Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Whenever you hear words like "real beauty" buzzing around in mainstream media, they're usually trying to sell you something. We should've all learned this lesson after the massive and oh-so-empowering Dove Campaign for Real Beauty (which featured six curvy non-models in bra and panties) turned out to be a pathetic ploy to sell cellulite cream.
And when plus-sized model Lizzie Millier recently posed nude for a spread in Glamour Magazine that bared a visible "belly roll", I wasn't buying it.
Apparently, she's a size 12-14, which puts her smack dab in the average range of most American women; a fact everyone seems to think is going to single-handedly cure body image issues worldwide and spawn a revolutionary movement.
Um. Not so fast.
They forgot to mention that the average American woman is a size 12-14 and 5'4'', which looks a lot different than it does on a 5'9-ish model with an otherwise toned physique. And while the photo aims to be some sort of reflection of a bodily reality, the only supposed flaw is the layer of tummy WHERE EVERY HUMAN BEING IN THAT SITTING POSITION WOULD HAVE. So, curvier? Yes. More real? Not necessarily.
Which is why it was such a hoot to see the model's interview on the Today Show, and even bigger holler to see Glamour's smug editrix and chief pretending it was totally her idea all along. Matt Lauer did, however, ask a valid question in the midst of the hooplah: "Is this gonna change things?"
Not, really Matt, no.
Because "real women" projects like these are merely specialities. Just something the mainstream throws out every once and a while to acknowledge that a particular group of people exists whenever it benefits them. You know,kinda like Black History Month.
Nevertheless, let us all give credit where credit is due, so as not to seem ungrateful. A kudos, a high-five, and a big thumbs up, Glamour: you managed to run a photo of a woman without a protruding ribcage and resisted the urge to retouch it!
We'll toast to this rare moment where the beauty industry has decided to include real women; but remember the other 99.9% of the time they don't.