By now you’ve probably seen or heard of the woman on page 194.
If not let me introduce you.
Meet Lizzi Miller. She’s a 20-year-old model who recently graced the glossy pages of Glamour magazine in nothing but a thong – all 180 pounds of her.
Miller’s bare-it-all image appears alongside an article on women’s body confidence in Glamour’s September issue. The picture, which highlight’s more than Miller’s beautiful smile, has stirred quite a buzz. As a size 12-14 Miller represents today’s “average” woman and these women are grateful. Glamour editor Cindi Leive reports that she has been inundated with positive responses from readers ever since the magazine hit newsstands:
“The most amazing photograph I’ve ever seen in any women’s magazine.”
“This beautiful woman has a real stomach and did I even see a few stretch marks?…This photo made me want to shout from the rooftops.”
“Get this hot momma off of page 194 and put her on the cover!”
“Thank you for showing a picture of a BEAUTIFUL woman who has a stomach and thighs that look like mine! I have NEVER seen that in a magazine before.”
“This woman rocks and we need more women like her to make a mark on what the real woman looks like.”
Tired of seeing the same stick-thin models splashed across the covers of magazines and billboards and staring on TV and in the movies, Miller’s picture is refreshing, albeit a little shocking. Unlike the models on the first 193 pages of the magazine, Miller is in a natural pose, displaying a belly bulge that hangs over her underwear – not a flat trim tummy – and she is smiling, happy, confident.
Image that, a confident woman with a less than perfect figure? Radical, I know.
Miller and Leive appeared on the Today Show to talk about the picture’s buzz and what this means for the future of the magazine.
“You get a reaction like this and you can really see it. It’s also a sign of the times that women are really looking for a little bit more authenticity and a little bit less artifice in every part of their lives so yea, will it change our approach? I think it will,” said Leive.
On Leive’s blog on glamour.com she calls on readers to tell her what kinds of image they would like to see more of in Glamour and assures readers that Glamour’s listening and is committed to “celebrating all kinds of beauty.”
Maybe there is hope for the future of Glamour after all, but first a little perspective: out of the entire magzine Miller’s picture measures all but a three-by-three inch square; on the cover is a svelte looking Jessica Simpson who months ago (and time and time again) was ridiculed by the media for her fluctuating weight; and the kicker, in the upper left hand corner of the cover there is a teaser – 3 Flat Belly Secrets – for an article inside on how to trim your waistline.
This is not cohesive messaging by any means. The article that accompanies Miller’s picture encourages women to be confident in their skin – no matter what size – but you don’t have to search long before you find another article instructing you on how you can get that flat belly that you’ve always wanted (without working out!) or another model with a “perfect” pouchless body.
So, we have a ways to go before Glamour, or any magazine for that matters,starts celebrating “all kinds of beauty” but at least this is a positive step in the right direction. It is my hope that Miller’s picture isn’t forgotten in the coming months and that the memory of the women’s ecstatic reactions from around the country aren’t forgotten either.
I’m skeptical, but I hope Glamour (or any magazine) proves me wrong.
Image originally posted on Newsweek - http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thehumancondition/archive/2009/08/21/the-girl-on-page-194-why-everyone-is-talking-about-glamour-s-plus-sized-model.aspx