When Glamour magazine ran a photo recently of model Lizzie Miller, her belly hanging ever so slightly over the top of her panties, I thought I was hallucinating. Happily. A girl with some meat on her bones! Gorgeous, check. Happy, check. Pooch, check.
Readers’ reaction to this image — truly revolutionary in the insane women’s magazine world of praying-mantis 15-year-old models we’re told we should look like (genes and age be damned) — was huge, visceral and emotional. “Shame on Glamour for thinking this was sexy!” wrote one reader. “Holy hell, I am normal!” exulted another. “Thank you for the self esteem,” said another.
Any woman who wears a size 14 or higher continues to struggle finding beautiful clothes, because most high-end designers — even mass marketers like French Connection (nothing over a 10) — refuse to let fatties wear their schmattes. J.Crew, basking in the reflected glory of filling out First Lady Michelle Obama’s wardrobe, only has size 16s on-line or in their catalogs. In the current, November issue of Glamour, we’re told of the very few clothing makers — Michael Kors (expensive), Isaac Mizrahi for Liz Claiborne (a much-hyped commercial disaster) and Baby Phat (please) — who’ll even tolerate the excruciating embarrassment of a woman-with-hips wearing their designs.
In a long feature by former Glamour editor Genevieve Field, Glamour promises many more photos to come of heavier, more realistic models. Call it the pooch manifesto.
Here’s a really radical idea. Let’s judge all women — and deem them valuable — by the size of their hearts and brains, not their asses.