September Magazines Face-Off

August 30, 2009 at 12:08 pm 1 comment

I just taught my first body image class of the semester on Friday and, already, there is plenty going on in pop culture to keep our conversations current and fueled. 

SECVCVS01Y70

A few weeks ago, the cover to SELF magazine’s September issue made headlines because it featured a picture of Kelly Clarkson that had been doctored.  Ironically, the tag lines around the picture said “Kelly Clarkson: Stay True to You and Everyone Else Will Love You, Too.”  Well, they might love you, but they’ll still airbrush your picture is the message I guess SELF (whose magazine tag line is You at Your Best) was saying.  You can read Lucy Danzinger’s (the Editor of SELF) blog entry about their decision here.

Glamour Pg. 194

Meanwhile, over at Glamour, this photo got readers clamoring.  Found on page 194 of the September issue, this shot catches model Lizzie Miller flaunting her body as part of a spread called What Everyone But You Sees About Your Body– a piece on mustering up the body confidence every woman should have.

This photo elicited so much reaction that the editor, Cinci Leive, posted her own blog entry about it.

What I love?  That the magazines are getting feedback on their choices– feedback that will hopefully inform their future decisions about whether or not to airbrush, how to broaden the messages they give to women and the messages they relay about women, etc.  If we choose to be consumers of media, we should be active consumers, giving feedback as to what works and what doesn’t work and voting with our dollars to applaud one’s efforts or withdrawing our support by not purchasing a product that sends a negative message.  It is only when WE express ourselves and exercise our power as consumers that those who release images and ideas about women can truly learn whether or not their messages are on target or need to be modified.  I am not nearly as plugged into social media as one can be, but I know that all these magazines are set up on Twitter, Facebook, and have comment features on their web-sites for us to have easier access to expressing our opinion.  Now, we just need to assert ourselves and send our own messages about what we’be buying- literally and figuratively- from the messages they are sending.

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September -November 2009 Workshop Schedule Recent coverage of Circle de Luz

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jillian  |  August 30, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    I thought of this song when you shared the Kelly Picklar one, but just found it, love the words…”you were made to fulfill a purpose only you could, so there could never be a more beautiful you..”

    Reply

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What does it mean to be beautiful in America? For years, pop culture has insisted that beautiful women are tall, thin, and blonde. So what do you do if your mirror reflects olive skin, raven hair, and a short build? Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina offers a provocative account of the struggles and triumphs of Latina forced to reconcile these conflicting realities. Rosie Molinary combines her own experience with the voices of hundreds of Latinas who grew up in the US navigating issues of gender, image, and sexuality. This empathetic ethnography exemplifies the ways in which our experiences are both profoundly individualistic and comfortingly universal.
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