When a tiny picture of a naked “plus-size” model showed up on page 194 of Glamour last month, the readers went wild for it.
And for good reason. How often is it that we are shown a beautiful woman that isn’t a size zero, comfortable in her own skin and naked on the pages of any magazine?
We’ll ignore the fact that being able to “pinch and inch” doesn’t make you plus-size and that this women pictured (who looks maybe a size 8, tops) still isn’t representing a huge portion of the female population who actually are wearing plus sizes. At least we are making a step in the right direction.
Or are we?
After Glamour cashed in on a crapload of press and positive publicity from the picture, Marie Clare decided they wanted in and will now feature a plus-size columnist who plans to give fashion advice to plus sized readers.
While it’s a good start that she actually is plus sized (a size 18 to be exact) and will be able to give helpful and honest advice to other women her size, I still can’t help but wonder what the real motivation is behind this trend to cater to the plus sized readers.
I doubt it’s a coincidence that as sales plummet and magazine companies are dropping like hungry models, they are finally realizing a whole population of their readership has been left out of every fall fashion special, every swimsuit edition, every best-jeans-for-your-body article. Why now?
I’m afraid that the answer is self-serving and superficial: they want to make money. They are capitalizing on and exploiting a whole population of woman in order to boost sales.
Do I love that we are able to have diversity in what we consider beautiful? Yes. Does a picture of a naked plus-size woman bring a smile to my face? Yes. Is it necessary to have fashion advice for women of all shapes and sizes? Absolutely!
But if you asked me if I was happy about this change toward “diversifying” and recognizing this group of females, I’d say no. When it happens it should be because the magazines think they are as beautiful and deserving of content as they are. Not because Marie Clare wants a million plus sized woman to pay $4.00 for the advice to cover their Manhattan office rent for the year.
What do you guys think about the magazine industry’s move to “offer more content to plus-size readers”. Is it genuine or all for the cash?