The April Issue Of British Vogue Is An Ode To Joy

Blazoned across the cover of Vogue’s April issue is a word I have been thinking about a lot recently: joy. Given the state of the world, even to write it down feels slightly daring. However, as basic human needs go, in recent times we have all had an insight into the importance of joy, and why it should never be taken for granted.

Of course, when life gets tough, joy can too easily be lost, and life has certainly been tough of late. That said, what I find almost equally worrying, and certainly more insidious, is how in dark days the pursuit of happiness is seen as somehow inappropriate.

I couldn’t disagree more – such perspectives are more than a little shortsighted. For many people, long before this pandemic began, the urge to feel happy and positive – to, as our cover proclaims, “find your joy” – has been an everyday struggle. Given the events of the last 12 months, I hope that we all have a greater appreciation of that, and some increased empathy, too. So many lives are lived under the daily pressures of hardship and discrimination, of stresses both personal and societal, which mean that fighting for happiness is simply a part of existence. Taking pleasure in things large or small (and sometimes very small at the moment) is not a frivolous act. I would agree wholeheartedly with the notion, then, that joy is political.

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