Thanks to Amy Schumer, we are all very aware that Glamour magazine put out a special “Chic at Every Size” issue dedicated entirely to sizes 12 and up.
The magazine costs $10 and is the result of a partnership between the Condé Nast title and Lane Bryant. The collaboration includes one more special issue, a video series, and a Glamour x Lane Bryant clothing line. And though the 96-page magazine (available through June) has all the trappings of a branded content deal, Glamour describes it as an original editorial product.
Back to the reason we're even talking about this. As she wrote on Instagram, Schumer was taken aback that she, a size 6 or 8 person, was lumped in with Melissa McCarthy and Adele on Glamour's plus-size issue cover lines. She wrote:
[Glamour] put me in their plus-size-only issue without asking or letting me know and it doesn't feel right to me. Young girls seeing my body type thinking that is plus-size?
Fair point, Schumer. Glamour responded that it in no way meant to imply that Schumer is plus-size; she was included for her "passionate and vocal message of body positivity."
But the fact that Glamour recycled a 2015 interview with Schumer for its decidedly not-special spring 2016 plus-size issue raises only one of the 11 questions I have about this half-hearted effort.
Why is cover model Ashley Graham showing nothing but her ankles on the cover of a SPRING issue that celebrates BODY positivity?
Why is it such a damn big deal to have straight and plus-size fashion covered equally in a single magazine???
We shouldn't need a "special plus-size issue" just like we shouldn't need a black woman on the cover ONLY in February.
Sixty-seven percent of American women are plus-size. Why don’t half of the clothes that Glamour features — in its regular issues — come in the sizes its demo actually wears?
Source: Plunkett Research
And when Glamour is not telling us how to "flatter" our flaws, it's telling us all the things that make us look fat. How is that empowering?
All of the plus-size legging don'ts in the story referenced above are light colors (white, nude, light gray) and plus-size size women can't wear them because duh: drawing attention to our bodies in anything but the color black is an affront to all of humanity.
Dumb rules like this have nothing to do with actual fashion. Designers break these rules all the time and fashion editors applaud them. Fashion is about expression and individuality. SHOW ME INSPIRING FASHION IMAGES. TELL ME THE TRENDS. TELL ME WHERE TO SHOP. Don't tell me that I should "never ever" show my shape in light colored leggings. Besides, how the hell do you know how tone my thighs are? Fat girls can be tone.
How can the magazine say in one breath that it’s not going to give “old-fashioned advice about hiding your ‘flaws’” and then be all "fat women can't wear white" in re question six?
“Created specifically for women with curves, Glamour Chic At Any Size delivers 267 outfits, ideas and updates that flatter sizes 12 and up. In these pages, celebrity stylists, designers and real women of style share their exclusive wisdom and favorite looks. What you won't find: old-fashioned advice on hiding your "flaws." What you will find: modern styling advice from and for confident women.”
Lies all lies.
Where are the plus-size models in the below plus-size fashion article on Glamour.com that promises “options to suit a plethora of body types”?
"These Are The 7 Most Flattering Pants for Work" (There's that word again...)
Why do only two out of the 10 picks in the below article (tagged to Glamour.com's “style your size” section) go above size 12?
Why for this first-ever plus-size special issue did Glamour use recycled interviews with Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer, and Melissa McCarthy? Surely there were fresher perspectives to be shared.
WHY DOES THIS MAGAZINE COST TEN-MOTHER-FUCKING DOLLARS IF IT'S FULL OF FULL OF EVERGREEN AND RECYCLED CONTENT?!
Those are all of my questions.
I would like to say thank you to Glamour for alerting me to the plus-size brand Universal Standard in one of its many "figure flattering" roundups. I'd never heard of that brand and I'm super into it.
I'd also like to say that Glamour is far from the worst magazine offender when it comes to ignoring and misunderstanding the fashion needs of 67% of its consumers (*cough* Vogue *cough*).
But really, Condé, this is why fashion magazines are dying.