

  • greyhoundgirl

    I am disgusted that in some of these photos her hand seems just about to crawl under her tiny skirt/shorts.  Don’t mind soft (or not soft) porn but not in a fashion spread and not by someone whose idea of sexy is so cliched (the photographer’s must be, too).

  • sweetlilvoice

    I keep thinking of Blossom for some reason. It could be that I’m really look forward to the new season of The Big Bang Theory. 

  • guest2visits

    These are cute pieces and I think she looks good because they actually fit her without looking too tight or too short.
    I mean yeh the shorts are short, obviously. But it’s not couger territory, or borderline burlesque.

  • filmcricket

    I dunno, should she really try for America’s Sweetheart if that’s truly not who she is? I mean, I’m sick of her sternum as much as anyone (Lea, honey, you’ve got great legs. Go with those – they also tend to last longer than great boobs). I’m not saying she needs to wear the goddess gowns all the time.

    But this girl has been onstage since she was eight years old. In terms of her career, she’s closer to the Drew Barrymores and the LiLos of the world than she is to … whoever the twentysomething flavour of the week is. We should be glad she’s not flaming out the way so many child stars do. Just because her parents apparently lived closer to the “Fanning” end of the spectrum than the “Lohan” one, does that mean she should suppress her inner diva? I’m not sure.

    As for this editorial, I hate the clothes, and the contrast between them and the raccoon eye make-up & come-hither stare squicks me out. The only picture I like is the one with the glasses: where her expression matches the outfit.

  • quiltrx

    Her hair looks really good in these shots.  I have no opinion of her, really (not a Glee person).

  • frankystein123

    For once she did not try to be vamp, good for her.

  • minnye

    I don’t have a strong feeling one way or the other about her, but I think she ought to learn to work the angles of her face.

  • AudreysMom

    This woman is such a contradiction. No wait, considering her apparent behavior, she clearly hasn’t left adolescence. Here’s someone with the talent of a Barbra Streisand who dresses herself/allows to be dressed as a slutty Lolita (see tiny plaid skirt shot). With the short shorts, ‘baby wants some candy’ looks, and costuming, yet another display of a talented woman who stays in the public eye as the fulfillment of men’s fantasies. Please. THAT is the reason I find LM insufferable yet more than many, pathetic.

  • http://twitter.com/amndad amanda lynn

    baby Idina!