So I came across a post on my Facebook feed: It was about a woman who lost over 170 pounds. She was going to be featured on Shape Magazine’s website, only to be told they wouldn’t use her picture unless she sent one with her stomach covered. I see these things a lot, and wondered how legit the story was, so I researched and came across the original blog: Brooke Not On A Diet.
I was excited at first that Brooke had lost 170 pounds by not dieting, but it turns out she is doing Weight Watchers, which is fine and doesn’t take away from her accomplishment, but it certainly is a diet, in my book.
I liked reading her blog post, because she includes the emails back and forth from Shape, which the original article didn’t include. These emails are very revealing. The reporter from Shape insists that the request has nothing to do with Brooke’s body, but is part of their editorial policy for these types of stories.
Being the fact-checker I am, I found that Shape’s “editorial policy” that doesn’t allow them to post regular people unless “fully clothed” is either a very recent addition, or completely bogus, because I went through their Success Stories.
While it is true that most of the recent pictures show people with covered bellies, I did find a pic of a woman in just a sport’s bra. There were many others of this genre when you went back in time, but it does look like (other than this one pic) all the photos in the last year show people covered up – which seems odd (but not at all surprising) for a magazine whose covers almost universally show women in bikinis.
Here’s the thing that really struck me, though. I admire Brooke for ability to accept her body as it is. A lot of women would have either covered up or bemoaned that they needed surgery to get rid of the skin, but she stands there proudly, looking beautiful, and stands up to the glossy media giant (they are owned by the same company that publishes The National Enquirer, Start, and The Globe, btw). I love seeing her confidence and admire her ability to tell it like it is.
Today Show Interview – Watch this video to see Brooke and Shape editor meet on the Today Show. Shape not only apologized (throwing the reporter under the bus in the process), but is also showcasing her (and five other women) in their magazine discussing what happens after weight loss.