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So What Do We Think About This?


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Saturday, August 29, 2009

So What Do We Think About This?

This month Glamour magazine ran this photograph which has created quite a stir here in the US.

It seems women desperately want more images that highlight the variety of beauty that the female form has to offer. If that is true, then this should become one of the biggest selling issues in Conde Nast history.

Actually it just might become the biggest seller. When we wanted to do a post about this Tracy went to three different shops to find the magazine but all three were sold out. We had to scan this from the NY Post.

When I am shooting on the street older women and larger size women often say "no" to my request to shoot them. Actually, much more than any other category of people I shoot. I think they have a real suspicion about how the image will be used. I also think there continues to be a growing disconnect between the fashion community and "average" women in general

However, do you think that this economic crisis has forced the fashion community to open it's eyes a little bit to what the customers want?

Comments on "So What Do We Think About This?"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:57 AM) : 

I hope so!! Would also like to read more words in fashion magazines about people with style instead of trustfunds or hedge funds. You havebeen filling these gaps for me. thank you!


Blogger Unknown said ... (10:58 AM) : 

i think the biggest piece of "awareness" in the fashion industry is how this model would be considered "plus size" or "regular size" when in fact I am sure in real life-- out of magazines-- she would be considered to look quite thin or "healthy." [healthy, i've decided, is what they call women who are not over-weight, but could definitely never strut a catwalk.]

i think she is just a woman. a symbol of fashion? maybe. but i don't anticipate designers utilizing a woman of her "size" any time soon. if i think that is a good thing or not? i don't know. it kind of always has been "it is what it is".


Blogger Unknown said ... (11:01 AM) : 

No offense, but I think that you are giving the fashion industry far too much credit for suddenly becoming more "tolerant" of curves. Rather, it is the promise of the "biggest selling issue ever" that has them smacking their lips. In short, if it sells, they will push it. The minute it becomes yesterday's news, they will go back to the anorexic waif image that has ravaged a generation or two of young women.
That having been said, I am ALL for this picture. I love seeing a "real" body, particularly on a model who looks like she's pretty darned happy to be exactly where she is right now. I love seeing the skin, the curves, the way the light caresses this body (rather than bouncing off the angles.)I even love the little pouch of skin on her tummy.

I know it's been said a lot, but if Marilyn Monroe were starting out today she would probably never have even gotten to make her first movie. However, if you ask me to choose between her and, say, Calista Flockhart, as a reference for female beauty (and no disrespect to Ms Flockhart intended), I wouldn't even have to think once, much less twice!



Blogger The Sartorialist said ... (11:05 AM) : 

to be fair I dont think this picture even runs very big in the magazine so I dont think it was done soley to sell more magazines.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:07 AM) : 

Unfortunately, I think they've embraced this photo because they knew it would create controversy and sell magazines. They are long overdue for more realistic images of women. Such a double can be any shape and size. Women have to be thin, tall and perfect. I wondered if you had also discriminated in this way, since your lovely photos usually portray young, thin women. I'm glad to hear otherwise.


Blogger Unknown said ... (11:08 AM) : 

Va va voom!


Anonymous The Photodiarist said ... (11:10 AM) : 

In my opinion, the key is health. So long as we are eating as well as possible, getting exercise and periodic checkups, size and shape should not matter. And we women should not wait for fashion mags to show this kind of image to get comfortable with our bodies.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:13 AM) : 

I hope this spurs some thought in the fashion community. I think it's harder to dress a "plus-sized" body because of the different curves and different ways people carry weight - and I think that is a little of what has held designers back.

But what a challenge it would be! And if the majority of American women are a size 12/14 or higher, what a market! The first person to do this well and honorably and at a reasonable cost would make a mint.


Blogger Lopi said ... (11:16 AM) : 

And to think that people have accused you of avoiding shooting larger women in the past... It's a pity these women refuse to have their picture taken. I hope to see more of them in fabulous outfits here in your blog, real soon.
Keep up the good work!

Cheers from Greece


Blogger JouJou Loves You said ... (11:16 AM) : 

What is there to think about? It is a beautiful, NATURAL, realistic woman in a magazine. We should have been looking at something like this years ago. Instead we get to look at starving, amazon women who don't even look like that themselves. Photoshopped with hair extensions, clips on their clothing to look perfectly is very disheartening. I'm an AVID lover of fashion but I also know that fashion is selling a fantasy that the majority of us will never obtain.

We should ask ourselves...why we let this industry control what is beautiful and what isn't? What is it about the elitists that appeal to the masses?

The industry manages to grab a hold of women's insecurities so tightly that we all become slaves to Vogue's version of beautiful and 'in'.

BOO on that.


Blogger Dumbwit Tellher said ... (11:17 AM) : 

Bravo! Kuddos to this woman for agreeing to the photo shoot. She has balls.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:19 AM) : 

She's hot.


Blogger James Jean said ... (11:20 AM) : 

I love this photo. I think it's a realistic view of a real woman's body and it's imperfections which I completely love, adore and still find sexy. It lets us know that models like us regular Joe's are not perfect. I'm pretty sure even though European woman have the stereotype of being smaller in size and shape too can appreciate the realness of this photo.

She is far from being "plus size"......

As far as the industry, of course it has opened up their eyes. They were forced into a corner just like any other business was. I agree with Tanis that once they get a chance, "issues" like this will go right out of the window and it'll be back to business as usual, "models under 110 lbs or bust". Thank you for bringing this up.....


Blogger Soren Lorensen said ... (11:21 AM) : 

it would be nice not to feel plump at anything above 100lbs

but it will take a long time for some people to see this as fashionable or beautiful

as a 20 year old female all I can say is that it's too late, our brains are washed.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:21 AM) : 

Sir Mix-A-Lot called it ages ago:

"...I'm tired of magazines
Sayin' flat butts are the thing
Take the average black man and ask him that
She gotta pack much back
So, fellas! (Yeah!) Fellas! (Yeah!)
Has your girlfriend got the butt? (Hell yeah!)
Tell 'em to shake it! (Shake it!) Shake it! (Shake it!)
Shake that healthy butt!
Baby got back!"

(...edited for time/space...)

"So Cosmo says you're fat
Well I ain't down with that!
'Cause your waist is small and your curves are kickin'
And I'm thinkin' bout stickin'
To the beanpole dames in the magazines:
You ain't it, Miss Thing!
Give me a sister, I can't resist her
Red beans and rice didn't miss her
Some knucklehead tried to dis
'Cause his girls are on my list
He had game but he chose to hit 'em
And I pull up quick to get wit 'em
So ladies, if the butt is round,
And you want a triple X throw down,
Dial 1-900-MIXALOT
And kick them nasty thoughts
Baby got back!"


Anonymous LeahOttawa said ... (11:22 AM) : 

i dont think a re-focus would be a bad thing in light of the economic situation.
i think the focus should be fashion and style - does it work or not work on the body wearing it?
there are lots of people- slim or large, old or young with bad style.
there are lots of prople- slim or large, old or young people with good style.
let's give credit to anyone who can do it right.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:22 AM) : 

I certainly wish that the beauty ideals will expand, and not only tall women with skinny legs will be considered beautiful. It's a start!

Mr. Sartorialist, you're the best (:




Blogger ricola said ... (11:22 AM) : 

I think the fashion community has always centered on the world that surrounds the clothes rather than the clothes themselves, which are of course quite spectacular but only a means of attaining this particular fantasy. And its that fantasy, that ridiculous idealism that makes fashion Fashion. I doubt this photo will make the existing inhabitants of fashion take more notice, but I do think maybe it will entice a few new applicants. And visibility is a great way of causing awareness.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:22 AM) : 

I absolutely think it has.
The recession has shown the fashion world that the average woman simply cannot afford the amounts that many designers slap on their price tags. Especially young woman who are either finishing up their education or just beginning their careers.
It has also made people look at who the average woman actually is - normal size, no airbrushing. It's unlogical to think that women are going to be a size 0 or 2. Yes, there are many who are, but there are also a lot more who are not!


Blogger ingefaer said ... (11:23 AM) : 

I am very happy to hear you, at least try, to shoot pictures of older and also larger women.
I am in the first category, I love fashion and people with style but often feel left out when it comes to images that have any realistic inspiration to me.


Blogger tanvi said ... (11:23 AM) : 

I'm all for this, though frankly, it's been long overdue.

I don't understand why it has to be one or the other- as cliche as it sounds, beauty DOES come in all forms. If we celebrate all those forms, than maybe every woman would feel beautiful instead of struggling with the projected ideal.

It shouldnt matter what magazines show, but in reality, it very much becomes a part of the communal psyche.


Blogger geomom said ... (11:23 AM) : 

I love this photo - don't forget Jamie Lee Curtis had a similar photo spread in More magazine a few years ago. I'd like to think that photos of real women would become a trend in print journalism, but I doubt it! Now that the general public knows how easy it is to retouch photos electronically, it is shocking to see a real image.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:24 AM) : 

Awareness and acceptance of all body types are very
important in real social life. Fashion industry always
catered to fantasy world values. It is tragic that the range of that fantasy has been so narrow in the last
40 yrs, i.e. waifs as the standard. Today, that trend has not abated like your post may suggest, but has intensified into the realm of men. Look at, for example, the A.P.C website. the boys are anorexic looking if not actually so. And the cut of clothes reflect that.


Anonymous Serendipity said ... (11:25 AM) : 

Ok, i live in Peru and if we talk about fashion, fashion magazines or looks, we are far away of this reality. We get pictures and covers of girls that do not represent us.

However, i do have a fashion blog well readed in latin america and i can say that women want to see real women. That we are not all skinny girls and that if we learn how to shop and really enjoy it, the fashion community wouldn't be so damage (in a money talking-way).

There are lots of regular and big girls that want to shop -have the money- and they just don't know how. I have readers writting to me from Chile, Mexicom Argentina, Venezuela and Colombia, and their biggest question is "how to dress if i dont look like a model???"

I think that this magazine issue should be follow by teaching real girls how to look their best, and probably, they would buy more, spend more. This is a target willing to spend, we just have to give them a chance.

Love your blog!!!


Blogger MissMoll said ... (11:26 AM) : 

I'm all for magazines showing regular sized women. It's all about trends... models in the 80's and early 90's were "larger" than they are now so hopefully the trend will swing towards healthier sized models. Although why is it any time magazines highlight "plus sized," they're still 6ft tall?! And finally, the extra roll of skin looks oddly shaped- like she lost weight rapidly. Just a thought.


Blogger James Jean said ... (11:26 AM) : 

to Anonymous @ 11.07

I don't want to speak for Scott but his photos aim to portray the different styles he'd like to feature here, some more than others happen to be young and thin women. He just said older and plus sized women were the likeliest to say no to him and he has featured both groups before so I don't think he's out to discriminate anyone.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:31 AM) : 

I'm 5ft tall, Asian, dark hair, weigh just over 100lbs. What are the odds you'll ever see anyone like me on the pages of these fashion magazines unless it's a "special" article about non-model size people with "odd" proportions? An article to help us dress and deal with our shapes? And I am part of the majority. Imagine?
Regardless what the reason is for publishing this pic, thank you for that! Because we're talking about it. But unfortunately, it's probably all about marketing rather than finally listening to what people want. Fashion does change...and I am still hoping I get to live and see that we are going to change for the better.

For now, let's keep talking about our differences.


Blogger Unknown said ... (11:31 AM) : 

I love this photo! She is gorgeous! As a curvy, but naturally thin, petite girl I am always baffled by the fashion industry obsession with stick figures with mile long legs. More variety, please! More curves! and, how about more images of 5 ft. 4 in. women?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:31 AM) : 

I had to read the fourth paragraph several times before I understood you were saying large and older women will not let you take their photos on the street.

Well I won't let my family take my photo either. After they do the 'loving" and "helpful" dieting hints start. Yes I am over weight. I gained weight when I got Muscular Dystrophy if you must know. But I am indeed healthy, as healthy as I can be.

People treat me very differently at this weight. Many people are downright mean. If you came up and asked to take my photo I would be certain you were going to be mean to me too. It's open season on the fat.

Oh and for the healthy and exercise people. I am a vegetarian and ride my bike at least an hour every day. My doctors say I am healthier then 90 percent of their patients. And yes I am still carrying an extra 80 pounds. On a man that would barely be noticed. For a woman that means strangers call you a fat cow right out on a public street.

Why don't people of all sizes deserve dignity and respect?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:32 AM) : 

I love this picture... this is not far off my own body size. I am a Vogue girl but when ever Crystal Renn graces the pages of a magazine, I open my wallet. It broke my heart a decade or so ago when Mode, a plus size magazine tanked. (the idea that size 12 is plus a bit of a joke) If it is possible and this image here starts to break even more friction hip hip hooray.


Blogger P.Gaye Tapp at Little Augury said ... (11:35 AM) : 

I don't even see the Big deal-maybe it is heading to a 50 very soon and finding it very different from the 40- bodywise. This would be Best seen as the cover of Glamoour. Now that would be somethin' la


Anonymous phyllis said ... (11:37 AM) : 

Well Scott this is one older woman (51) who would never say "no" to you! These issues are always a hot topic on sewing forums; most women are so tired if seeing nothing but young and skinny girls all the time in fashion. How can we relate to that? We can't. Ironically, the woman in the Glamour photo looks no different that thousandss of nudes that have graced paintings for hundreds of years.


Anonymous Jen said ... (11:37 AM) : 

Look how gorgeous she is! In my opinion, size has absolutely nothing to do with it. As long as you are healthy that's what should count. That woman is beautiful and she shouldn't be scrutinized for a little extra flab. I give kudos to Glamour for having the confidence to post something like this.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:38 AM) : 

Although I'm all for a broader range of healthy women's body types being shown in magazines, I have to admit that this particular image grosses me out a bit.

Does acknowledging that the average woman is not 5'10" and rail thin mean I have to see every lump and bump?


Blogger M.'s Ramblings said ... (11:39 AM) : 

Do u feel that these 2 groups of women (older and larger women) who say no to snapshot opportunities, is a more prevalent response here in the States? Just curious.

This photo to me, highlights the over-editing of the female form, by magazine publishers/editors. I think photospreads and magazine covers are Photoshop'd and air-brushed to death, leaving us with an unhealthy, and unrealistic idea of beauty.

I love this photo - and kudos to Glamour for running it!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:39 AM) : 

I think that part of the reason larger or older women decline taking part in your photos is because they don't feel that they fit in under the fashion industry or society's description of beauty. This may well be because they rarely see themselves represented in magazines. Hopefully pictures like this will help them to recognize their own beauty, regardless of shape or age. I see the Glamour mag pic as following the Dove "Campaign for Real Beauty" that was started a few years ago. Does anyone remember that?


Anonymous LK- Healthy Delicious said ... (11:40 AM) : 

I agree with tanis. I don't think they did it for the right reasons, but rather because they knew it would create a stir and get them attention and sell issues. Its all marketing.

nd honestly, even though she may be "plus sized" in terms of number... she looks awfully tall. Not exactly someone I would see IRL and think could stand to lose a few pounds.


Anonymous CK Dexter Haven said ... (11:41 AM) : 

I think people are just looking for a rationalization for their complacency, laziness, and unhealthy habits.

I'm all for a 'more natural woman' in magazines. I dislike the choices that are being made by the (euphemistically speaking) "fashion types" — the ridiculously skinny 15 year old girls. We're in an era when Giselle has been called "curvy." But, i also don't want to see fat/flab idealized and normalized. Fashion magazines are still about fantasy. If i want to see 'regular,' i walk down the street and can do my own calculations of 'what percentage of Americans is obese.' [I'm not suggesting THIS woman is "obese!"]

I'm not buying that the magazine intended to cause a ruckus with this image. It was reproduced small, and not featured.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:41 AM) : 

It seems that in a time a economic crisis companies should throw a wider net if they want to continue to pull in profits. The more women feel accepted by the "fashion machine" the more they will buy. I do agree that it's a trend thing though - she's not the first we'll see. Slowly the fashion industry will seem more accepting to see if their profits increase. If it works, then yay, and they'll keep going until it peaks. If it doesn't work, then fashion curves were just a trend.

Personally, I think she's beautiful and her bones wouldn't poke me if we spooned. :-p I find myself attracted to her thighs as well - so soft... (^__^)
Life, Love & the Pursuit of Fashionable People


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:44 AM) : 

It has nothing to do with the media, in my opinion; you hear men every day in the street gawping - very loudly - over pretty girls walking past, and making those who don't get as much attention feel worthless. They then go home and compare themselves to the pretty girls, who are all tall/thin/well-dressed/etc.

The media simply aggravates it. That's all. *shrug*

The ideal 'shape' changes over time, anyway. We're slowly moving away from the waif shape now, with celebrities like Katy Perry and Pixie Geldof frequently making it into big name mags. This won't change, whether or not some magazine decides to report on it.

For example - it's the UK size 12 (or American size 8) girls that are sexy in my 'hood; J-Lo bums are definitely 'in'.


Blogger amyw said ... (11:44 AM) : 

I am so thankful for this picture and I hope it becomes a trend. Here's a model who FINALLY looks like the majority of most women. Women can relate to her, as opposed to the waifs who normally grace magazine pages.


Blogger scader said ... (11:45 AM) : 

I don't think that this photo will ever become the "norm" in the fashion industry no matter how much people say they "want" it.
I do agree with Scott that there is a disconnect-which is unfortunate, but I don't know if the industry is to blame. It has been a VERY long time since society has embraced "larger" women.


Blogger Miss Cheekie said ... (11:47 AM) : 

Anonymous, I am afraid that I will have to disagree a little here. I have been a religious follower of Sartorialist and still am, because Sir Schuman had portrait many different individuals, from youngest to oldest 60something man/women. When it comes to figure size, it is an unfortunate fact that there are more thinner people who are fashionista(or specifically sartorialist :>). Yet I have seen many pictures of fuller figure ladies in Sartorialist who clearly has defined style. The blog has succesfully portrait all sorts of individuality in style, it actually encourage me to define my own instead of following what mags tell you to wear :-)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:47 AM) : 

I've had discussions with friends regarding this very image, too. This struck a nerve with me.

I'll say this. While I appreciate what they are doing, it actually irritates me to see this advertised as a "regular-size model". Healthy? yes. Regular? Maybe by our "new" American standards that say the average size woman is a 12-14. To say this is normal is such a false truth.

As a society, we are getting larger and larger, but it doesn't make it normal or healthy.

Oh yeah, and I'm not some skinny bitch either. I'm a size 6.


Blogger Amy Johnston said ... (11:47 AM) : 

I think models like this would be a huge benefit to the fashion industry. Any clothing looks good on a 90lb, 6 ft, 16 year old model. That doesn't mean (in fact, it's quite certain) that it would look good on me. I am built similarly to this woman ("regular" with "healthy" thighs and a bit of a belly). If I could see photos of fashions that flatter her figure and look good on her, I could get a better idea of what would also flatter my figure.

I think she is beautiful and I would love to see more "regular" models of different sizes and shapes minus the airbrushing.

So sad that older/heavier women will not allow you to photograph them!


Blogger Unknown said ... (11:52 AM) : 

i don't find this a very fashionable photo, nor a stylish one. she looks like a figure model caught in a joke.

and i agree with one of the comments on health - if people/models are healthy, that's all that should matter.

i think beth ditto is a great example of a fuller woman with a great style contribution.


Anonymous mnewman said ... (11:55 AM) : 

the reason i buy magazines is to peek into the fantastical world of fashion- a world which, in reality, i have very little to do with. but i love being a spectator anyway. that said, in those magazines, i do NOT want to see women who are out of shape and flabby all over the glossy pages. sorry, that's just the truth. no, i don't think we should aspire to be stick thin size 0's, however flab and cellulite-are just not that attractive in photos, to me, at least. i'm a woman so maybe men have a different idea.
really, now, this is supposed to "sell more magazines?" i doubt it.


Blogger The Glamorous Housewife said ... (11:58 AM) : 

I am a 35 year old woman, size 4-6 with curves and I have noticed that in the past few years, with the whole 80s thing and skinny jeans, there is very little out there for me to wear. I used to love Anthropologie (and still do) but these long tunics and leggings do nothing for the figure. So I have decided to 'transcend fashion' and dress in more vintage looks to help accentuate my curves. Once I let go of the trends of the moment I was able to dress in a way that fit my figure and age and made me feel pretty- not like I was trying to keep up with all the skinny 20somethings.

I think that woman with the tummy is beautiful, and should be celebrated. But when you watch shows like Project Runway where they have to dress the 'normal' woman the designers freak out like they had to make a dress for godzilla. I think if fashion started designing for women like the model with the belly, they would earn a heck of a lot more money and respect with the paying public.

Thanks doll,
The Glamorous Housewife


Blogger Amy said ... (12:01 PM) : 

I have this issue and then I flipped to the page with Lizzie on it, I rejoiced. I am built much like Lizzie...I have a little pooch that I don't apologize for because I am a bit of a foodie.

In your post where you indicate that many larger-framed women say no to having their photos taken, I have to say that I can see why they would decline. Society and the fashion industry (which I love, don't get me wrong!) have pushed for thin, thin, thin. Not necessarily attractive, but the thinner the better.

I am hoping that with more coverage like this, where real bodies are used, women & men will be able to lose the hang-ups on their bodies. Models like Crystal Renn should be celebrated not banished:

I want to thank you for your blog because my perception is that you embrace style, not body-type. That is something to celebrate...individuality.


Anonymous Martin said ... (12:02 PM) : 

Ah, well, you know, regardless of her size, it's not the world's most flattering photograph. But she has a woman's body, full and delightful; and she looks healthy, happy, and comfy in her own skin. Bravo!


Blogger Jem said ... (12:03 PM) : 

i think that they have put this photograph in the magazine because they are finally comming to their senses, real women want to see real women in the magazines which they buy, not some stick figure who doesnt represent the whole. i am sure that the economy effects the amount of magazines which are selling one way to fix this is to publish things that we really want to read and look at. i hope that this is only the begining of a new trend in fashion magazines.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:04 PM) : 

I saw the photo last weekend and thought she looked beautiful!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:04 PM) : 

i think fashion looks better on a a thinner body type. when i look at fashion magazines it is to see the "ideal" look of the clothes. i understand that models are usually skinnier than most, it's their job to be skinny, so that their frame highlights the line/cut of the garment. sorry, but if i have to look at clothing that is ill-fitting, then what is the point? i am reading about fashion to see the fashion, not the model anyway...

btw, i am a "healthy" size woman, by society's measure, i just prefer my fashion to be about the cut of the clothes, not the model.


Blogger Lynne Rutter said ... (12:04 PM) : 

she's a beautiful, photogenic woman. has the fashion industry opened its eyes and accepted larger women? no! she isn't wearing anything. how can she sell a fashion she isn't wearing?


Blogger LPC said ... (12:07 PM) : 

I'm female. I'm not overweight. This photo makes me want to cry with happiness. I'm not an athlete either but I cried when Brandi Chastain whipped off her sports bra and twirled it around her head. Having helped the US win the women's World Cup for soccer. Some societal forces have limited women's identity for years and I feel so happy to think those forces may be defeated. For my daughter, if not in my day. It is awful to feel constrained by gender beyond the physical.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:09 PM) : 

very hot. and im being genuine


Blogger Jon Jon Wesolowski said ... (12:09 PM) : 

To me, it fashion is an art piece, and the models are the rack, then they don't want curves. They want something to drape clothing on to present it. The idea of fashion would have to utterly shift in order to change the mind of the fashion industry. If they change their minds based off of catering to peoples wallets, rather than catering to their morals, I will think they are a sell out.


Blogger Noa Raviv said ... (12:10 PM) : 

I think it's really good to see these kind of pictures in magazines.

people start to realize now that models in magazines do not represent the real world. they represent Photoshop and extreme diet.


> Hook The Look


Blogger Akazay said ... (12:10 PM) : 

Fat is not healthy, and ultra-thin isn't healthy either. And as much as this woman on the picture looks like healthy in size and weight, her stomach fat looks awful. Just because she is normal, she isnt at all beautiful, and isn't in a good shape.

I think most high-fashion models look awful nowadays, but if any woman takes them as a role model, than that woman is just stupid.

Be healthy, stay in shape, and your beauty will outshine any fucking supermodel ;)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:11 PM) : 

hahaha! you can say that again. :)


Blogger Madame Awesomepants said ... (12:12 PM) : 

I find it very interesting that larger women are turning down your requests for pictures. I'm always watching for them as I struggle to feel fashionable at a size 16 (although constantly running through the dirt after two young boys probably also adds to my fashion struggles as much as my size does).

I hope that this picture is the beginning of a change in thinking, but I don't think it's going to be a quick revolution. More likely that it will be a slow and tedious journey.


Anonymous delilah rose said ... (12:15 PM) : 

I'm rarely affected by articles on weight and body shape, since it's so often exploited.
But this took my breath away.

It's beautiful and it's fantastic.

I don't care to thank the magazine as who yet knows the motivational reasons behind printing the picture, but rather the model herself for being just so utterly wonderful!

What an inspiration to be at peace with yourself.


Anonymous Dustyflint said ... (12:15 PM) : 

I look to newspapers and blogs like yours to see "real" people and style. I don't expect, or want, to see it in the high fashion mags. Glamour is more a middle of the road mag so this sort of shot is perfect for them. They represent a more obtainable style.

Ms. Miller is lovely and deserves to sell a few billion issues.


Blogger balsamfir said ... (12:16 PM) : 

She's beautiful. I don't know anymore what the meaning of regular sized is. I think it differs depending on your ethnicity, and age. But I do know that I'd like to stop looking at anorexic teenagers and bony emaciated 40 somethings trying to look like them. It means changing how clothes are cut, and what colors they are, to start, since moderate curves need to be treated as an asset. Its true about Marilyn Monroe not being considered, but what about the healthy athletic supermodels of the eighties. Would they even get a second look now either? They were thin, but not size 0.


Anonymous Mariana said ... (12:21 PM) : 

Beauty is in variety and we should be reminded of that more often. We forget we are looking at actual people when we flip through magazines and all we see are countless images of pin thin models.


Blogger Mari said ... (12:23 PM) : 

Beauty is in variety and we should be reminded of that more often. We forget we are looking at actual people when we flip through magazines and all we see are countless images of pin thin models.


Anonymous Emma Howard said ... (12:24 PM) : 



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:28 PM) : 

No crisis will change the fashion industry. Get real!

The comments will be endless on this post, so it is an issue for the public. But that won't change the industry.


Anonymous said ... (12:29 PM) : 

she's really pretty,& this type of picture is exactly what we need. We either get pics of very skinny women or magazines champion very overweight women such as Beth Ditto (no disrespect meant to her at all) but her body is not healthy either. Both too skinny and too big promote ill health.
Frankly for most of us who look after our figure but enjoy life too much to give up the good stuff look like this naked.
More please.


Blogger hbynoe said ... (12:33 PM) : 

the fashion industry has traumatized most american women who buy into materialism. Of course because the recession and the decline in sales they are trying new ways to hook the ones that escaped.
the woman featured here looks pretty small and healthy to me, should be the norm instead of these stick figure unrealistic looking clones.


Blogger The Sartorialist said ... (12:34 PM) : 

For 12:28 Anon

Couldn't that have been said years ago about smoking or fur.

Both are still around but with a much different level of acceptance than before. I wouldn't be surprised if both were gone in 50 years.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:34 PM) : 

Slowly, we will begin to see humanness as special and embraceable~!


Blogger RJ said ... (12:42 PM) : 

I'm not ignorant, but I'm not fond of this because it makes EVERYONE else dream. No... let me word it specifically, It make everyone else who isn't naturally thin, or aspiring, dream. The fashion industry might be the ONLY thing we slim human beings have a leg up in and if the voluptuous impose we may have nothing. The fashion industry is the only place we can feel fortunate in a world almost totally unfortunate for the naturally thin and aspiring. You don't see skinny people trying to be football players or government soldiers. It's like trying to put two puzzle pieces that don't fit together. Even if regular size is accepted they'd still make her wear a girdle.


Blogger Amir Omar said ... (12:43 PM) : 

Definitely an eye opener!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:43 PM) : 

i don't think "thin" will go out of style, because people like to have a look to aspire to. something to live for, in a way. a way to distinguish themselves from others. this is human nature. is this woman beautiful? yes. she is a beautiful woman. honestly, her belly is too much for me. but i think it's great they are celebrating her form. i would like to see her form without the extra unhealthy fat on the belly. that's not healthy. unless maybe she had a baby. thin will never go out of style, and to some degree, thin is healthy. this woman certainly is beautiful, radiant, and seems healthy, but i don't think it's fair to say having that extra weight on the belly is a great thing! we should not "let it all hang out." it's not healthy for society. we shouldn't pretend obesity is ok. this woman is not obese, but it's a scientific fact that fat on the abdomen is a long term risk to health. and i think it's odd that this is being ignored in discussions about this woman. it would be wise for her to eliminate some of that site specific fat, and she could easily do so with diet and exercise.


Anonymous Claire said ... (12:44 PM) : 

The fashion industry has long worked on the idea that aspiration sells - which it does, to a certain extent. You sell people images of the lifestyle they'd love to have to encourage them to buy into your product/brand. That principle has encompassed idealised images of the human form that have become further and further away from what is attainable for almost all of the public at whom these images are aimed. I think it has got to the point where rather than being aspirational, it has simply become dispiriting and depressing: looking at such images doesn't encourage people, it makes them feel bad about themselves, and now that the fashion industry is waking up to this, perhaps we will start to see more images that make people feel good about themselves! Let's hope so.


Blogger Anita P. said ... (12:46 PM) : 

I enjoy real beauty photographs as art. She looks Divine to me.
Best vibes from São Paulo, Brazil.


Blogger Hawa said ... (12:46 PM) : 

my sister is fairly thin.....I on the other hand am quite curvy, petite but meaty....but what really shits me is that people choose to call one of us REAL while the other is IDEAL....i dont hold the fashion industry guilty of anything....i think its day to day people that choose to focus their thoughts on whats real or ideal...I have grown out of seeing a model when i flip through the magazine and rather focus on whats being worn and advertised...


Anonymous Claire said ... (12:49 PM) : 

And Áron: women naturally store some fat around their tummies, more so than men. A natural, healthy woman's body does not usually involve a completely flat stomach - it may do, but it often does not, and that's a question of genetics. The idealised flat stomach is usually achieved through exercise - stomach crunches not being a notable natural human behaviour...

It is especially normal and perfectly healthy for a woman to have a less than washboard stomach after she has gone through one or more pregnancies. Yes, excess body fat is not healthy. But this is not excess body fat. This is a perfectly ordinary and acceptable way for a woman's stomach to be.


Blogger Edna Leshowitz said ... (12:49 PM) : 

Interestingly enough, a "normal-sized" model is not new. Her body-type reminds me of the sort of woman you'd see depicted in a Rennaissance Bellini or Botticelli painting. And this sort of female figure was celebrated, considered the height of beauty. At some point in time, we veered towards an extreme opposite and hit the railing, divesting a woman of all that made her feminine. Perhaps we do need to revisit these earlier depictions to regain that appreciation of something more real.
She looks beautiful.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:50 PM) : 

this is great, but it will be a real milestone when normal sized women are featured in magazines without calling attention to the fact that they are "happy in their bodies". Whenever I see 'plus-sized' models they are always called out as such, why can't a model be a model without being labeled.


Blogger Marjorie said ... (12:50 PM) : 

A lot of people keep criticizing the fashion industry for it's lack of "real" women. but personally i kind of like my fashion with a bit of fantasy. and lets face it the designers who use slim models are making clothes that are best presented on tall slim figures. and vice versa. i personally look nothing like a model being 5'3" and an average build. but i love watching runways shows full of women i can never look like because thats what it is...a show. i like my models the way they are, tall, gorgeous and looking damn fine in those clothes. as long as the clothes look amazing, then i don't care how much meat is on the bones of the girl wearing them.


Blogger Lilja said ... (12:56 PM) : 

I don't think this photograph really has anything to do with fashion... she's NAKED, for crying out loud. Okay, she's wearing a G-string. I saw this article in the magazine - yes, I will admit that I was slightly thrown off by the choice of photograph when I saw it too - but the article that it graces is about things that men find attractive and sexy about women. They use REAL quotes, from REAL men, about REAL women. The article itself really has nothing to do with fashion. However, I don't disagree that the public idea of what is "fashionable" when it comes to the female body is absolutely changing for the better. While models like Kate Moss are still at the top of their game, we now have more normal-looking girls popping up here and there, for example Lara Stone, an average size 4-6 and a top model to boot. There is hope.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:57 PM) : 

See whether she looks fabulous without her (very pretty) face.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:05 PM) : 

1. yes, it is bad that models starve themselves for their job.
2. yes, photoshopping models to perfection creates an artificial standard. i can't even express in such a small space how bad that is.
3. BUT one should not mix up runway fashion with what can be bought in stores. it is not the same and it does not serve the same purpose. one is inpiration, the other is work.


Blogger french curve said ... (1:15 PM) : 

i think it's great that this photo was in glamour. i never subscribed to the mag, but somehow keep receiving it in the mailbox. i think it's great that crystal wren was also featured a few issues ago in swimsuits. she looked great in the photos. that being said, this photo, the crystal wren photos, and the photos of waif models are ALL photoshopped. this isn't a true representation of anything real life. they are photos in fashion mags. glamour is also a very hypocritical mag (as most are). i no longer have it in my possession, but chances are, flip 10 pages and there's a story about 10 ways to flatter abs.

talking about this gets me all fired up inside, so i feel like i'm rambling, but i just have to get it out.
i believe with all my heart, the way women are represented in the fashion industry will change in my lifetime. i hope in some way i can be a part of this change. nothing is more beautiful than confidence. look around you. not every confident person you see on the subway, street, grocery store, etc. is 100 lbs and has perfect bone structure.

fashion is all about image, there is no doubt. but this can be represented in many different ways and in many size packages. not everyone has the same ideals and lifestyle. if it's not harming you, mind your own business and concentrate on your happiness.


Blogger Unknown said ... (1:17 PM) : 

I think that things like this amazing photo and the new recessionista fashions have made it apparent that anybody can be confident, fabulous, and fashionable. These types of things bring people together!


Blogger Christina said ... (1:22 PM) : 

It's about being realistic. Glamour's readers are not wealthy socialites. They are working women, moms, maybe some men, who are just looking for some tips. They are looking for editorials that will help them achieve beauty and style by working with what they have. Glamour has, for a while, been printing stories on the best clothes for your body type and the best clothes for your budget. This is nothing new. They may have to run advertisements with skinny, skinny models, but they don't really have a lot of control over that. They have been sincerely, I think, heading in this direction for as long as I can remember. I applaud their efforts to make it easy for everyone to feel confident and look good.


Blogger Kelly Anne said ... (1:24 PM) : 

I don't know about the fashion industry, but I can tell you that seeing that image made me feel really beautiful for the first time in a summer spent living at the beach alongside super skinny bikini-clad women. I've been thinking about it ever since. Kudos to Glamour!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:29 PM) : 

I have to admit that my one criticism of this blog is the lack of older or larger women. The reason for this, that they will not allow themselves to be photographed, is a sad commentary on how society views women in general, not to mention the relationship between women and style.

For women, style is no longer what we wear, it's the body we put the clothes on. If that body isn't thin, then we're out. And that's sad, considering that most women are healthier at much higher weights than are considered stylish.

Keep trying to get those photographs! I know it's got to be discouraging to be turned down over and over, but please keep trying! I, for one, love those rare occasions when you succeed.


Blogger professor pinch said ... (1:30 PM) : 

A couple of comments & I'll try to be brief with them:

There is nothing wrong with Lizzie - she looks great. We need to see more diversity in women's age, shape, etc. in fashion & media in general.

The challenge is marketing/communication. Watch Mad Men & this becomes clear. Advertising has not changed much in 50 years.

Some designers are trying to branch out, you can find some great Michael Kors items for plus-sized women in Nordstrom.

Lastly, my wife is plus-sized. But if we're in NYC or if you're here in Charlotte, it would be an honor if you found her & her outfit worthy of photographing.


Anonymous Gloria said ... (1:38 PM) : 

Size 6 isn't skinny? I was a size 6 (size 8) a couple of years ago and got all kinds of comments about how I needed to eat a donut.

I'm really amused by all the people who are terrified of some kind of fat "slippery slope" where today we venerate the size 00 waif and tomorrow we worship a whale. Please. Stop sounding so overwrought. We can worry about that IF/when it comes.


Blogger Unknown said ... (1:43 PM) : 

She is a very beautiful woman, in fact, rather anorexic for the middle ages view of a goddess! certainly as beautiful as any of those Plexiglas 'models'. Funnily then, that the cover says '3 flat belly secrets' it is not about being healthy, but about 'looking' the right way, I don't think the magazine has any desire of catering to a more ethical view of the female body, it wants to sell, this just happens to tickle their 'what the heck' appetite.


Blogger Pastel River said ... (1:49 PM) : 

I was wondering why most of the women you shoot are thin to slender. I'm quite ashamed that I never thought they didn't give you permision to take their photo, I just thought it was the other way around.
Should have known better. So sorry to prejude.


Blogger Link said ... (1:50 PM) : 

Perfect! Now let's see some breasts that have gone south, as well, so healthy, middle-aged women can learn to stop hating their bodies.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:54 PM) : 

Why is it that photos like this stir so much controversy though? Everyone knows what a "real" womens body looks like and yet we applaud when magazines/other mediums use these images as a means to sell.


Blogger Hollie May said ... (1:56 PM) : 

absolutely love this photo. she looks so free and comfortable in her skin. a real lady.

and i agree 100% about the lack of high fashion for "regular" sized women. it's attrocious actually. i'm about an 18, and its very discouraging to go to the mall or shop online and only boring stores to choose from.

what about us average weight girls, it's unfair that we can't dress as hip and awesome as those who naturally fit the smaller clothes.

the designer to figures this out, and creates a high fashion clothing line for average women, will become world renouned and loved by MANY women.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:59 PM) : 

There are differences between still images, moving images, are reality. Still images, or arrested images, are the most unforgiving. Its a good thing that most of us don't have to be naked and frozen in time and space, like the still image here.

I look at this image and think: okay, she's probably attractive in reality, but I don't want to hang this photograph on my wall and admire it.

Moreover, I think that you, as a photographer, know that this image is intentional: that roll of fat at her waist is emphasized in this picture, whereas another naked photograph of her could have easily hidden it.

The problem with "us" is not that we admire well-sculpted bodies in photographs but rather that we confuse photographs (which are art) with real people. Plato complained about this in "The Republic."


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:00 PM) : 

"I also think there continues to be a growing disconnect between the fashion community and "average" women in general."

Oh, you don't say? I think it's (partially) the fashion community's fault that "average" women feel they have to measure up to some higher standard - as though anything less is subpar and inadequate. All that will do is alienate a population that will regard you as arrogant and elitist.

Shame on anyone who looks condescendingly at someone who doesn't quite fit their version of beauty.

I'm not trying to make a blanket statement about the entire community as a whole, but certainly these types of sentiments are prevalent.


Blogger My thoughts... said ... (2:03 PM) : 

I read some years ago that the super thinning of models began on the runways as a way to focus the attention onto the clothes and off of the beautiful woman underneath them. And now we have twisted that body type into THE body type. As several other people have said already, it needs to be about health and as Mr. Schuman shows us each day - it's about personal style.


Blogger madeline said ... (2:05 PM) : 

Okay, why does there have to be such an extreme contrast?? Either a model is going to be skin and bones or she's going to represent the "average" woman by having abs that hang below her beltline?

Come on. I am 43, not a model, not chubby or unfit. I also don't regularly work out and my stomach still doesn't look like that AND I have a kid. There are plenty of real women that lie somewhere in the middle of anorexic and massive. Shoot - put ME on the cover of Glamour.

Yucky does not have to be synonymous with "real" or "average".


Blogger Leslie in Adams Morgan said ... (2:06 PM) : 

To the Sartorialist: it's great to see this level of discussion on your blog. thanks.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:12 PM) : 

Sedentariness and consumption of processed foods should never be celebrated.


Blogger Unknown said ... (2:12 PM) : 

I think that slowly but surely things are changing. The Dove campaign is huge success and they make a point of choosing women of different sizes, ages and shapes and to show that sometimes those so called imperfections are what make us unique and beautiful. Let's be realistic though magazine are still photoshoping the heck out of everything and everybody and people are still calling Jennifer Love Hewitt fat. (ridiculous!!) At least there is a move in the right direction. That being said, I wish they would focus more on health rather than on size.


Blogger sweetmilkky said ... (2:12 PM) : 

I think people would generally describe this woman as beautiful. I want this to change from "beautiful" to "sexy." When will this become instantly desirable?


Anonymous Marit said ... (2:14 PM) : 

well ofc staying healty and feeling great in your own skin is perfect . the woman in the picture represents that, i believe, and in the everyday street picture, she's beautiful . but the fact is, that the clothes work best on those super-slim women, because they're made for them . in that way, you can see the best of the shapes and what the designers want to express . i don't think they'd work on women showed in the picture . it just isn't nice to see models with wobbly thighs and bellies showing beachwear on the runway . pretty sure the picture will change nothing .

i'm not very thin, i have curves and i'm very short, but in the everyday life what matters is that YOU make yourself feel good cos that's recognizable . i often change the clothes i buy and add something, even the designer ones . women shouldn't wait for regular/plus sized models to appear in the magazines/runways to feel stronger and more confident . if you're satisfied with your body, you'll find a way to be fashionable and beautiful, but if you're not then by all means, do something if possible .


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:19 PM) : 

Every once in a while, a model or a celebrity decides to take some sort of stand against the rather distorted image of "woman" that the media shows. That image changes decade to decade, but I think right now, that image is very dangerous: super-skinny, almost pre-pubescent silhouette, yet ultra-tall. And almost always Caucasian. Now, there's nothing wrong with being any of those things, but all together, this image represents a very tiny percentage of the population. And women looking at these models will ask, "why can't I look like that?". This can lead to some very dangerous dieting habits and low self-esteem.

I prefer a healthy-looking, smiling "plus-size" model to a bored, malnourished waif any day. So I think things like this article do a lot of good. :)


Blogger UESman said ... (2:20 PM) : 

I think this photo is brilliant. Its so annoying to see women pull their hairs out over not fitting into a fixed image which these magazines perpetuate (I mean I still think there can still be an ideal image for women. We don't have to throw out all of the standards now!).

I can't really speak about the last question much, Sart. Sadly, I don't follow women's fashion that much.

Perhaps the change in the fashion industry as a result of the economic situation will create more realistic self-image goals for the "average woman"...but thats just an observation which I have drawn from my own meandering experiences.


Blogger southerngentinL.A. said ... (2:21 PM) : 

She's not my type at all. And guess what, she doesn't need to be. That's what makes it cool photo. She's somebody's type and they should have the opportunity to enjoy tasteful photos of very confident women like this. Maybe were actually growin' up!


Anonymous MIA said ... (2:32 PM) : 

It's sad but it's true. people believe in a false image of beauty.

The real beautiful people are not really skinny and tall.
Those people are just not natural. The most beautiful people that I met are gorgeous by the way that they acept their own body and adapt everything to themselves.

I hope that people start opening their eyes and start living theirselves.

(sorry for my grammar mistakes, I'm not engish, I'm portuguese)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:33 PM) : 

Sorry, another comment... ^^;

A few commenters referred to professional models as the "clothing rack" to present new designs. That may be true, but don't designers want to present their clothes in a way *you'd actually see on real people*? Yes, I understand conceptual runway shows, what with the crazy (read: awesome) hairstyles and make-up. That creates atmosphere and goes with the line's theme. But what good is such an expensive "clothing rack" (model) if she doesn't present the clothes realistically?

I'd love to see some of the big design houses start to use their *customers* as models. A 9-to-5 working mom in a beautifully tailored suit. A 60-year-old millionaire in a ball gown. They're not the "ideal", but the "real deal". (sorry, that was really corny. ^^; )

This is a really great discussion... I love reading everyone's opinions, knowing that they could really affect the industry by showing up on this blog. :D


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:33 PM) : 

Europe knows the truth of human bodies and their allure and their magic in all shapes and sizes. We are learning. It is a good thing.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:34 PM) : 

isn't this what the 1940s pinup girls looked like underneath the corsets? i enjoy this.


Blogger Kate said ... (2:35 PM) : 

I'm curvy and would be honored to be photographed by you! I'm healthy by all standards and happy with my body.
Body image is very personal for people of all sizes.

Now, off to put together the perfect combination for if I should ever run into you on the street!


Blogger Launch Team said ... (2:41 PM) : 

Touche, Sartorialist. Touche.

Over the past decade we've seen the fashion industry slip lustily toward the luxury market, leaving behind those not willing to chase a virtually unattainable standard of "beauty".

Perhaps we've fallen in love with megapixels and baubles to the extent that we've lost the plot, as the English might say. And you wonder why retailers are tanking? Because the very guardians of their pursestrings have seduced them into a fantasy world bereft of authenticity, and print media is now feeling the pinch, represented through a declination of ad pages and loss of subscribers.

Fashion need only be interesting, and people will be interested in it. Authenticity is a good place to start.


Anonymous vancouver helen said ... (2:45 PM) : 

Scott -
thank you for today's post - such an engaging question, and your readers are fantastic - what wonderful responses!
I have been following your blog for several years now, and am never disappointed because in your own skillful way, you show us that true beauty transcends the physical; it is an illumination of the soul.
Thank you for that.


Anonymous nadia said ... (2:47 PM) : 

what is YOUR take on all this?

you may have asked to photograph normal-sized woman, but that's just one thing....


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:48 PM) : 

The very first thing I notice is the unflattering body position and angle.

She's sitting down, hunched slightly forward, with her right leg smooshed over to show it at it's fattest looking.

Even a skinny 20 year old would look her best with this angle and position.

It is interesting though, because we always see the extremes. It's interesting to see an average woman naked, reveling in her lack of perfection like that.


Blogger Gigibird said ... (2:49 PM) : 

The lady in the photo is hardly fat. I think she is probably in a healthy category of BMI (Body Mass Index).
The sad thing is so many young people think thin is normal – it may be for a few who are naturally very lean but for most women it isn’t.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:57 PM) : 

"I also think there continues to be a growing disconnect between the fashion community and "average" women in general "

i've written before on the importance of creating fashion and advertising imagery that people can relate to. if they can't relate to it, why would they invest in it? a lot of advertisers believe that the viewer will react to something they can relate to wanting, but i think this proves that the viewer will react even strong to something they already are.

full article:


Blogger Forest City Fashionista said ... (3:00 PM) : 

I think this woman is attractive, mainly because she looks happy, and comfortable with her body. Models have never been a realistic reflection of what women look like; they are, as one poster says, hangers for clothing--their job is to show the clothes. When I want to see what real people are wearing, I look to blogs like this one. I'm considered an "older" woman (48) and I love to express myself through what I wear, and I would never turn down a request to be photographed by the Sartorialist! But I have never been overweight, and I see how cruel people are to those who do not fit society's narrow idea of what is beauty for women. A beautiful woman is one who is comfortable in her own skin, intelligent,and carries herself with confidence. That is true style.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:02 PM) : 

There are small signs that the economy has put a dent in the isolation of the fashion community. I know that Marie Claire did a budget issue with many pages of clothing costing $1000 and up and took a hit from readers. It would be wonderful to see women of normal height and weight in print. Even seeing women older than 18 and not photoshopped would be an improvement.
A big reason that I love the Sartorialist is that it brings a genuine human dimension and enjoyment to fashion.
And yes, older women and larger size women get so many messages that they are invisible. You don't think it will happen to you, but it does, and it's spirit killing.


Blogger Tanya said ... (3:03 PM) : 

I appreciate knowing that you approach everyone whose looks inspires you. It makes me a little sad if women of larger size or older age say no. It's a stupid loop to be caught in: a woman feels that media and society has placed a burden of image on her, that burden makes her feel self-conscious and she wishes things would change, but when someone approaches her and gives her an opportunity to make a dent in this global lack awareness by appearing on an extremely widely read blog, she says no. And another opportunity passes her by to make a difference. To all you fat girls (I'm one!), old girls, funny looking girls out there reading this - if Scott stops you in the street, LET him take your picture.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:04 PM) : 

I found your comments very interesting, Scott. I agree with you in part. I don't, however, think that any changes have to do with the economic crisis, per se (I'm an economist, by the way). I think it's more a matter of demographics. As the baby boomers age we have a large cohort of people who are generally very well off (and much better-off than their children are or will be). Sure, some of the women in this cohort are getting surgery and working out like demons, but most people don't want to or can't live that way. Any group such as this with enormous economic clout is eventually going to exert an influence on such media. I'm a recovering perfectionist myself, and frankly I simply have better things to do than to have the perfect body and the perfect skin and the perfect hair. I still want to look great - but great for me comes as much from internal well-being as it does from the fantastic outfit I've put together.


Blogger Miss Y. said ... (3:05 PM) : 

I never really jumped onto trends, but I really stopped following them when skinny pants got into fashion again, I just try to wear what I like and what fits me, not so much what fashion dictates me to like.

Although somehow I don't seem to be able to find many things that are 1) nicely cut 2) reasonably priced 3) of a good quality standard (not necessarily high, just GOOD) and 4) flattering. I just really hate it that everything is of such a bad quality or totally unflattering! I'm just a 22-year old student, and I am willing to pay a bit more for quality, but I cannot afford it to spend 150€ on a nice sweater that just looks bad after washing it twice.
Really, I have a very standard clothing size: 1.68 and 58 kilo's, so very normal proportions. SO CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHY CAN'T I FIND SIMPLE THINGS THAT FIT ME WELL???


Blogger achnyc said ... (3:06 PM) : 

Thanks for posting this with your comments and soliciting ours! Hope Glamour gets the feedback - I truly think that the power fashion mags are missing tremendous oppty to shoot the woman on the street. You are doing your part - love love love your blog and photos - and your success thus far is testament to the fact that the most interesting fashion is out here - the men/women who are all shapes sizes and ages. Keep asking those older and larger people - more will begin to say yes once they see others on your pages! Thanks!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:07 PM) : 

When I look in a magazine I don't want to see "normal". I read magazines for the escape. The tips. The strive to be better. Not to stay the same.

First of all this woman isn't normal at all because she's got a GORGEOUS face.

But I don't need to see more fat-encouragement in magazines. I want mine GONE. I don't want to be reminded of it and have it be "ok".


Anonymous Kay said ... (3:11 PM) : 

Its always nice to see normal size women in fashion but would be better is if normal women would be considered in design. When you watch these reality shows such as PR, the designers often fail when it comes to the real world challenge. Usually the women chosen aren't that big or awkwardly shaped, but the fact that they have all the attributes of a women (hips, boobs, thighs) freaks them out!! I often wonder would the fashion industry just forego female models for teenage boys if it was acceptable. No hips or breast to get in the way there!


Anonymous Norm said ... (3:18 PM) : 

Doesn't this sort of thing come-up every few years?

Perhaps, one of these days, the fashion industry will truly derail itself from its rail-thin model of beauty. Let's hope this is a start...


Blogger Danna Banana said ... (3:23 PM) : 

I think that fantasy and art have their place in the world of fashion. But that world has been exclusive and discriminatory for far too long.
Make clothes that fit REAL women and help them feel beautiful too. Teach THEM what is flattering. Then you won't find women on the street too ashamed to have their picture taken.
Are you listening Anna Wintour???Make your magazine more inclusive and you won't keep having issues thinner than National Geographic.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:24 PM) : 

she'd look better wihout the muffin top.


Blogger A. James said ... (3:24 PM) : 

She's gorgeous, no doubt about it. While it is certainly refreshing to see a female model of "average" size, it seems to be a one-off. If mainstream publications and editorial spreads use a model of her size or larger regularly, I would be very surprised.

If people want the fashion community to change, everyone needs to do something about it. It isn't enough to shake your fist at the cover of Vogue or commiserate with a fellow dieter over black coffee and cigarettes. Society at large needs to respect people of all shapes and sizes, to reshape the ideal to something one does (exercises, eats a balanced diet) instead of what one looks like. Designers need to learn how to fit a curve--it's definitely more difficult to fit than a straight line, but it's not impossible. Clothing needs to be wearable, otherwise it doesn't have a point.

Also, I'm not surprised that older and larger women are turning down requests to be photographed. Usually, when images of older women are used, it's because there is a special need for an older model. Images of larger women are too often cropped into footage of "headless fatties" that accompany scary voice-overs about the obesity epidemic.

There is definitely a lack of trust there, and like in any other relationship, rebuilding that trust is going to take some time. We (fat people and the industry) can't afford to sit pretty on our indignation waiting for the other one to apologize or change first. Someone's got to step up.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:31 PM) : 

Ab Flab is more appropriate here. I am tired of being made to feel as if I am a freak. Also tired of obese being a celebrated norm. Just as tired of man-orexia and size -0.
As a woman of color who is near 40, I didn't grow up seeing myself in fashion magazines also, I didn't grow up able to afford the clothes that were featured. HOWEVER, the industry is about reflecting an ideal not reality. If that were reality, where is the outcry about fashion that strongly resembles sex-worker business attire?

I'm within my height (six feet) and weight proportionate BMI (at 170 lbs) and I'm okay with that.

I really enjoy looking at stylish clothing but, a all around(no puns intended) inclusion of those who are fit as models might be inspiring - however that woman in the picture, is not fit.


Blogger Fernandaandfriends said ... (3:32 PM) : 

Absolutely love the picture, her happiness, she looks so confident, and honestly confidence it's what's all about. The prettiest girls I know are soooo insecure...


Anonymous Alexandra said ... (3:37 PM) : 

I'm glad that you posted this photo. As much as I love this blog I have not seen one picture of a larger woman. I feel that everyone can be stylish, no matter their size.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:38 PM) : 

Hey Sart--

I'm a full-figured woman in LA-- this is occasionally a psychological challenge, but more often just an annoyance when it comes to shopping. I wish more boutiques carried my ass size. It's quite a scavenger hunt, getting my wardrobe together. Anyway--

I am also hot, fashion forward, and a bit of an eccentric dresser-- the kind of chick who gets stopped on the street about her clothes and accessories on a regular basis. In other words, it's only a matter of time before you and I meet. And of course you can take my picture.

But look: size 2's and 00's have SO MANY great, angular angles. They ARE angles. We size 14/16s-- not all of us; not so much. In some shots I am your dream woman. I am sex on legs, in a way only a girl with hips can be. In others I am the before picture in an ad for chin lipo. This is traumatic, okay? Bad pictures-- and, in the case of blogs, their attendant cruel, anonymous comments-- can be devastating. It's not that I don't think I'm attractive, or worthy of a sart shot. It's that I'm a bit afraid of the camera.

Hope this helps you get where we're coming from.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:38 PM) : 

I have one more quick comment! If you were to stop me on the street to ask to take my photo I would probably refuse as well. Although I'm an attractive and tall-ish size 2, I grew up placing all of the emphasis on my intellect, my athleticism, my education, and the contribution that I make to society. It's completely hypocritical of me, because I love fashion and love to look good, but I wouldn't be willing to appear in something focused on my appearance rather than who I am and what I do. Hmmm...Not a critique of your blog - I love it (and Garance's, too). As I said, I'm a complete hypocrite. Anyhow. I'm mentioning this as I'm wondering if in part this is what is going on with non-standard women you're approaching: they've focused their self-esteem on things that are in some ways in opposition to what appears in fashion images.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:41 PM) : 

Overweight women aren't attractive at all.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:42 PM) : 

Personally as a 55 year old I would love to see more pictures of women my age. I was in The Netherlands a few years ago, and was delighted to see so many stylish women age or older...such an inspiration. Which I need - desperately...!


Blogger Yoga Trish said ... (3:46 PM) : 

Visit any museum. Look at any sculpture or painting and the norm was women that looked like this. Our recent fixation with size and not how we feel is just sad.


Anonymous Misha said ... (3:47 PM) : 

Firstly, I think there is a huge confusion over the purpose of models. They're not there to be admired or set a standard of feminine beauty or any of that stuff. They're There to sell Clothes! Nothing else. And generally skinny girls make clothes on the catwalk look good, so they're used.
Secondly, catwalk shows are purely for the industry, to sell to the buyers and to some extent the editors, the public are almost irrelevant. Again, they're trying to sell clothes, not make some statement about women. The models are just glorified clothes hangers.

However, interestingly in the UK there's a strange phenomenon that magazines (which Are aimed at the public), including Vogue et al, are photoshopping girls to look Bigger. All the samples are made for catwalk models who, as I said, need to be super skinny, however in an editorial these look weird but the clothes won't fit the slightly larger girls! So they get the catwalk girls in, and then edit them a bit wider on the computer.

Is this happening in the States as well? I think this is far more relevant a marker of public perception than one mildly overweight girl in an article about real women!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:55 PM) : 

I have canceled almost all of my fashion magazine subscriptions and replaced them with fashion blogs. The reason is that I love to see how people around the world dress. Plain and simple.

I think that your blog features a happy medium between street style and couture. It gives me inspiration b/c most of your subjects are independent spirits in a variety of shapes and sizes. I don't have the patience or the extra cash to peruse a thick magazine full of pampered movie stars and photo-shopped images.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:55 PM) : 

I thought the magazine was being patronizing...puhleeze...just 'coz she's a 12/14 makes her plus-sized? She's 5'10 for chrissakes! That makes her normal.


Blogger pp said ... (3:56 PM) : 

I believe that fashion world should stop trying to mould us with their canons of beauty. They should finally recognize that skinny and tall does not equal beauty - beauty is diverse. It's a shame that fashion and film industries are ridiculously mortified by age, overweight - all things natural. This image is a breath of fresh air, and this is from a standpoint of a fashion addict.


Blogger Unknown said ... (4:00 PM) : 

This is just wrong. Fashion is supposed to be glamorous. I spend hours every week at the gym, going to my tailor, etc, in order to LOOK AND FEEL amazing. I expect the same from my mate. Simple as that. This girl needs to get to the gym. Big, small, flat, hips, etc. doesn't really matter. Proportions do. Take care of yourself and stop pretending that it's okay to look unhealthy. Don't let the Dove ads fool you - it's NOT beautiful.


Blogger Alexandria said ... (4:08 PM) : 

It's a shame that larger and older women turn you down but it's understandable since it appears women today would rather force themselves to appear young than to age gracefully and since size 0 is what the fashion industry tends to promote. I do think the economic crisis has forced the fashion community to open it's eyes but it hasn't made them be realistic. I remember seeing a sneak peek of The September Issue in which Anna Wintour said a $1,000 Alexander Wang dress was reasonably priced. I'm 100% sure there are tons of women out there who will find that price outrageous and it serves as a great example of why there's such a huge disconnect between average women and what the fashion community says the ideal woman should be. However, I'm grateful that I can turn to wonderful blogs --such as yours-- to see things from the average womans perspective instead of being stuck with what magazines say is acceptable and beautiful in terms of what a woman should be.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:09 PM) : 

Please don't hate me over this but i'm just going to say it. Most men like pretty women...thiner or more toned women are more pretty then heavier with fat folds drooping women. I think most of us know this. I look at most fashion and its women as "asperational". The peak, not the "norm". Why would I want to look at pictures of average people looking average? sorry......



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:12 PM) : 

The Sartorialist said...
For 12:28 Anon

Couldn't that have been said years ago about smoking or fur.

I've worked in the UK as a fashion editor for 15 years and I can honestly say that I've never seen so much fur - everywhere from Zara to Bond Street - as this season, AW09. There is a new acceptance of it: PETA still protest outside Harrods on Saturdays but it makes no difference. Once again, fur is everywhere.

Thus, the idea that something (like an 'unreasonable' body shape, for example) will go 'out of fashion' and stay that way - for purely moral reasons - is a bit of a dead end. Fashion is resistant to those kind of imposed ideals. You think people would know better, or come to an understanding of something, but no.


Blogger Liz said ... (4:13 PM) : 

I subscribe to Glamour, and like their magazine, but think we're giving them more credit than they are due. The issue in which this picture is appears prominently features the headline, "3 Flat Belly Secrets" on the cover directly beneath the magazine name.


Blogger Austyn said ... (4:15 PM) : 

I'm really not sure how being thin is a disadvantage in most most aspirations. Football players and soldiers, sure. But a thin person who is well qualified for a position based both on natural talent and earned achievements will never be at a disadvantage walking into a job interview. On the other hand, many people who are less attractive or heavier in build will be assumed to be less desirable candidates based on their physical appearance. So no, I won't feel sorry for you for being thin. You are not at a disadvantage because of it, and I think it's silly to plead as you have for mercy for the thin.

Although I have worked hard for my education and career, I am fully aware that being tall, thin, and attractive has worked to my advantage for many years. I would never expect anyone to act as I deserved the advantages it provides simply because I also lack the athletic ability to excel in a handful of other occupations.

I think we should point out that this looks like extra skin, not central abdominal fat. This woman does not have large visible fat deposits elsewhere on her body that would indicate that the belly is the result of an unhealthy lifestyle.


Blogger Andrea said ... (4:23 PM) : 

Unfortunately, I think this photo is used as novelty to create a splash in the media. I think it's time to embrace true and realistic beauty. But then again, part of selling fashion is preying on insecurities.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:25 PM) : 

What I'd love to see is magazines where the models are WOMEN, not girls (or women who look like they are 17). The kind of women that Richard Avedon used to shoot. It is women who can afford to buy the clothes, not young girls.


Blogger Joy Mars said ... (4:26 PM) : 

Aren't designers really tired of the stick figure canvass? Wouldn't their creativity explode in a good way if they could design for lots of different shapes -- and we could see their thought process?

This could be a great concept for a special fashion magazine: design for all the different shapes. It would also be a great idea for a "Project Runway" kind of "reality" show.

The myth that clothes look better on thin figures is exactly that -- a myth.

I'm not saying obese is wonderful, I'm saying there are way more healthy shapes in the world than skinny. (A case in point, Michelle Obama.) And as we've seen increasingly in these recent years, skinny is seldom healthy.

Now that our place on the planet must be based on sustainability, maybe we as a culture will venerate health, even in the haughty world of haute couture.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:30 PM) : 

What I don't understand is why fashion magazines can't use a mix of sizes and shapes. I don't think there would even have to be that great a range of sizes and shapes to make an impact on their readership.

I think it unlikely that there's going to be a sea change in the kind of models used in catwalk shows, but I would hope that some magazines would have the forethought to broaden their choices, even a little. If nothing else, it might increase their sales.

For me, I find sites such as this one infinitely more interesting than magazines since the focus is an individuals sense of style, regardless of their age or size.


Blogger Eric Weber said ... (4:33 PM) : 

Let Chanel, Gucci, Prade come out with a "plus" collection and showed in Paris, than let it be photographed by Steven Meisel and let it be on the front page of the Vogue...than I want to consider this subject as (seriously) worth talking about...greetings from Holland. e.


Blogger Manuel said ... (4:34 PM) : 

we just to learn that we have class of body to every age and to accept it.
Nobody can be a model to the 50´s.
The fashion must be to the service of the citizens, not to be a chain that ties us.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:37 PM) : 

This woman is really pretty, and I would call her slim and in good shape. I see she gets a lot of comments about her belly, but she´s probably had a child. I´m a size 4 and exercise every day, but I´ve still got a belly like that thanks to giving birth to three children! This position is not a very flattering one, I think she´s corageous!
Having children is such a great thing- it is just stupid to whine about a natural change of the body afterwards. That´s life! It will happen sooner or later anyway....


Anonymous Maria said ... (4:42 PM) : 

Are you calling this girl a "larger size women" ? larger than what? She is looks quite good compared with the average American.


Blogger riley dog said ... (4:47 PM) : 

Firstly, she's stunning.

Secondly, it's mildly upsetting (for someone who is "real world" plus-sized) to hear that there are overly body conscious women out there refusing to be photographed by you. It's hard, but never impossible to be dressed well (or even fashionable) with a larger body. And I think it would be refreshing - maybe even inspiring - to see someone who is actually plus sized on your blog posing in something fierce.

Heck, I do it all the time for my photographer friends in my hometown - and I look better doing it than many of the barely-there models in the magazines.


Anonymous Linn Emilie said ... (4:48 PM) : 

beautiful and natural =)


Anonymous Katy McDevitt said ... (4:59 PM) : 

It has been suggested that Glamour is using this photo to create a stir and push product. And to that I would say: Well, OF COURSE they want to push product. Nuthin' wrong with that. They're in business; they need to make money. We all understand this. Given that they're going to try to move merch off the shelves no matter what, I'm delighted that they're doing it this way and giving a nod to the vast majority of women who look a whole lot more like this unclothed than they do like Daria or Coco unclothed.

I am 48 years old. I have had children. I exercise regularly and vigorously; I can and do run half-marathons; I would say I'm in better shape than many people 20 years younger than me. I rarely drink alcohol, I don't smoke, I eat well. I am strong and fit; I love clothes and dress with care; my body looks much like Lizzie Miller's. The message I get over and over is that I don't count because I'm not young and I'm not a size 2. It's madness.

The world is full of beautiful stylish women who are not young and not itty-bitty. I wish they would let you take their picture, Mr. Sartorialist. I'd let you take my picture in a heartbeat because I know I have style. Style is not about size or age — look at Edith Sitwell or Isabella Blow. Not young tiny beautiful women at all but fantastically, enchantingly, memorably stylish women.

Glamour gets my vote for running this photo. May they and other publications run many more like it.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:03 PM) : 

When I saw this photo I was lying on a bunk bed in a slightly grimy hostel. While I do think that Lizzie is beautiful thanks to her youth and blonde hair, the photo frankly nauseated me a little. I felt like I accidentally walked in on the woman next door changing. The stomach pooch was shoved in my face, and I could do without. When I showed my mother this photo, she commented that Lizzie's stomach looked like hers, right after she gave birth.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:09 PM) : 

As a mother and med. student with a currently dying beloved grandfather (and both me and my brother have also experienced being severely ill on the edge of dying), I have a somewhat different perspective of the body. So many people seem to see it as a decorative object, but it is so much more! And I just want to say, especially to those of you with complexes, that please enjoy!!!
Your bodies can actually create life and give you so many pleasures. It allows us to enjoy music, the smell of spices and flowers, a beautiful painting, chocolate, sex, the burning sensation of exercising too hard....
By all means, be vain and have fun with fashion, but enjoy your body!


Blogger Miss D the Teacher said ... (5:11 PM) : 

I don't know if the have looked at 'normal' woman, but I sure hope they start looking at them and looking after them. Regardless of a recession.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:11 PM) : 

Hmm.. this lady looks beautiful because she is tanned, tall, and has a beautiful, symmetrical face. I very very much doubt people would welcome this picture as much if she wasn't as pretty as she is - so she is hardly the average woman. Perhaps she is what the average woman wishes she looked like?

The fashion industry is extremely exclusionary - yes, you must be unusually thin and tall, but you also must have facial features that are extremely rare, very symmetrical good bone structure, etc. If the thinness of a model doesn't represent the "average" woman, does her face represent the "average" woman? Why is it that we accept very rare beauty but not unusual weight, and isn't there some hypocrisy in this?


Blogger underneath said ... (5:21 PM) : 

Yeah - the fashion world is to rigid, for sure! Look at this woman.. she is a beauty.


Blogger sofiasophie said ... (5:21 PM) : 

I'd die to know what Anna Wintour thinks about that!


Blogger Candy9985 said ... (5:22 PM) : 



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:24 PM) : 

This model is stunning and is glowing. Please keep trying to take photographs of older and larger size women. The ones you have take of those groups have been stunning. Its time for a different kind of beauty.


Anonymous Emily said ... (5:25 PM) : 

Please stop calling voluptuous women "real"! ALL women are real just as all people of all colors are real people. It is extremely insulting.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:25 PM) : 

I think it is about time!!! I love reubenesque women like Sophia Loren and other robust looking females. Im a gay man, but Ive always appreciated the body and beauty of women....ALL women not only the stick chicks often clomping down the runway- seriously thinking they look fabulous! NO THIS IS FABULOUS! :-)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:32 PM) : 


She is a delight. Her smile is radiant. It took a second look to see what the fuss was about when I first saw the photograph. I was captivated by the energy of her face. My lover is a real woman. I can diggit!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:38 PM) : 

Almost even more interesting than this photo, are some of the responses it's getting here. The real disconnect seems to be what some are deeming healthy and not healthy. There's no denying that extremely thin isn't good for you and extremely over weight isn't either. But I think anyone calling this woman's size unhealthy is confused about body type and average weight. No way is this woman obese. She carries her weight in her stomach. As is normal for many. She isn't plus size and she doesn't look like a runway model. She looks like an attractive woman that loves the skin she's in. It's sad that this is considered so shocking.

This photo doesn't mean anything to me in terms of fashion or the fashion industry. She looks wonderful to me because she appears to feel beautiful. She owns her size and her skin and that's wonderful. Having women validate themselves, without the designer clothes or size 0 to back them up is really glorious. That's something magazines should be selling not matter what the economic state of the world is in.


Anonymous AJ said ... (5:38 PM) : 

Average woman!? Look at those toned arms. Are those the arms of an average woman? Look at the toned upper back legs, no cellulite puckering. Is that how a typical woman looks when she sits? Look at her golden, caramel skin. Is that the skin of an average woman? Look at her taut neck, pretty face, highlighted hair. What is average here?


Blogger Hafuusa said ... (5:39 PM) : 

Aww, that's too sad, I've always wondered why you only seemed to shoot thin, modelesque women, but I guess this explains it. I wonder if they knew how amazing your photographs were, would they change their minds?

In any case, I hope to see older women, larger women in your shoots, that would be truly inspirational.


Anonymous annie said ... (5:42 PM) : 

wow, that is really amazing, first I think, she has beautiful shoulders and what a great smile, then i look down and I think, wow those look like my thighs and stomach, and she seems so happy! I wish I could be that happy flabby and naked! I definitly can relate to her more as an individual and a person, rather than a commodity. Really awesome to have that happen when looking at a model.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:45 PM) : 

I would rather see a woman with belly fat rather than one with tattoos!!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:47 PM) : 

Size 12 isn't plus size anymore; size 8 is -- can you believe that??

And while I love the *idea* of this photo, it's just one photo. I won't believe the fashion industry has changed until I see models of all different sizes in magazines, modeling clothes.

I am a curvy, but healthy, woman, who has long since abandoned fashion and the magazines. They have nothing relevant to me, anyways; the clothes are too trendy, overpriced, and only flattering on the sticks they photograph.

I wear what flatters me and my figure, end of story. In fact, my fashion gurus are Trinny and Susannah, who remind me to accentuate my assets, minimize the rest. Good advice, no matter what age/size you are.


Blogger alex said ... (5:48 PM) : 

wow, so many comments.

anyway, I think it's great. I'm 23 (today, yey!) but all the more I start googling those playboy models to see how they look for real, they either look fake or average. All the more reasone to love my girlfriend, she looks great!

This cover surely just is a gimmick to get more sales, but it also is an indicator, as to how well we know, how real those cover models really are!

I'm a photographer by schooling, this lady could have been turned into cover material easily (nevermind Photoshop)! If I've learned anything, everyone is beautiful, you just need the right lens!!!


Anonymous Stick said ... (5:52 PM) : 

What about celebrating skinny women who don't look like models? Most of us aren't 6 ft tall, have perfect bone structure, skin, etc. I dont know why we always get lumped in with the models. Many people believe a skinny flatchested short woman is ugly.. but we don't get special spreads in magazines. In fact, in most country skinniness is not a desired trait and many people experience discrimination. I do wish humans would understand that ALL bigotry is wrong and hurtful, not just one particular type.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:56 PM) : 

I'm really enjoying this discussion, and all the opinions!
Personally, I love what Edna wrote about past styles, as well as a few others mentioning the different eras of fashion. For my body, I'm an extremely healthy and confident 5'7", 130lbs, 19yr old. I've got some muscle to do the things I love, I've got some curves which my guy appreciates, and sure I'm not going to be in Vogue any time soon, but who cares?
The biggest thing I can share with other women is that:
a) as long as you are healthy and happy, you are the "right" size. I come from a family full of women, and even though my sisters and I all grew up on the same diet and amount of exercise, some of us are naturally slimmer, some of us have a more curvy bone-structure and still slim, some have some pudge, etc.
b) for as many body shapes that exist in women, there is an equal variety in men's taste. Don't assume that all men want the same thing. Sure, there are guys who prefer the waif/boyish shape, and that's great for the women who are naturally thin. But there are also guy's who want something different. And mostly, men just like confidence!!
c) as Sart and others have shared, it takes work and creativity to find what celebrates your body, but you can do it! For my larger hips and breasts, I find 50's vintage styles work great. So I don't shop at urban outfitters whose shapes are made for other body types. I wear what flatters me!


Blogger Unknown said ... (5:58 PM) : 

What really irks me is that us regular women are the women buying the fashion, are we not? so why do the designers (and the fashion editors to a certain respect) continually bombard us with unrealistic expectations of what a woman should look like in their clothes? it's beyond ridiculous, i worry for the future of women and the future of my two little girls. but thank you for bringing this to so many people's attention, it's extremely important, i think. Hx


Blogger Unknown said ... (6:00 PM) : 

I love your work and read it daily. I do notice that you show a much wider age and figure range among men than you do among women.

As a middle aged average woman, I would love to see more "normal sized" middle aged women who are incredibly chic. Where do we turn when we need a new hairstyle or an updated look? I haven't found such a place, but I would trust this information most if it came from you.


Blogger BobKentNoVa said ... (6:14 PM) : 

The print media business is in free-fall, because advertising sales are evaporating. I think we will see much more of magazines altering their pitch to appeal to wider audiences; trying to boost circulation levels and luring back advertisers.


Blogger foodie hunter said ... (6:19 PM) : 

i think she looks lovely.

i also think that if the fashion industry in general sees an uptick in revenue from magazines, advertising campaigns, and positive or "good will" feedback from media outlets that feature models such as this one, then there will be change. perhaps not quickly....but there will be change. just the fact that we are having this discussion is an example of change.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:26 PM) : 

What I would really like, is for people to not judge. Yes it is a stupid, idealistic dream, and impossibility. However, I think she's gorgeous - not for any marketable reason, but because she's smiling - I personally am 5ft2, size 0, I have one tattoo (on my foot), I'm an orphan, I study literature and I have a trust fund. Do you like or hate me based on these facts?


We must stop judging each other...

P.s. I also love thesatorialist. We all do. So, we're all in this together!


Blogger Tristan said ... (6:27 PM) : 

I think her slouching forward crossed leg like that isn't going to give her mid section a flattering look. Strange though, I do think she looks lovely. Theres a vibe of vitality and sexiness about her, perhaps because the cover is so different from what i've seen.

I like the runaway shows, to me its not fashion or style but a form of art, a concept maybe an ideal. That is what makes it special.



Blogger Sonia Levesque said ... (6:29 PM) : 

I'm a plus size lady and a plus size fashion designer. And I embrace ALL sizes in their potential for potent charm and graceful beauty!

I never, for my part, felt ashamed or envious of rail thin models in magazines and catwalks. The are clothes "presenters" ONE representation of beauty that looks damn good in a photograph. Granted. But yeah, I do welcome (and wish for more) real & plus size ladies in advertising-magazines-TV-film that will prove the one thing we know:

We are women with rich life. We go out, we have lovers, we entertain friends, we love fashion and beauty and fun as much as our thin sisters! ;-))

I say YEAH to curves... all the more if presented with style and respect.


Blogger Link said ... (6:33 PM) : 

To the people who are saying the woman in the picture isn't fit: Come on! You can exercise 6 days a week--running 5 miles a day, lifting weights 20 minutes each day, and still have a belly--especially if you've had kids! I should know...I do(all that exercise) and I do (have a belly). And I'm an incredibly healthy (vegan) eater! No junk food at all!


Blogger kayang said ... (6:33 PM) : 

Wow, I was trying to read through all the responses when I noticed, that there are so many! I think I got through about 10 and then gave up. So I can only imagine how overwhelmed you must be. (Or perhaps not at all?)
To be honest, I enjoy looking at the tall amizonian woman and girls we often see on the runways. Myself, like so many others have been brainwashed into thinking that it is the only possibility that is asthetically pleasing. Perhaps it is my own wish to be as thin as they are. But even with my initial reaction to seeing thin models, I still feel many are far too thin. I think woman with curves are just as beautiful. The woman in this photograph is beautiful.

I find it interesting that you mentioned that older woman often decline your request. Once again I blame this on the us, the fashion industry, and society in general, for subliminally pushing these images onto us.

We only have ourselves to blame though.

Like so many who've said before, the only thing that is important is being healthy. Healthy on the inside, means beautiful and radiant on the outside no matter the size.
Thank you for posting this, I love things that start large discussions and debates.

From what I've read I think that most of us feel a similar way, so perhaps slowly we'll begin to convince ourselves that being all shapes and sizes and ages is okay, and is what makes the world so interesting.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:38 PM) : 

Interesting choice of topic for a website devoted to fashion - a photo of a nearly nude woman! I find the most interesting aspect of this photo is that she must hide her breasts because in the US it is just not acceptable to show them. We celebrate violence in our movies and tv, but nudity is taboo. What a culture. While I am not overweight, I find the current trend towards "acceptance" of being overweight (or even obese) disturbing. I work in health care and I can tell you that - no matter what you think - you are not healthy if you are overweight, certainly not if you are obese. It will affect your health eventually. Oh - I'm 60 and you can take my picture the next time I'm in NYC!!! :)


Anonymous The Librarian said ... (6:43 PM) : 

Thank you for raising this topic so that people who think fashion and retail have nothing in common begin to get a clue. What is the point of the art of fashion if it is not to sell the clothes? How do the designers transmit that art to the general public if not by selling magazines?

If designers want us to open our wallets, then the consumers need to be able to realize the dream, at least in part. For many, many women the joy in Lizzie's face and attitude will be the aspiration, not her body's size. To those who see nothing aspirational in the image, go back to your blinkered Vogue existence and keep chasing your tail.

And to those of you who want to see more of these kinds of images (of Crystal Renn, Kate Dillon, MODE magazines, etc), I refer you to "Every Body is Beautiful" where you will see EXCLUSIVELY models over a US size 10. And they aren't all 6ft tall, either.


Anonymous A Movement Therapist in Montreal said ... (6:44 PM) : 

All I can say is...Why not Plus Size and In Shape?

The woman in this picture, and she is only 20 years old, has no muscle size or not.

I think North Americans believe "It is all good". I simply do not agree.

As intelligent and discerning individuals, there is a desire to strive to be the best we can be.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:49 PM) : 

I really hope the fashion industry will change and begin to use normal size woman. For me that have worked in the business I feel a pressure to be thin even though I'm only backstage. Most people in fashion is really skinny and that is so wrong that there have to be such a ideal. And when changing the sizes for the models alot of things will change, for us who is working around them to. I'm glad you brought this subject up. Love your blog!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:01 PM) : 

people like thinner models, cuz they are healthy (I'm not referring the anorexic ones ofcourse)..Curvey or overweight people is just reality, its not desirable and it will never be.Who would want a broken chair or dusty sofa in their home? yeah good for a video clip maybe but for living?

And lets be honest, this cover lady is beautiful and would look much more prettier without that saggy tommy.


Blogger Alexandra said ... (7:06 PM) : 

I really liked this when I saw it... and I think your story about plus-size/older women declining your photograph is also interesting. love ya sart!


Blogger josephine said ... (7:07 PM) : 



Blogger thecatbirdseat said ... (7:27 PM) : 

i stopped buying women's magazines when i was 30--i finally realized they made me feel bad about myself. seventeen magazine helped fuel 9 years of eating disorders--i was obsessed with how skinny and tall the girls were, and what they weighed. i will NEVER have another fashion rag in my house, since i have two daughters, yet i love clothes. so THANK YOU for your blog that shows real people with real bodies and always inspiring choices of dress.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:29 PM) : 

I have had enough of this crap that Hollywood is trying to sell women about all this "core training". As a result we see nothing but waif-like women with 6 pack abs and arms that are more muscular than A-Rod's. I hope intelligent women everywhere would never do these stupid exercises, love the little rolls in your mid-section and the flab in your arm - most men, including me, find that extremely attractive.

Ask men who they would prefer - Christina Hendricks or Lindsay Lohan I can guarantee that 99 out of 100 would say Hendricks.


Blogger MJ said ... (7:42 PM) : 

I think that the image is a great start and I for one will go out and pick up my first issue of Glamor Mag for the first time in years to check this out and show support.

Some of the earlier comments are correct - it isn't an about face of the industry but its a small step and it should be taken into account.


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