About a month ago, there was a lot of buzz in the fashion and beauty community over “The Girl on Page 194,”featured in the September issue of Glamour magazine. The photo was a nude (but tasteful) shot of 20-year-old model Lizzie Miller. Here she is: Women from all over the country were taken aback by the photo being featured in a prominent fashion and beauty magazine- and they wanted to see more.
I opened up the November 2009 issue of Glamour this Saturday afternoon and was pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful letter written by Glamour editor Cindy Leive about a feature on page 198 called “oh.wow. these bodies are beautiful.”
To be clear, I’m not advocating a “real women have curves” mentality, which implies that all skinny women are obsessive dieters and not “real women…” But the bottom line is this: In the real world, women of all body types-whether pixie-ish like model Noreen Carmody or cruvy like Lizzie- have sex appeal, full , fabulous lives, and men drooling all over them. Our pages should tell the same spectacularly confident and diverse story.
Her words were perfection. I always had a problem in the past when magazines would feature curvier women and proclaim that curvy girls were “real women…” and then featuring size 2 models on their pages. It just seemed so insincere and fabricated. It was like they were not able to find a way to tell one side of the story, while not trashing the other.
I think Glamour’s approach finally did it for me. I am a longtime subscriber, and I appreciated that a fashion and beauty magazine was finally able to celebrate women- ALL women- without making one group of women feel victimized.
At the same time, I appreciated the magazine’s focus on featuring healthy women- not just girls who were larger than a size 6 to make a point. The women featured were healthy women who eat well and exercise and embrace their size without torturing themselves or succumbing to crazy diets.
I must admit at times I don’t have the best eating habits and I haven’t hit the gym since our wedding…and these women were a true inspiration to me. Some days, I get down about my body and then I realize how lucky I am to have the body I have…and the only way I can do better is to have healthier eating habits and to take care of my body by exercising.
I just thought I would share this story because I think it is important to celebrate women of all shapes and sizes and understand that good health doesn’t always go hand in hand with a size 4. At the same time, I think this story is an inspiration to all women to love their bodies more, and to embrace a lifestyle that allows them to be the best they can be- whether that is as a size 2 or a size 14.