Glamour magazine’s September issue shows a photograph of 20-year-old Lizzie Miller, sitting in her underwear. As this issue of Glamour hits the newsstands, women flood the magazine with tearful yet grateful letters and emails. Television shows, newspapers and blogs cover the story, and everyone is truly amazed.
Cindi Leive, editor-in-chief of Glamour magazine wrote on her blog: “It's a photo that measures all of three by three inches in our September issue, but the letters about it started to flood my inbox literally the day Glamour hit newsstands.” She goes on to quote some of these emails, "I am gasping with delight...I love the woman on p 194!" said one reader.
What is so special about this photo you ask? In this Walter Chin photograph, Lizzie is definitely young and beautiful, but she is also a size 12-14 model who happens to show her rounded, average-looking belly. Glamour decided not to airbrush the photo as it was part of a story about feeling comfortable in your own skin.
Lizzie told Leive "When I was young I really struggled with my body and how it looked because I didn't understand why my friends were so effortlessly skinny. As I got older, I realized that everyone's body is different and not everyone is skinny naturally--me included! I learned to love my body for how it is, every curve of it. I used to be so self-conscious in a bikini because my stomach wasn't perfectly defined. But everyone has different body shapes! And it's not all about the physical! If you walk on the beach in your bikini with confidence and you feel sexy, people will see you that way too."
In a recent interview on the Today Show, Lizzie said that she can't believe that people actually liked the photo. She expected to hear a lot of negative comments about her body. How did we allow all this to happen? Where a photo of a “normal” looking woman is so unusual and extraordinary.
I’m happy that this photo and story was met with such a positive reaction by women. I hope to see more stories like this one in the future. The huge amount of publicity Glamour received from this photo pretty much guarantees we will, at least if they are smart, we will.
Like Lizzie and myself, we should all learn to appreciate our curves, tummies and thighs and be comfortable in our own skin.