Glamour readers shocked by this photo; what do you think?

CLICK HERE FIRST TO SEE THE PHOTO.

DON’T READ ON UNTIL YOU SEE THE PHOTO.

Glamour magazine ran in its September issue a story about body image and how other people see things in your body, you can’t. With the story they commissioned a photo of a mostly naked woman who looks like an actual real woman – meaning she has curves and a roll of fat around her stomach.

Apparently readers went crazy writing in because they were soooo thrilled to actually see a woman in a magazine who looks like them – who looks normal! (It’s like those Dove ads everybody loved because they were real women.)

There were so many letter that the editor had to write to address the issue.

Here is the original story that ran in Glamour magazine.

Here is a letter from the editor talking about the mail they have received about this one model’s photo.

I didn’t know the background to this story before I clicked on the picture and was really surprised to see a lady with a pooch. I literally thought to myself “Hey, that looks like me.” The next thing I wondered was why are they using a naked photo of a lady with a pooch, which was exactly their point.

The only disheartening thing about this whole story is the fact that the model is considered a “PLUS-SIZE MODEL” because of those curves and that roll. And that ladies, brings us back to reality!

What did you think of the photo? Were you surprised to see it in a fashion magazine? Did you think she looked fat? Did you think she looked “normal”? Should magazines feature more photos of “regular” women? Did she alter your thoughts about your own body? Do you think she should be labeled a Plus-Size model?

77 comments Add your comment

lakerat

September 3rd, 2009
7:57 am

Interesting read – however, the most telling thing in reading the Editor-in-Chief’s comments on the reactions is looking to the right of the column and seeing 3 of 4 topics they want to us to focus on telling us how to have a GLAMOUR body, how to lose weight in 30 days, and how to eat right! Just food (ahem) for thought!!!!!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 3rd, 2009
8:01 am

hehehh – good reading.

JATL

September 3rd, 2009
8:31 am

I just wish the “industry” -fashion, media, Hollywood, etc. would make it everyday practice to include many types of women (and men) in their advertisements, movies, runway shows, etc. There are some naturally thin (very thin) folks out there, and there are plenty of folks who work to get 6-pack abs, so they could still be represented. We do need a few more curves in our ads and magazines though. I’m not talking about hugely obese, flopping-bellied people in underwear and bikinis (although I’m aware that they exist in large numbers in our population), but just showing some curvy, plump people mixed in with the anorexics would be a nice change up. I do think it’s appalling that a 12-14 (not actual plus-sizes) is what plus-sized models are (there are a few who are larger, but very marginalized), and 0-2 is what regular models are. The supermodels of the 80s were at least 4-6s and sometimes 8s according to Cindy Crawford. I don’t think anyone would say they were fat or unseemly. A 0-2 is normal for a very small part of the population, but it’s not normal even for most thin people to be that thin.

YUKI

September 3rd, 2009
8:43 am

I think it’s great. It’s also pretty sad that such a big deal has to be made about it and that it’s not more of an everyday occurrence. I mean, a big majority of women in the US are that size or larger. I agree with JATL, they don’t need to have obese or unhealthy people represented all of the time, but let’s keep it real. A size 0 or 2 being the standard? Give me a break!

RJ

September 3rd, 2009
8:46 am

On a recent episode of How Do I Look I cringed when the new size 0 host told the woman that she was a beautiful large woman. She was probably a 10! Everybody’s body is not the same. A size 10 is far from large. But in the fashion industry you shouldn’t be larger than a size 4. I think it’s ridiculous. Tyra has spoken many times about her weight and what it took to look the way she did when she was younger. I think she looks better today. Love the curves.

More women should be displayed in these magazines. I have never been nor will I ever be a size 2. I have a few friends that are naturally skinny and they wish they had more curves! Are we ever happy lol!

Jesse's Girl

September 3rd, 2009
8:50 am

I showed my daughters this picture. I hope that this photo of REALITY and the awesome dialogue it seems to have started doesn’t go unnoticed by the powers that be. After all the talk of how these models are photo-shopped to hell and back….I sincerely hope that the truth seeps in and takes hold. THIS IS HOW TRULY BEAUTIFUL WOMEN LOOK!!!!!! You cannot bounce a quarter off of every inch of our bodies. We give birth….breast feed….gain and lose weight….eat muffins….drink wine…drink coffee…exercise….we live in the real world. Real women do not have a bevy of handlers following us around to make us look magazine perfect!! I adore this picture and I think a national freakin holiday should be given to this model. Cause she KICKS A$$!!!!

pd

September 3rd, 2009
9:03 am

She is an attractive woman who needs to lose a few pounds. Yes, unfortunately it is reality that most of us need to lose a few pounds.

I have recently lost 30 pounds myself.

I don’t see anything wrong with magazines using thin or muscular models all the time. After all a “model” is something that is to be worked towards. Any model, whether a person or an archetectural or business model, should be as close to perfect as can be to give your body, building, or business something to strive for.

How does...

September 3rd, 2009
9:09 am

…an otherwise well defined 22 year old get a pooch like that? If she has had kids, I understand, but c’mon!

Jesse's Girl

September 3rd, 2009
9:12 am

Please note…..she was doubled over a bit. I am sure that standing upright, her tummy is likely pretty flat. And I wholeheartedly believe PD that your comment about “perfection ” and hundreds of others like it….is the very reason so many of our daughters are killing themselves. Striving for some airbrushed perfection is insane. You should strive for what is perfect for YOUR body. NOT for the perfection a camera lense and computer generated graphics can attain.

YUKI

September 3rd, 2009
9:21 am

“As close to perfect as can be”??? Excuse me while I puke. Umm, 12 year olds with body issues and eating disorders are exactly why more real people need to be represented. I’m sure they could airbrush me to look different too, but that would not be realistic.

Jesse's Girl

September 3rd, 2009
9:22 am

SkinnyGirl

September 3rd, 2009
9:25 am

I think that people of all sizes should be represented in magazines and in media. However, I am rather offended with the dialogue that goes on when a fuller-figured person does appear. Everytime a plumper person appears in print, everyone heralds the fact that a ‘real’ person is finally being pictured, implying that the thin person on the next page is somehow not ‘real’ or has to resort to unnatural and unhealthy means to be that way. As a naturally thinner person, I take offense to these discussion lines. I am no less ‘real’ than the next woman. It is just as insensitive and rude to say that the thinner models are unreal, anorexic, or unhealthy as it is to insult a plumper models.

Becky

September 3rd, 2009
9:36 am

Who should decide what is a perfect body? I think as long as each person is happy within theirself, then you are perfect..I’m not trying to say that we should just completely let our bodies go, I just think that some people are never going to be pencil thin..

Like Jesses Girl said though, if this model were standing up, I doubt that she would have any stomach that you could really see..As for how did a 22 year old get a pooch like that? Well I’m 47 and I have never had kids and I have always had a poochy tummy..Even when I was in high school (size 1) I had a small pooch..It happens with or without kids..

Jesse's Girl

September 3rd, 2009
9:41 am

Viva la pooch! Have a meeting peeps…see ya later:)

JJ

September 3rd, 2009
9:50 am

My pooch is an investment. I worked hard for it..

I have a very physical job, in which I am lifting and throwing heavy boxes around, and carrying satellite radios from the lab to the warehouse all day. I do shipping and receiving, and I’m outside most of the day, sweating my a$$ off. I also work out at the gym several times a week, I get plenty of exercise and I eat healthy. I’m happy with myself, and my body.

No I am not a size 0, nowhere close. But I’m happy and I’m healthy and that’s what matters….

Stookie

September 3rd, 2009
10:08 am

Everybody has their own opinion on what a perfect body is and I do agree that all walks of life should be represented. But I’m going to be real here, I want to see those amazingly hot bodies when I buy a magazine. What makes them or myself so unreal because I am fit, eat correctly and live a healthy lifestyle. This country is full of unhealthy, obese folks who get angry at healthy folks because they live correctly. I’ve seen “unhealthy” people get so annoyed when friends of mine are asked about how they keep in such great shape. If you are a size 12-14, you are not healthy and need to change your lifestyle.
Theresa, I’m a single dad who reads your blog everyday, keep up the great work.

pd

September 3rd, 2009
10:19 am

I’m sorry, but we have a much larger issue in this country with obesity than we do with anorexia. I am not trying to down play the negative effects of anorexia or make light of that disorder. However, I believe that if we began heralding fatty bodies as being “OK” then we would have our kids believe that they don’t have to work hard for their health.

I see women who do not have eating disorders on a daily basis that have close to no body fat, are very thin, and should be the “Models” for other women to try to strive to be.

As a man, I don’t look at guys with big guts and think, “Hey, thats what I should try to be.”

Staying thin and fit is hard work. Those who are able to do it deserve to be on magazines. Those who don’t put in the effort should not be heralded.

marcus bales

September 3rd, 2009
10:27 am

That men prefer a woman in shape (and women desire a man that can provide security-both fiscal and financial) is an inborn part of us. Yet, we are faced with an onslaught telling us there is something wrong with us (men in particular) for following our genes. As a man, I am made to feel there is something wrong with me for wanting a women that takes care of herself.
One more concern: why is there not some campaign aimed at changing women’s attraction to men with money and power?

Stookie...

September 3rd, 2009
10:27 am

…you may read this blog everyday, but you are also a dumba$$ – “If you are a size 12-14, you are not healthy and need to change your lifestyle”. Not if you are 5′10″ – 6′3″ tall! The gal in the picture is quite fit to be a size 10 -12. Here’s a quarter and a suggestion – get a clue!!!!

So, JJ...

September 3rd, 2009
10:28 am

…you are saying that size matters?!?!?!?!?

pd

September 3rd, 2009
10:33 am

If we were talking about actresses instead of models, I could see the point. An actress can be any size. She is playing a part in a movie or television show and for it to be realistic, she should look like everyday women. BUT models are by their very definition, the ideal.

When you talk about role models for your children, you are talking about ideals. You want your child’s role model to not be “real” or “like everybody else”. You want them to be better. Soemthing to strive for.

JJ

September 3rd, 2009
10:35 am

Stookie, You are a jerk. How the hell do you know what’s unhealthy? I happen to be a woman who is a 12-14 and I’m quite healthy thank you. Chances are, you couldn’t keep up with me.

I go to the doctor regularly and take care of my health and body. While I may need to change some habits in YOUR eyes, my doctors are very happy with me and my lifestyle. So am I, and that’s what matters.

Becky

September 3rd, 2009
10:40 am

Stookie, I’m not trying to start an war of words, but a size 12 isn’t always unhealthy..I am a size 12..I don’t eat anything fried, I don’t drink sodas and I rarely eat sweets..I ride a bike every weekend with my 7 year old grandson (about 8-10 miles)..I have a coworker that barely weighs a 100 lbs. and she is always calling in sick, leaving early because she’s sick, blah, blah..Oh did I mention that she goes to a gym 3-4 times a per??

YUKI

September 3rd, 2009
10:42 am

Ok people. I think what most people on here defending the picture are saying is that it should be OK for a bigger woman that is not the “normal” runway model type to be represented in a magazine without everybody losing their minds over it. Nobody is saying that all thin, fit people are unhealthy and have eating disorders. Yes, please get a clue. We are also not saying that “heralding fatty bodies” is what the norm should be either. There are plenty of people who excerise and eat right, but are not a size 0 or 2. And Stookie, you are a fool with your “you need to change your lifestyle” comment. I know plenty of tall women in shape who wear a size 12. THIS IS WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT…..trying to pretend that everyone should be fitting your standards about what “in shape” is.

Becky

September 3rd, 2009
10:45 am

oops..per week I meant…

Becky

September 3rd, 2009
10:47 am

pd, they are ideal if you like counting a womans rib bones..

JJ

September 3rd, 2009
10:57 am

Of all the guys I work with, (and I just asked all 10 of them), 8 out of 10 said they like a woman with meat on her bones. They can’t stand skinny women, with their hip bones sticking out and ribs you can see through clothing.

The other two are gay and don’t really care.

Stan

September 3rd, 2009
11:04 am

I can’t view the picture while at work, but I’m all about looking at a woman with curves. Skinny chicks just don’t do it for me. I love seeing “real” women in adverts too.

I’ve NEVER looked at a “model” as someone to look to for my image of myself or image of my ideal spouse. To each his/her own.

HB

September 3rd, 2009
11:20 am

“There are plenty of people who excerise and eat right, but are not a size 0 or 2.”

Amen! In fact, many women, if they are of average height or taller, will be unhealthy at that size. A few years ago, at 5′6″ with a medium frame, I was 5 lbs below what is is considered to be my ideal weight range, and I was still a size 4! And it was certainly not healthy habits that made me that size. I exercised regularly and followed an VERY healthy diet before that and weighed 10 lbs more — an injury resulting in inability to eat much of anything for a while caused me to be underweight. I would never have wanted to continue eating so little, while still exercising regularly, to become a size 0!

BeanMommy

September 3rd, 2009
11:27 am

What shocks me is that I hardly consider that woman “fat” or someone who should have body image issues. If SHE is fat, I don’t WHAT half my friends are! To me that almost makes people feel worse: It’s like saying, “Look! You can be fat like her and still be pretty! Tt’s okay to be fat, see?!” and then showing you a picture of a woman who is twenty pounds thinner than you are.

Skinnygirl, I’m sure you and your body are real. What is NOT real is that 95%+ of the population looks like you. I believe that is what people mean.

Expanding the topic … my husband and I were just talking about this this morning. He said it is almost impossible for him (and, he suspects, most guys) to find a overweight woman attractive. He also said that no matter how “plain” a woman looks, if she is in good shape, she is more attractive than ANY overweight woman.

He says that men who say, “My wife is still just as beautiful to me, even though she gained thirty pounds” are …. LYING!!

Any thoughts?

YUKI

September 3rd, 2009
11:39 am

I think it depends on how overweight we are talking about. 10 or 20 lbs over ideal body weight for your height is quite a bit different than somebody who is 100 lbs overweight. I would agree that most men don’t find overweight women just as attactive as healthy slender woman. But, I think most “normal” guys, if they saw the woman in the picture on the street in normal clothes on any given day would find her quite attractive.

Brooke

September 3rd, 2009
11:40 am

Have any of you ever seen this YouTube clip below? If not, please watch it. No wonder our perception of beauty and perfection are distorted..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U

Maleman

September 3rd, 2009
11:43 am

I think she looks fine. I’d rather see someone that looks like her than some stick woman with 10 lbs. of fake boobs. If you think she is fat, try shedding your own clothes and sit in that position and get your picture taken.

New Step Mom

September 3rd, 2009
12:02 pm

BeanMommy, that is a very interesting point. My husband and I have had the same conversation. I am fortunate to be taller and have never had a weight problem. I generally wear a size 8. I do have two very close friends who are very overweight. One of them is single and I feel for her. Guys who are not as attractive, smart or funny as she is will not give her the time of day because she is large. My husband says guys do not care what they look like when looking for a mate in a lot of cases but the woman better look good. He says it is not right, but it is the way it is.

I do not think anyone can define “a perfect body,” but physicians do understand that being obese is bad for you even if you work out and eat right. They also can define eating disorders as being extremely unhealthy. I think if your doctor is happy with your weight, than that is the goal to strive for.

itpdude

September 3rd, 2009
12:15 pm

She looks like a “real” woman? What are you talking about? Are you saying the fit models aren’t “real?” It seems you are giving your fat ass readers an excuse to hit the all you can eat bar and avoid exercise.

This nation is not suffering from too much fitness. It’s suffering from too much fatness.

Woo Hoo

September 3rd, 2009
12:31 pm

Does the “media” parent your children or do YOU?? If you want the answer to your child’s issues, look in the mirror.

Stookie

September 3rd, 2009
12:52 pm

JJ, the only thing that I couldn’t keep up with you is the run to the all you can eat buffet

JJ

September 3rd, 2009
12:53 pm

Whatever…….that comment just made you a bigger idiot.

Stookie

September 3rd, 2009
1:11 pm

C’mon JJ lighten up, I’m just playin. I’m not an idiot, maybe a little ignorant in that I thought I knew something about sizes for women. I definitely didn’t take the height of a woman in consideration when I said that and I apologize to everyone. But my point is still the same, if you are 30 pounds over weight, that’s not a good thing, no matter how happy you are.

Liz

September 3rd, 2009
1:11 pm

I saw the photo/read the adjoining article in the original issue of “Glamour”, and I figured it would garner the publisher a huge positive reaction. However, to be perfectly honest, I’m kind of turned off by the whole thing. I view reading fashion magazines as a form of ‘escapism’…therefore, I don’t really care to see fat rolls, pudge, etc. on the models. I appreciate articles that show how women of varying sizes should dress their body types or whatever, but I am slim and in-shape and just don’t want to see overweight women with everything hanging out, no matter how pretty or well-groomed they are.

Many will read this and think, “well, she can’t relate to the women who feel “under-represented” by the use of only thin models.” But let’s face it, gals…while size 12 or 14 may be the “national average”, it’s not particularly healthy for most women to be that size. I don’t think we should champion emaciated, size-00 women, nor should we champion overweight women.

Well, duh, Stookie...

September 3rd, 2009
1:17 pm

…no one mentioned anyone being 30lbs overweight while being a size 10 – 12; your male chauvenist pigism just came through naturally!

Dang, Liz...

September 3rd, 2009
1:39 pm

…your comment “But let’s face it, gals…while size 12 or 14 may be the “national average”, it’s not particularly healthy for most women to be that size” shows you to be just as much of a dumb a$$ as Stookie – and you are female (at least I think Liz is a female name)! You, too, fail to take into account that there are huge (pardon the pun) numbers of women size 12 – 14 and are quite “normal” at heights of 5′10″ and above who are no where near overweight at that size. And I can’t even call you a pig, just an uninformed beotch!

wtf Stookie...

September 3rd, 2009
1:39 pm

So Stookie, you are saying that people who are 30 lbs overwieght are more healthy than people who are 95 pounds with eating disorders? Healthy isnt the size you are, it is the amount of phisycal activity that you can endure, and that you have a good heart, healthy lugs, great immune system… Those kind of things. Please tell me that the models that we look at in the magazines, who usually are anorexic, and live off of coffee, and ciggarets and their drugs of choice are healthier than those of us who may be 30 pounds overwieght, but still have all of the criteria in which I listed previously…

wtf Liz

September 3rd, 2009
1:42 pm

So Liz… what you are saying is that if we have a fat roll, or our ribs are not sticking out, we are not beautiful.??! Its people like you, who contribute to little girls having eating disoreders and big girls to feel self concious. You are very ignorant….

Stookie

September 3rd, 2009
2:02 pm

wtf stookie, any extreme is not healthy for men or women. 30 lbs underweight is as bad or worse then 30 lbs overweight. I agree your size isn’t what reflects your health, but your body composition (body fat %) sure does. The woman in the picture looks like she has a high body fat and should not be looked at as a good example.

wtf Stookie

September 3rd, 2009
2:10 pm

No. The woman in the picture looks beautiful, and healthy. I would rather look like her, than look like most of these models. She is beautiful, and and anyone who disagrees is plain stupid… Stookie…

Denise

September 3rd, 2009
2:13 pm

I read an article in O magazine (I think) that talked about how some heavier (not obese) people are actually more healthy than slimmer people. The premise is that heavier people are always encouraged by their doctors, families, friends to eat better and to exercise, thereby becoming more healthy, and skinny folks are not given the same advice. In the article, a lady who was very slim (naturally) had 30% fat because she never worked out to build or tone muscle. Sure she was wearing a size 4 but she had a higher % fat measurement than someone like me who wears a size 10 (and looks damn good in a pair of low rise jeans! LOL). I say all that to say that size is not a good indicator of health.

Let’s face it, when we look at a person, we’re not thinking “he may be heavy but he I bet has low cholesterol and low blood pressure”. We’re thinking “I do/don’t like the way he/she looks”. It’s a matter of preference and we have to deal with it in our own way. I know I’ve felt bad about myself sometimes because I don’t look like the girls in the magazines until I realize that I’m looking at a fitness magazine and these women make their money off their bodies. Hell, I’d be a sexy beast if my check depended on my six-pack! I had to put that in perspective to get over it but I do sometimes get down when I don’t like the way I look that day, be it my hair, my tummy (it’s not big but it’s SOFT! LOL), my clothes, etc. But most days I say fluck it and roll out feeling good!

YUKI

September 3rd, 2009
2:16 pm

Well unfortunately there are people out there that no matter how healthy, in your preferred weight range, etc. you may be, if you are not stick skinny than you are considered fat. whatever floats your boat…….

New Step Mom

September 3rd, 2009
2:20 pm

The woman in the picture definitely does not look fat or like she has more than a healthy amount of body fat. She is posed in an odd angle and is not airbrushed. I would have guessed that she was a size 6-8 not a 12-14, but she is likely very tall….

Interesting info Denise, thank you for sharing!

JJ

September 3rd, 2009
2:21 pm

That’s why we shouldn’t judge someone, based on their appearance. We don’t know their situation……

Amen Denise!!!! Roll out feeling good!!!

And don’t compare yourself with magazine models. Remember – Airbrush is a models best friend…….