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Isn't it pretty?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dear Glamour

Throughout my life, when I have gotten worked up about something I read in a newspaper or magazine, I've had the habit of actually writing in a letter to the editor (I think this was drilled into me by my father - have to blame someone). Last week, in an act to read something light-hearted and not related to school, I bought a Glamour magazine for the first time in a few years. I was dismayed by (a lot) of what I found inside the cover. Here's the letter I just sent to them:

Dear Glamour –

I recently bought your March issue, in part because I was drawn by the huge letters on the cover advertising your article “Sexy at any size!” Your editor’s letter spoke about the scariness of the super-skinny, size-zero models who are starving themselves to death, literally. And the article itself, on page 306 did highlight the protruding bones and concave bodies of models that resemble concentration camp victims. It spoke about the trend from twenty years prior, where the average model was a thin but healthy size 6 or 8, to now, where the models are expected to be an emaciated size 0. All in the name of fashion.

What bothered me, however, about your magazine, is that before reaching page 306, I encountered your fashion section, from pages 121-138, which was plastered with these same skinny models, all being described as “gorgeous” and “pretty” and “chic.”

Talk about a mixed message! It’s one thing to pay lip service to the growing group of those who are alarmed at the fact that models are sickeningly thin. But to place such models all over the pages of your magazine, and to describe them as “gorgeous” tells me that you aren’t nearly as serious about your mission to make women feel “sexy at any size” as you proclaim to be.

If you are really disturbed by the models who are dying for the achievement of being the thinnest, then stop using their images and stop praising their looks. I understand that the runways are inundated with such skin and bones, but make a statement by really doing something, rather than just writing a couple pages in the far back reaches of your magazine. It would give you a lot more credibility and maybe it would even make a difference to a reader who emulates your fashion pages or to a model who is not pushed to starve because there would actually be magazines out there looking to feature someone who is healthy, rather than wasting away. Follow the lead provided by all the innovative and amazing women you feature every month and stand up for what you are saying you think is right.




  • Good for you! I totally agree with you. I rarely buy those types of magazines.

    By Blogger SaraK, at 2/27/07, 12:53 PM  

  • Yay Shoshana! I, too, have stopped reading those kinds of magazines over the past few years but do occasionally pick one up in an attempt to "stay current!" The messages are mixed at best and I am thrilled you took the time to speak up! +

    By Blogger CatholicLady, at 2/27/07, 3:38 PM  

  • These dichotomies are the reason for the problem. It's even worse in the frum community where most teenage girls are already worried that if they put on a single pound necessary for their development, their shidduch appeal will fall.

    By Blogger Bas~Melech, at 3/3/07, 10:52 PM  

  • And I thought the models were too skinny when they were size six!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/8/07, 9:51 AM  

  • Shape magazine and a couple others try to use models that are fit instead of just skinny, but the best part is when they use readers with average bodies to model clothes or show how to do exercises.

    I really love the new Dove commercials because the women are all shapes, sizes, colors etc. and they all look beautiful.... probably because they all feel beautiful

    By Blogger come running, at 3/13/07, 6:57 AM  

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