The Problem with Glamour Magazine’s Plus-Size Issue (Proud2Bme)

April 14, 2016 • Body Image, NEDA, Proud2Bme, Recovery • Views: 1530

This was originally published on Proud2Bme, an online community created by and for teens. Proud2Bme covers everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

By Kaitlin Irwin–

Amy Schumer recently posted on social media about Glamour’s inclusion of her in their plus-size issue. She wrote that the magazine “put me in their plus size only issue without asking or letting me know and it doesn’t feel right to me. Young girls seeing my body type thinking this is plus size?” What do you think, readers? Is Amy in the right? Should Glamour have asked her permission? Is Amy plus-size?

First of all, why do we even need these labels? A person can be healthy at a range of sizes. Dedicating an entire issue of Glamour to plus-size women is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, women who aren’t “skinny” haven’t had positive recognition in decades, so it’s so nice to see these women being celebrated. On the other hand, why, why, why are we still focusing on the body? It infuriates me to no end, because although focusing on plus-size women is great, it doesn’t rid us of the underlying problem: placing unnecessary importance on a woman’s appearance and body.

Amy was distressed about the implications of young girls seeing her body attached to the label “plus-size.” That’s a totally valid concern, in my opinion. She also stated that there is nothing wrong with being plus-size, but she was included in the magazine without even being notified by the publication. The reality is, when you’re a celebrity, you’re fair game for the media microscope.

Therefore, I can’t say I agree that Amy should have been notified by the magazine before being referenced in it. That happens when you’re famous. Even so, I do think Glamour’s plus-size issue is not a good idea. The normal issues that feature Photoshopped celebrities in sexual positions are not a good idea, either. The articles in the magazine that are dedicated to dressing for your shape, improving your shape and labeling your shape are also no good. When a publication can simply focus on celebrities for their art, not their looks, then we’ll be in business!

As a side note, what is “plus-size” anyway? If you look up a quick definition, “plus-size” refers to “a size larger than the normal range.” But at the end of the day, who flippin’ cares?! Also, why isn’t there a plus-size issue for men? We’re not even going to go there right now.

At the end of the day, this all comes down to the focus on the body as the most important thing. Forget about how talented actresses are, the obstacles they’ve overcome and the heart and soul they put into their craft. Just slap the label of “plus-size,” “sexy” or “toned” on them and send it to press. Or…we could include all bodies, all the time in these magazines. After all, glamour isn’t one-size-fits-all.

About the blogger: Kaitlin Irwin is a recovered anorexic who spent her college years struggling to hide her illness. With lots of support, patience and an Intensive Outpatient Program, she embraced herself, flaws and all. In her free time, she enjoys exercise, cooking and art and can usually be found with a good book, a journal or her fiancé. She hopes to use her love of creative expression to spread positivity and love to others.

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