The February Issue of Marie Claire, a New York based magazine, is dazzled with Penelope Cruz. In the past, Marie Claire has been known to brandish the odd plus model and feature articles not necessarily the usual industry standards. With its unique choice of article selection it is like the birth child of Ms & Cosmo, except perhaps lighter on the Ms. side.
At first glance it looks like it's an average fashion magazine with clothing, hair, celebrity news and how to get a guy articles but they occasionally tackle tough issues. One of the issues this month is "Why America Hates Fat Women" by freelance writer Dana Hudepohl. I opened it up to pages 78 - 82 expecting an informative article (like the one on page 67 about children being sold to the circus in Nepal) but what I found was a bunch of sidebar information after a brief intro.
The first page is an intro with the word FAT taking up most of the page. Page two is a black and white photo by Howard Schatz of a plus size woman's naked backside.
Followed by page three:
* Where are Fat Women Feeling Prejudiced.
* Tyra's Fat Suit Escapade.
* Renee Zellweger's Up & Down Trends.
* Fat Stats Pin Cushion Doll.
* The Biggest Loser.
* What you can Do (really just a blurb).
* FATASS, Padded Lilies, and Big Burlesque groups.
* Children's Report Card.
* Pregnancy Weight Gain and the Stars.
* Where it's Illegal to Discriminate Appearance.
* Thin Prejudice.
* Poll Results of 400 Readers on Fat Prejudice.
Interesting read but they could have done better. While many would say it is a start and at least they are doing something somewhat positive. I repeat, they could do better. Some of these tidbits of information deserved full articles, like "Where are Fat Women Feeling the Prejudice", Sweathogging, and The Burlesque and other groups.
Other than the black & white ass in the opening of the story there are two other photos of a fat woman one is a FATASS cheerleader the size of my thumb, the other Tyra Banks in a fat suit. There were no other photos of fat women to be used? Most importantly, this piece does nothing to answer the opening question it poses: "Why is it ok to treat anyone who weighs more as less than human?"
I've only purchased Marie Claire one other time when they had a half page piece on a plus model who posed nude for a billboard and the reaction of viewers. Overall, it's reasonably priced at $3.50 in the US and $4.95 in Canada. If you love diamonds they also have a lot ring ads. I don't know if it's the usual or just because Valentine's is coming up. You will definitely have a healthy dose of fashion, sex and celebrity.
Regardless of advertising and storylines this is a good opportunity to support women in our community. Purchase this issue and write Marie Claire to let them know you read the article and would love it if they highlighted more plus size women and plus related issues. We come in all shapes and sizes. The people who run the magazines know it and we know it, it's time the magazines reflect it. They won't do it if they don't have the support (and feedback) behind them.
Get a dirt cheap Marie Claire subscription from Amazon.com for $1/issue.