Is Glamour Really Reducing its Self-Esteem Slaughter Effects by featuring “Real” Sized Models?

20091001_glamour_560x375IT AIN’T OVER: Women’s magazines are forced to take a look at the womyn in the mirror and tell her she can make that change — perhaps, Glamour believes, the magazine’s long-term survival would be best ensured by employing models who appear to eat meals, exercise and shine with pouty lip gloss!! See,  it’s almost tacky right now to promote aspirational thinness or glamorize starvation. It was evil before, but women’s magazines don’t care as much about evil as they do about tacky. So, Glamour is pledging to employ more Plus Sized Models … not without, obvs, an idiotic letter from the editor on this LANDMARK DECISION. I hope this issue also provides me with eight things I am allowed to splurge on and tips for just-out-of-bed hair! Actually I used to love Glamour, but lately it’s been hard to handle — the airbrushing makes everyone look the same, and the blatant “GO SHOP BE A CAPITALIST” hand-wringing is uncomfortable to watch. Apparently everyone loved the normal-sized (incorrectly labeled as “plus-sized” in most discussions of her) girl in the last issue, I was one of them, and liked how subtle it was. Of course nothing can be subtle, now we have this. In some disgusting way, I feel I must purchase this magazine and support the idea that not every perfectly-skinned high-cheekboned genetically gifted beautiful lady is a size 2. Some unnaturally gorgeous women are a larger size! WAIT HOLD UP. I still don’t feel better about myself, asshats. [-Riese] (@nym)

LADIES IN COMBAT: Forget about being a gay lady in the military, it’s hard enough being a Lady in the military. In Australia, women are allowed to take 92% of military jobs and now they are fighting for the other 8 percent. There’s arguments that women just aren’t strong enough and that they’d be treated differently in hostage or torture situations.

CATALYST: The Caster Semenya controversy has raised questions about gender, being intersex, and now it’s causing a GLBT debate in Jamaica.

SENSITIVE FRAT BOYS: Fraternities at George Washington University are making an effort to erase the homophobic culture of “frat life. “According to fraternal historian Nicholas Syrett, America’s fraternity culture has thrived on a fear of homosexuality since the 1920’s. All-male fraternal organizations, Syrett writes, “compensate for what might be perceived by outsiders as either feminine or gay behavior by enacting a masculinity [of] aggressive heterosexuality.”

NO DUH! But GW frats are trying to turn it around. why? because “After all, GW’s fraternity brothers are the nation’s future congressmen, investment bankers, and CEOs. They won’t reach those positions if their Google profiles turn up associations with homophobic and misogynistic fraternities” So that’s cool. People are starting to realize that being associated with homophobia can hurt their futures. Because in the future hopefully homophobia’s a thing of the past!

POLITIKIDS: Megan McCain weighs in on the media going after the daughters of Spain’s prime minister dressing “goth.” Intern X says, “when Megan McCain speaks we should listen.” Also it’s interesting to think about how the media views these kids, Meghan should know.


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Riese

Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2908 articles for us.

16 Comments

  1. That letter from the editor is sickeningly patronising and self congratulatory: ‘We’ve had Queen Latifah on our cover twice!!!’
    Some of the reader feedback she has pulled to the first, groundbreaking ‘belly shot’ is very funny too:
    “Because of my own belly, I always thought I was some deformed woman, but not now. Holy hell, I am normal!”
    I mean, obviously we’ve got to applaud the effort, but I do so grudgingly. I think it is so hypocritical for these editors to cluck and pretend to sympathise when they have been ringleaders of problem.

    Also, I’d like to see some plus sized women without fantastic boobs and legs. The average man or woman would be lucky to sleep with any of these women. They are evidently gorgeous, even though they don’t have taut tummies.

    Stuff like this makes me so angry.

    • I had an issue with that reader comment, calling herself a “deformed woman” – get real, most of the women she will see in 3D everyday will probably have a belly thing going on! I wish she would be content to look around at the average 3D women before singling herself out as “deformed”.

    • Yeah as far as I can see they are all beautiful. I mean really the least we can do is show a variety of races and body types, because the constant of “beautiful” is here to stay, that’s how you sell things. The fact that she has to make a big deal of it is transparent. If it was the message itself, rather than her being acknowledged for choosing to convey this message, that really mattered, that letter wouldn’t be necessary. It contradicts itself.

  2. It should take a lot more then two Queen Latifah covers, and some + size models to “right” all the many years of skinny skinny skinny being the only way for this magazine to run… I don’t think anyone should be so game to roll over and “forgive” years of blatant skinny agenda pushing so quickly!

    There certainly was an overwhelming amount of self-congratulation in that essay – maybe she is up for some sort of “humanitarian award”.

      • I super agree! Add her to “pro-choice men” and “not actively homophobic politicians” to the list of people who act like they deserve a Nobel Prize for behaving with basic sense and decency.

        Also, I’m really torn about that photo. On the one hand they are hot naked ladies, and I understand that the point is for the Average American Woman to be able to see their bodies and relate. But the fact that they’re naked also feels really commodifying to me? Like “Check out these women in every detail of their naked bodies to find every fat roll and bulge! Look at how not-skinny-and-ANTM they are!” I don’t know, I’m not explaining this well, but I guess I kind of feel like they’re being exploited for their normal-sized-ness and not actually modeling. Like, if Glamour just replaced all the skinny women in its normal articles with these women and let them do their actual jobs and keep their clothes on instead of just be poster girls for Glamour’s goodheartedness I would feel better.

        • Instead of putting all these women together for this photo and making a big deal about it and writing an essay self-congratulating Glamour for it’s “plus-sized” greatness, Glamour could have just infiltrated every aspect of their publication with “plus-sized” models quietly, without calling so much attention to it. If this was the case I think I would be much more willing to applaud their efforts. Like Rachel said, let the models do their actual jobs!

          It cheapens the effort because the magazine is so outwardly proud of themselves for doing something that in reality shouldn’t be such a big deal. (It is, I get that, but I wish that it wasn’t!)

  3. Just another unique selling point to gain revenue if you ask me. I don’t think they really give a shit, but then again I’m pretty skeptical about the majority of lady mags.

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