Why the Plus-Size Model in Glamour Isn't Really Progress

What Women Really Think
Sept. 2 2009 10:00 AM

Why the Plus-Size Model in Glamour Isn't Really Progress

/blogs/xx_factor/2009/09/02/why_the_plussize_model_in_glamour_isnt_really_progress/jcr:content/body/slate_image

By now you've already heard : Based on the thunderous applause for the three-inch photograph of plus-size model Lizzi Miller on p.194 of September's Glamour , the magazine is now going to feature naked plus-size models in the November issue. I don't see this as progress.

Advertisement

It's true that Lizzi Miller’s photo underscores just how freakishly tall and whippet-thin standard models are. But the unattainable silhouettes of the birds correspond perfectly to the unattainable lifestyle that is promoted between the covers. And, personally, I don't like facts mingling with fiction. When women's magazines get out of the ad business-when journalism trumps mere product placement-then yes, I'll embrace Susan Meiselas -style documentary fashion spreads instead of fantasy productions.

The psychological stress incurred by a bombardment of impossible physical standards runs deep. I've watched two people close to me nearly die of starvation, and the number of women I know with disordered eating is too high to count. But rather than greet Lizzi Miller as progress I think we should be asking: Is it wise to seek redress from a mainstream publication? Furthermore, why isn't anybody questioning the merits of "regular" women demanding to see representation of themselves everywhere? Why must everything be a mirror? Narcissism, it appears, isn't just a Beautiful People problem. It runs rampant among the fat, the short, and the not-young too.

TODAY IN SLATE

Doublex

Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Lifetime Didn’t Find the Steubenville Rape Case Dramatic Enough. So They Added a Little Self-Immolation.

No, New York Times, Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman” 

Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.
Behold
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 19 2014 6:22 PM Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.