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The Women on Page 198: Glamour Continues Dialogue on Body Image

The Women on Page 198: Glamour Continues Dialogue on Body Image

Do you remember the woman on page 194?

Her bare-it-all image in Glamour magazine’s September issue stirred quite the buzz early this fall when it hit newstands. With thousands of comments and over a million page views on the picture of “plus-size” model Lizzie Miller struck a cord with women across America. 

Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive was inundated with positive feedback on the picture and promised readers that Glamour was listening and “committed to celebrating all kinds of beauty.” I was skeptical that Leive would hold true to her promise, but I was pleasantly surprised when I turned to page 198 of this month’s issue and found not one but seven beautiful “plus-size” models starring back at me in a two-page spread – all au naturale.

The models – including now infamous Miller – have been assembled by Glamour to “continue the extraordinary dialogue on body image” that began with Miller’s picture just a few months ago. In the article Glamour reaffirms its commitment to showcasing a wide range of body types – even despite the challenges presented by the fashion industry.

Did you know that samples of designer clothing are almost always cut to a size zero to four? Without sample size clothing in larger sizes, finding current fashionable clothing for “plus-size” models to wear is a difficult challenge. Fashion editors can’t just buy “plus-size” models clothes from stores because those designs would be off the racks and impossible to purchase by the time magazines hit newsstands.

Fed up with the limiting sizes of sample clothes, British Vogue editor, Alexandra Shulman wrote an angry letter to scores of top designers in England and America. In the letter she accuses designers of supplying magazine’s with “minuscule” garments for photo shoots thus making them hire models with “jutting bones and no breasts or hips.” Shulman continued, “We have now reached the point where many of the sample sizes don’t comfortably fit even the established star models.” Having such a powerhouse of the fashion world pen such a letter is an important (and hopeful) step, but only time will tell the impact.

What I found refreshing in Glamour’s article was the recognition that “plus-size models aren’t all that ‘plus.’” According to Glamour senior bookings editor, Jennifer Koehler, the sample-size problem means that any model larger than a size four will have trouble getting work because she won’t fit in the clothes and a woman over a size 6 could be moved to the plus-size division. Jennie Runk, one of the “plus-size” models pictured in the article’s two-page spread, even admits to wearing padding to fit the “plus-size” clothing she is given to model because she is too small.

The absence of sample clothing in larger sizes is prohibitive to magazines who want to book “plus-size” models and creates a high demand for thin models who fit the designs. In their continued support of portraying a wider range of body types, Glamour promises to support any designer who manufactures clothing that can be used on full-bodied models. The magazine also promises to not only give “plus-size” models work but the “same great work straight-size models get, partnering with top photographers, stylists, and makeup artists.”

I was also pleased to see that this month Glamour pictured Scarlett Johansson – a celebrity who has advocated for a healthy body image frequently in the past – on the cover. Most recent she authored a blog on the Huffington Post in response to rumors that she crash dieted to lose 14lbs while training for an upcoming film. “I’m frustrated with the irresponsibility of tabloid media who sell the public ideas about what we should look like and how we should get there,” Johansson said. “The press should be held accountable for the false ideals they sell to their readers regarding body image — that’s the real weight of the issue.”

So, what do you think? Is Glamour living up to its promises of celebrating “all kinds of beauty?” Are you encouraged by this month’s issue? If so, what will it take to get other magazine’s to follow suit?  If not, what can Glamour and other women’s magazine’s do to portray a wider range of beauty? 

It’s important that we continue this discussion – loudly and passionately – so that real changes are made to escape the thin-beauty ideal we have all become so accustomed to.

What I’d like to see is the picture on page 198 on the cover and the women sporting today’s latest fashion trends in clothes that fit and celebrate their bodies.

More from Glamour:

On the C.L.: Are you Ready to Start a Body Image Revolution? Oh, Wait – You Already Did!

Supermodels Who Aren’t Superthin: Meet the Women Who Proudly Bared it All

Body-Confidence Secrets From Plus-Size Model Crystal Renn

More from Care2:

End The Fat Talk: Friends Don’t Let Friends Talk Fat

Stylist Quits After Designer Decides to Showcase “Plus-Size” Models

Life Doesn’t Have to Wait Until You Are Skinny: Plus-Size Model Crystal Renn Reveals All in New Book

The Woman on Page 194: Plus-Size Model Bares All For Glamour

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12:49PM PST on Dec 12, 2014

These woman are plus-sized ?? Sorry, but I didn't notice because I don't view people that way!! They are all beautiful woman in my eyes....and I find it very sad that a size six would be found as a plus size in these peoples view!! No wonder most women have such a poor view of their own bodies !! We are all beautiful in so many ways, we need to stop looking and wishing we were in someone else's body. Let me add... I have also known some very ugly people in very beautiful body's. So what is more important how we look or who we are ?!

10:21AM PST on Dec 11, 2014

we need more media houses to pick up on healthy body images.

9:37AM PST on Dec 11, 2014

When I first saw this picture, I thought what beautiful women! I had no idea they were considered plus size. This is a problem- The fact is, this is not plus size at all! At best they are average (lets face it- less than average- in size) Lets call a spade a spade. I'm glad Glamour is trying to up the game, but calling them "plus size" means those size 2 are average. I'm really not sure how helpful that is to the dialogue.

10:53PM PST on Dec 7, 2014

Wow, 7 beautiful ladies. I cannot imagine myself sitting in the middle with them in my nature suit, I would explode like a misfired rocked.

1:07PM PST on Dec 7, 2014

they look very friendly and pretty to me.....body size shouldn't matter, but lets be honest it does to too many

8:24AM PST on Dec 6, 2014

we are not our body...

5:18PM PST on Nov 27, 2014

It is tragic that we promote body size as the pinnacle of "what we are". Good for Glamour, or anyone else that tries to promote diversity.

8:42AM PST on Nov 12, 2014

this is why we have anorexia teens and women....bad PR

1:23PM PST on Nov 10, 2014

thanks for sharing!

2:14PM PST on Nov 7, 2014

Boy, even when I was a tall slim size 16 by todays standards I would be a real porker if a 6 is plus sized.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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