Women everywhere have been going crazy over Glamour’s photo of “the girl on p. 194“.
When I saw it for the first time, I had a flood of so many emotions as
I saw a women, in a major women’s magazine, whose body more closely
resembled mine. I mean, her stomach is actually resting on her lap!
And, she is BEAUTIFUL! Stomach, stretch marks, and all! Of course I
posted a link to the picture on Twitter (where I first came across it)
and Facebook, and over and over the response to this is overwhelming as
women are saying “at last!”
The editors have been inundated by letters and comments from readers
who love this picture, and we need to let them know unequivocally that
we want MORE MORE MORE of different body types represented. And not
just for articles that talk about loving the skin you’re in (i.e.
loving your fat body) but for their “regular” fashion and beauty
features as well.
So here is the letter I wrote to them. I encourage you to share it or write your own.
Dear Editors at Glamour Magazine
I stopped reading Glamour magazine about a year ago when I began
therapy to work on my body image and disordered eating habits. When
every page in your magazine, as well as other women’s magazines,
displays unrealistic, photoshopped images of women who look like they
should be in an eating disorder clinic, it sends most of us — even the
most rational thinkers — chasing after unattainable ideals and living
in a perpetual state of failure for not being able to do so. I even
wrote an article, Why Your Magazine Wants You to Fail,
about how I believe it is in the interest of most women’s magazines to
keep women feeling bad about themselves because it keeps them longing
to be the type of women represented in magazines like yours.
I came across the picture of “the girl on p. 194″ in my online
networking communities that are focused on body image and encouraging
women to love themselves unconditionally inside and out. When I saw the
photo, it caught my breath. Even as I type this, the photo of Lizzi is
in the background, and I just love, LOVE to look at it. One simple
picture, because of its placement, has had an immediate and profound
effect on women, the depth of which I hope you understand.
As the story of this image spreads throughout women’s
communities across the internet, there is a shared sense of recognition
that someone who actually does represent the general population was not
only featured, but represented as a standard of beauty. Some words I
have heard, in addition to the responses you have already written about
are ‘healing’, ‘relief’, ‘validation’ and ‘gratitude’ for showing what
a real woman’s body looks like, and that what many see as flaws are
instead a beautiful and unique piece of a larger picture.
After seeing the image online, I immediately went out to buy a
copy of the magazine, which, unlike most of the magazines I get that I
recycle when finished, I will keep forever, as evidence of the
momentous occasion when a mainstream women’s fashion magazine
recognized women like me as beautiful.
Although I am not ready to renew my subscription to Glamour
magazine quite yet, I PROMISE you I will as soon as you have a photo
like the one p. 194 displayed on your front cover.
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