NOTE TO ... Glamour Magazine

March 26, 2009

I’ve read Glamour for over 25 years. Some of those years I had a subscription, and some found me paying big bucks for a grocery store copy. This week, I happened to pick up a copy at the Philadelphia Airport. I admit that I couldn’t resist finding out what your 700 Dos, Don'ts & Deals were. While Newsweek remains my favorite magazine, like many women, I not only want to be educated, I also want glamour. In fact, one of my ongoing fantasies is to write an article for Newsweek as I sit feeling and looking glamorous in my apple green office.

It just so happened that the issue I picked up was your latest celebrating Glamour’s 70 years on the stand. The issue was filled with pats on the back regarding your journalistic and artistic ground breaking feats, many of which brilliantly pushed women forward. For example, Glamour used the first black cover model in 1968 and feminist icon Gloria Steinem hailed as a contributing editor from 1963 to 1970. More recently, Marianne Pearl reported on women working to change the world in her award-winning column, Global Diary.


Toward the end of the issue was a lengthy piece under your Health & Body category detailing your latest survey of 16,000 women telling their body confidence secrets. You were so sad and shocked to report that your readers, 75% of us, still think we’re too fat. And, darn it, we still don’t seem to grasp the overwhelming stats that men prefer real women to super skinny anorexic types. You were happy to report that the younger set are more comfortable with their bodies then my generation was 25 years ago. Your last big survey on this took place in 1984, the year I graduated from high school. Yes, I wanted to be skinny then, too.

There’s one big issue with the issue highlighted in the issue.

Several pages back, under the Glamour Fashion category, you include two fabulous fashion shoots, The New Happy Clothes and What to Wear this Weekend. The fantasy inspiring pages beautifully display skinny models in red, white and blue garb, and wholesomely sexy farm clothes. Also, under the Glamour Beauty category, you've given us The 10 Best Hair & Makeup Looks. And they're all so pretty! We're shown the looks that are timelessly beautiful modeled by women who look strikingly similar to those I gazed upon as a starving-myself-to-be-beautiful eighteen year old in 1984. Good Lord! I have less chance now than I did then. Thank goodness I had the sense to give up on starving myself years ago. What's a girl to do? Fantasies are supposed to make life fun--kick it up a notch not give you a deflating punch in the gut you're trying to get rid of.

If Glamour is so concerned and saddened that our attitudes haven’t change enough in the last 25 years, why do you continue to reserve your thinnest, youngest looking models for your arty fashions shoots, the one’s reeking of fantasy-feeding images? In this particular issue, you diligently inserted various articles throughout preaching to us “love your body just the way it is,” and praising Beyonce’ and the Hollywood set for pushing well-rounded choices of beauty icons and role models, yet you can’t seem to adjust your own super stylistic fashion shoots to match that heartfelt message of love for us and our imperfect bodies.

Why not put your money where your mouth is, use your power, and show some real ground-breaking balls in your own industry? Take the average size clothes sold in this country (or at least the healthy norm according to our healthcare professionals), find beautiful, photogenic women who can wear them, and take some arty shots of that. I triple-dog dare you to try it for three months. Wait! Are you telling me that your fashion designer buddies don’t make clothes in those sizes, or that you have industry pressure to display these clothes on bones so that they hang just right? Well, if you must show us these super smallish threads, perhaps you could include a disclaimer. It might say:

Caution: The following clothes are specifically created to fit young women between the ages of 13 and 15, those with eating disorders, and those genetically bone-thin (a small percentage of the population). Do not try this at home.

Then in juxtaposition, provide us with fantasy-pushing, glamorous shots of women just like us.

Aberration Nation Newsflash: As long as you keep feeding us this particular fantasy, changes aren’t gonna come.

We know that you’re a business, not a healthcare outfit. Our fantasies fuel sales. But if you truly care and have the guts to do some cutting edge fantasy adjusting, we’ll still buy the magazine. You may even pick up a new reader or two. On top of that, more of us might have time to read if we’re not so darn busy trying to be perfect.


Aberration Nation Readers, Did I get this right? Let me know what you think?

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