Wednesday, September 2, 2009

"Real" women cause a stir. Really?

Seems people can't get enough of Lizzie Miller and her "real" belly.

Glamour Magazine ran photo of "plus sized" Lizzie in the September issue and has sent the latest wave of body honesty and adoration through the fashion world. Lizzie -- who is a size 12-14, certainly not plus-size by realistic, American standards -- was featured on morning talk shows, explaining her pooch.


Photo by Walter Chin, Glamour magazine

Now, the New York Post is reporting Lizzie and a band of fellow non-size-two models were seen shooting pics (including buzzed about model/author Crystal Renn) -- gasp -- in the nude in New York recently, supposedly for an upcoming Glamour spread.

I am always on board for honest, truthful discussion of body image and the reality of the American female form, but I am conflicted about this Lizzie/Glamour situation. In much the same way I was when Anna Wintour dressed Adele for the Grammys or the Gossip lead singer Beth Ditto was the darling of Paris Fashion Week.

Is the intent honest or a grab for headlines? Is it more fetishisizing of larger women? Is mainstream fashion really ready to embrace "real" bodies?
Thoughts?

46 comments:

  1. Real or real lazy? Get thee to a gym and stop making excuses.

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  2. It's purely a grab for headlines with a lot of marketing opportunities for the magazine as well as the model. Percent of noninstitutionalized adults age 20 years and over who are overweight or obese: 66%. This is disturbing because marketers and overweight models greed are trying to tell the rest of that it is ok. I'm 10 lbs overweight and I know that I don't look good that way, so I'm working to get back in shape. I'll never be a model, but those "air brushed physiques" make us work harder to reach a somewhat satisfactory self esteem with ourselves. If it makes us healthier in the process, that's a good thing. Japan & Korea have BMI or 3.2 % and the U.S. has the highest 30.6% followed by Mexico & Britain . Promoting the idea it's ok to be overweight, is all about marketing greed, not good health.

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  3. When she stands the pooch is gone. She is not overweight by any real standards. Only the anorexic idiots think someone like her is overweight.

    Its easy to tell someone to go to the gym when it is convenient for you. Some of us work 12 hr shifts and have children to attend to. Personally I get up a half hour early and drop by the gym on the way to work, but everyone cant do that. Dont be a jerk Alicia, you dont know other peoples situations.

    I dont think being fat is what they are promoting here. I think they are trying to show people that promoting eating disorders isnt healthy either. Todays anorexic models are constantly being shoved in our face. Few 3 dimensional models exist. Why is it such a fervor when someone like Jessica Simpson looks slightly overweight in a pair of ill fitted jeans? Because people like you, Alicia, tell everyone that you have to be a size zero and need to go puke their lunches up.

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  4. Rachel: I believe you meant "Adele," not Estelle.

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  5. Oops! Nice catch Anon @ 11:38. It's fixed!

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  6. I've lived in Korea and Japan. Their females have shapeless un-sensual bodies and look like prepubescent teens, which isn't sexy to me. Give me a woman with some curves any day. I'm not talking about Roseanne Barr curves, just someone with a nice backside and some chest. I run 5 miles/day, but I don't require my mate to do the same. Working out may be your thing, but it's not for everyone.

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  7. From a man's perspective, this woman is much hotter than the models on TV. I like a woman who isn't afraid to show off her flub. As long as she doesn't go morbidly obese (ie, one more Krispy Kreme donut away from a heart attack), I think women should flaunt it.

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  8. SORRY BUT THERE IS NOTHING SEXY ABOUT A FAT WOMAN...I AM A REAL MAN. NOBODY WANT A FAT STOMACH TO FEEL IN THE BED...IT'S JUST NASTY

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  9. What is going on with this picture, its not even close to attractive, please put some clothes on...UHHHGG... :(

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  10. To all who say get to a gym and loose the weight....
    Ever stop and think that maybe there is a medical reason behind at least some of the "fat" people? I myself used to preach "get your butt to a gym" as I was pretty thin and worked out almost daily. Then I started gaining a large amount of weight almost overnight no matter what I did and was eventually diagnosed with an underactive Thyroid. I am still struggling to loose the weight and commend those who are trying to show women who I am now like. I have learned to like my body and deal with being overweight.
    Just remember it is not always due to laziness. And good for magazines and fashion lines for realizing that there is more than one body type out there!

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  11. Well, the person in the next office to mine complains constantly about her extra "10 pounds." Yet she shows up each morning with either a bag of Bojangles, McD's, or KKreme's. Her strenuous exercise involves a 10 minute walk around the office building. And she can't figure out why she can't lose the weight. Duh!

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  12. I agree, there is nothing sexy about a fat stomach or pooch. Does it mean I am not going to love my wife? of course not but american women are to supersized and just because over the last 30 years the average dress size has gone up doesn't make it sexy. If your man likes you that way fine, if he doesn't then do something about it

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  13. She's no Emme' by a long shot, but she's still cute...

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  14. Is that woman a marsupial with a pouch for her young?

    The only way she could have gotten that belly flop at her age would be if she previously weighed 300 pounds and then lost 100.

    She needs plastic surgery. I'm a guy with a standard guy beer gut, and my belly doesn't hang down like that.

    That's just disgusting.

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  15. Our country is the fattest in the world. You can always spot other fellow Americans in other countries by the size of their waist. Seriously. Last year I was in Argentina, Dominican Rep., & Brazil and I caught myself finding other Americans this way. If we keep on our fast food and reality tv binge we can expect to start seeing "fat rolls" as something normal and sexy.

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  16. I'm not fat, I'm big-bonedSeptember 2, 2009 at 2:38 PM

    Right on Anon 2:31 - Americans do stand out overseas - makes it easy for terrorists to spot us. Same thing with the malls - can't all be due to "thyroid issues".

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  17. Don't be judging me, people. It's not my fault that donut jumped in my mouth. Now if you don't mind, I'm gonna hit the drive through at McDonald's. But I'll be ordering a diet Coke to go with the two Big Macs, so I think I'll be ok.

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  18. I for one am sick of all of the Photoshopping that's done to models in post-production. Even an anorexic, emaciated person is going to have a fold of skin when they bend at the waist, yet those natural occurances are routinely edited out of the picture, leading everyone to believe that these women are flawless perfection. That's not realistic, and it doesn't help anyone improve their body image (like a previous commenter implied).

    This model probably did lose a lot of weight and has a pooch that would be pretty hard to completely obliterate without surgery. Is that a bad thing? Hell no! She's attractive, and when she stands up it's probably mostly gone. She's a good-looking, natural woman.

    Quit being so concerned about what other people look like, and be more concerned with how well you treat others. If everyone took care of their own issues, we wouldn't have any.

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  19. I don't think she looks overweight, but she certainly isn't in shape. While you shouldn't be 'too skinny' or 'too fat' you also shouldnt be 'too flabby' either. She would be even more shapely if she replaced some of her muscle with fat. I think people miss out on that a lot of the time. If you're 'skinny' and you have no muscle, are you really all that healthy??

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  20. Whoops, I said that backwards! I meant 'replace some of that FAT with MUSCLE'

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  21. It is amazing to me the amount of people who have stated that women with any fat on their body or a pooch at all is disgusting! It must be hard on you all to have the perfect bodies! No flaws at all! It is so sad that this is what our society has come to...all that matters is appearance. Forget the fact that pooch could have come from bringing new life to this earth. Hey...even if it was from a donut, it is her body. She is a beautiful, REAL woman! Good for her!

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  22. I have a pooch like that - and I've never been a 100 lbs overweight, or even 20. According to my doctor I'm at a normal BMI - albeit at the high end. I'm also not a model, but I'm also not a size 12 either. Sometimes it is just a real body.

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  23. I'm not seeing anything on here that says that ANY bit of fat is disgusting. Check out Neal at 9:20, Anon 2:16 and Anon 2:31.
    I don't think this model is overweight but she's not the one driving up my health care costs or squeezing me out of an airplane seat or blocking the aisle in Wal-Mart. That's what I have the problem with.

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  24. She is a fine, attractive woman. Your not going to see that pouch if she stands. Your not going to see that part of her unless your very very lucky either....

    If you judge this woman by that small part of her body, be prepared to be judged in kind.

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  25. I absolutely think that mainstream media should embrace real women's bodies... not the barely there waif thin models we see in the covers of magazines and on TV. Being morbidly obese is not healthy, either is being super thin. This woman is exuding real beauty -- inside and out. Who ever said that this photo was disgusting needs a reality check.

    I also have a "pooch". I am nowhere near overweight. I am actually 110 lbs give or take a few , 5 foot one and I've always had it. I also have a healthy BMI. Just because someone has a tiny bit of extra fat around her stomach does not make someone disgusting. It's REAL.

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  26. What goes around comes around. Remember Marilyn Monroe? She was by no means skinny but has been heralded as one of the most beautiful women ever and I would have to agree. Betty Grable, Jane Mansfield, Raquel Welch, Ann Margaret, need I go on? This young lady has a beauty all her own, and it should be appreciated. Stereotypes are for the narrowminded.

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  27. This is a beautiful woman in a bad photograph. Why on earth would they pose her like that? It seems they are trying to highlight her imperfections rather than celebrate her regular form.

    I agree with the message completely. It's time to start telling our children that they are beautiful.

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  28. Anyone consider she may have given birth to a child or children??? If that is the case, that may just be extra skin and not a "fat pouch" at all!

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  29. Not everyone likes the same thing..I like my women the way I like my chicken..with a little bit of fat at the end.

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  30. "Anyone consider she may have given birth to a child or children??? If that is the case, that may just be extra skin and not a "fat pouch" at all!"

    Oh Lard! Here comes the fat because of kids argument!

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  31. ok -- who's up for the Golden Corral this evening?

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  32. I think the comments along the line of "as long as her man likes her that way, she's fine" are really interesting. And that's the challenge... The idea of what a beautiful woman looks like comes from, you guessed it, men. So this ideal that men have of female beauty -- pretty face, big knockers, perfect chest/waist/hip ratio, no body fat -- gets fed to us (women) from the time we're born until we believe that's what we have to look like. Not that they have to live up to the same standard, of course. Look at all the television shows and commercials that show some fat guy married to a gorgeous model.

    Ladies, our goal should be to be healthy and to be happy with ourselves as such. The average woman in America is a size 14, and that's not a healthy size for most women. But it's just as unhealthy to try and look like the size 0, heroine-addicted models that adorn most magazines and runways.

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  33. This too funny. Another example of the bible belt rushing to pass judgment when they should just let things pass. Stay classy Charlotte.

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  34. Sorry, but the pooch looks exceedingly unattractive. They'd never let her show that in a real modeling shoot, even for "plus-size women". This girl clearly was a lot heavier than even now, and that's skin that hasn't tightened back up. She's only 20, and it looks like she can't control her appetite. Such a shame she's being celebrated for that now.

    I've traveled abroad quite a bit and you just don't see European women with the weight issues American gals have. They take better care of themselves over there, and they don't have a profit-obsessed food industry promoting obesity. To defend such behavior, and constantly claim victimhood instead of taking personal responsibility for your weight, is a mark of how dysfunctional our system has become.

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  35. I am a 63 yearold man, that still has a BMI less than 25 who still enjoys the beauty of women of all shapes and sizes. Women and men who are on both ends of the scale have problems that they should deal with. We know that Americans are overweight, but the superthin may not be healthy either.

    We should exercise, eat healthy and sleep. Many do not do these basic things. The healthcare system in the end must deal with the end result of either extreme.

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  36. She's a fox. If she's not attractive enough for you, you must be one of those narcissistic types who spend hours a week in the gym, instead of having the second margarita with a friend....

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  37. I think she's beautiful just the way she is.

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  38. It's not just the pooch, which is disgusting. But also her legs are like Redwood tree trunks and she has a layer of fat so much that it produces a line that makes it look like she is wearing a belt. And her butt is as wide as a Buick. Cute face but this is no "model" figure. This is a "I've let myself go" body on a pretty face. Models don't need to be rail thin but globs of skin like this are not at all attractive.

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  39. So why the "gasp" from you regarding the idea that Lizzie and others might have been shooting nude in NY? Nudity and/or partial nudity plays a big part in the photography of the fashion world now, in case you haven't noticed. Stick your head out of your shell and look around. Looked at W lately?

    Lizzie is a beautiful woman, and part of that beauty comes from her self confidence. She's also a big girl, tall and big-boned. I think she carries her weight very well.

    Yes, it may be a grab for headlines, and yes, there's some marketing going on, too...but you can't ignore the honesty behind it. And why shouldn't she grab some headlines...if it's her time to shine, who are you to begrudge or question it?

    And "fetishisizing" larger women? Not in this case, I don't think.

    As far as "mainstream" goes, Lizzie is more mainstream than all the matchstick models on the planet. Deal with it.

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  40. I agree with Anon @September 2, 2009 6:21 PM

    Pretty face, but the legs are too big. For those of you saying it was because of kids: I've seen women who gave birth to more than one child and you can't tell by looking at them that they ever had kids.

    If a woman looks like that and can't do anything about it, that's fine. But I don't understand the need or desire to pose "nude" for all the world to see.

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  41. Anon at 8:45: That was a sarcastic gasp. Guess that didn't come through, huh? I think it's fab they were nude and being photographed, but question the snarky reporting about ample naked women.

    Like I said, I'm conflicted. Any opportunity to initiate conversation about body image is one that should be seized. I guess I'm just wondering/hoping the intent for follow through is there, and it's not just superficial discussion.

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  42. She has way to much fat for a girl her age. Seems like maybe the photo was adjusted because the rest of her body does not fit the same profile of the fat on her abs. This is the worse kind of fat to have..around the waist area. To me it looks like maybe she was very overweight at some time and lost some weight but had extra skin around the middle.

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  43. Anon @ 6:21...the line around her waist appears to be a g-string. Some of you men should try taking a picture of yourself in the same seated, bent-forward position. You'd be surprised how much of your gut you can't see (or just ignore as if it's not there)!

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  44. As recently published in BELLA Magazine…
    Does my bum look big in this ad?

    The media’s flooded with reports about the damaging effects that unrealistic advertising messages have on our body image. But, if you turn the page or change the channel, there are only more images and messages perpetuating the problem.

    You control advertising content and you don’t need a Journalism degree to do it. You’re in charge – from the swipe of a credit card to the click of a computer mouse or the press of a television remote.

    Advertisements don’t create themselves. They follow demand. Advertisements use flawless models because you (or maybe not you, but a lot of people like you) buy the product.

    If you want to learn more about all this kind of stuff, have a flick through the book Does my bum look big in this ad? It’s a little handbook to help you navigate your way through the media maze.

    Like this article, the book doesn’t lay blame solely on one particular industry or profession. It is simply an educational tool so that you can understand what you see, hear or read.

    It’s written with the combined efforts of Advertisers, Educators, Psychologists and Media Professionals and is due to be published next year. But I’d also love to hear your thoughts on these issues so feel free to email me at lisacox@mail.org or check out www.LisaCoxPresents.com

    <<>>

    Lisa Cox is an Author, Public Speaker and Role Model to thousands of young people.

    She has worked and studied in the media for over a decade and written ‘Does my bum look big in this ad?’ – The handbook for teens about popular culture and body image.

    Lisa now works to educate and empower young people and enhance their media literacy. She promotes a healthy body image, self esteem and positive role models with her own unique story of survival and triumph. You can read more at www.LisaCoxPresents.com

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  45. I've always been a fan of plus-size models! There's a great site with lots of images of plus-size models here:

    http://www.judgmentofparis.com

    They're all gorgeous.

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