This is Lizzi Miller. This photo of Lizzi was printed on page 194 of the September issue of Glamour, and has caused quite a stir. In my opinion, the article itself was a breath of fresh air, citing ways to embrace your body as-is and silence nagging negativity … but it was the photo that caused most readers to jump for joy. People penned passionate letters to the Glamour crew, praising their portrayal of a happy, healthy, non-skinny woman, inundating the magazine’s offices with words of support and pleas for more, more, MORE images like this gorgeous one of Lizzi.
Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive wrote this response to the outpouring of reader support, and has garnered hundreds of comments already. She also briefly interviewed Lizzi, who seems like an absolutely wonderful woman. A sweet soul to match that sweet smile.
Now, Glamour’s reputation is one of fluffiness. And while I’ve only subscribed for a few months myself, and definitely see some fluff peeking out, I also see that the editorial staff is making a concerted effort to include body positive writing and imagery in every single issue. Not just this issue, but every issue. And for that, I must applaud them. Sure, they’ve got plenty of waif-like, toweringly tall models in their editorials, but they are, at least, attempting to balance things out a bit.
Some might say that, in doing so, they’re sending mixed messages. But I prefer this interpretation: Showing both thin and non-thin women – gorgeously photographed and held up as examples of physical attractiveness – encourages the expansion of societal beauty norms. Subtly, but persistently. And that kind of quiet revolution in ideals of beauty could be far more effective than angrily demanding that multiple body types be recognized as equally desirable. People need to be shown these things, not told.
If the editor puts her money where her mouth is, we’ll be seeing and reading even more body-positive content from Glamour. Asking for an entire magazine of diverse women may be unreasonable at this point, but praising a mainstream magazine that displays some bodily diversity and explores body image issues could change market conditions. Our praise and support now may make an entire magazine of diverse women possible in the future. Desirable and profitable, even.