Brooke Birmingham, author of the health and fitness blog, “Brooke: Not On A Diet,” was able to lose over 170 pounds without surgery or fad diets. She dropped the weight the good ol’ fashioned way: cutting out processed food, counting calories, and exercising more. The process took her four years of hard work (“I literally worked my ass off,” she says of meeting her goal weight in May of 2013), so she was understandably thrilled when she was contacted by Shape magazine editors who wanted to feature her in their “Success Stories” section. After doing a phone interview and sending over a photo of herself in a bikini for the “after” photo (shown above), Brooke couldn’t wait to see her story in print. But then an editor of Shape emailed her, saying there was a problem: if she wanted to be featured in the magazine, she would need to put a shirt on.
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The editor of UK Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, gave an interview this weekend and revealed very candidly how people who create fashion magazines like Vogue think. In an interview on BBC Radio 2, Shulman — who has been editor of UK Vogue since 1992 — spoke about what makes for a successful magazine cover. Here she is quoted by the UK’s Telegraph:
“If I knew exactly what sold it would be like having the secret of the universe, but I’d say broadly speaking, if you’re going to talk about a model or a personality, it’s kind of a quite middle view of what beauty is. Quite conventional, probably smiling, in a pretty dress; somebody looking very ‘lovely’. The most perfect girl next door.” … People always say ‘why do you have thin models? That’s not what real people look like’ But nobody really wants to see a real person looking like a real person on the cover of Vogue. I think Vogue is a magazine that’s about fantasy to some extent and dreams, and an escape from real life. People don’t want to buy a magazine like Vogue to see what they see when they look in the mirror. They can do that for free.” Keep reading »
On Monday night at a media industry event, a reporter from Capital New York asked Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles about her magazine and feminism. Coles responded that Cosmo is “deeply feminist,” and covers issues like “equal pay for equal work,” “sensible control for guns,” and “access to contraception and access to abortion, should, God forbid, you need one.”
“There’s nothing more mainstream than equal pay for equal work. I mean, it’s completely obvious that’s what feminism should be for, and for women’s right to choose what happens to their own bodies. It’s unbelievable in 2013 we happen to be talking about this, but the battle over healthcare, the battle for women’s right to choose their own contraception, that ludicrous panel full of old men in Washington ruling what women could and couldn’t do—where is feminism then? Where are all the left-wing academics? Actually, Cosmo has been out there clamoring all along for this.”
Some feminists are not so happy about this, perceiving Coles’ remarks as dismissive of academics in areas like gender studies, race theory, history and others that have had a direct result on feminist advances of the 20th and 21st century. But I’m actually happy that the editor of the most major women’s mag in America didn’t run screaming in the other direction when the F-word came up.
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So I finally picked up a copy of the December/January issue of Lucky featuring that godawful photo of the divinely beautiful Kerry Washington on the cover. Normally I love the mag, but they realllllly dropped the ball with this shoot. I mean, check out this photo from inside the magazine. Kerry looks amazing in this shot, don’t get me wrong — but am I the only one who’s majorly distracted by the way those sunglasses are bizarrely perched on her head? What is this fuckery? They’re hugely off-kilter and so far forward they look about to fall off. I mean, two seconds after this photo was taken, those Ray-Bans were on the floor, mark my words. Did the stylist/photographer really not take the damn time to adjust those shades so they were placed on her head properly? Or maybe wearing your sunglasses cocked to one side a new trend for 2014. Whatever the case may be, Kerry Washington/Olivia Pope deserves better than this mess!
Why is a September issue of Vogue for sale on Craigslist for $4.5 million dollars? Because that’s the cost brands like Dior and Chanel sunk into the iconic magazine advertising in this month’s issue. If it’s your hearts desire to read the Jennifer Lawrence profile and discover how to get a better body in seven minutes, the seller has helpfully removed all the ads in Vogue, either by ripping the pages out or coloring them over in black marker. It’s 70 percent thinner and a whole purse dog lighter.
And for those of us who don’t have $4.5 mil lying around, we can buy the ad-filled version for — gulp! — $12 on newstand. What a bargain. [PSFK via Ad Week]
As we know all too well, it’s bikini body season, which means it’s time to grab a copy of your favorite women’s fitness magazine and get the scoop on all the latest, totally fresh tips and advice on everything from flat abs to hot sex! But hey, wait a second. Those two covers sure look a lot alike, don’t they? Would you believe they are two totally different magazines that were published two years apart? Because they are. Sigh. Some things — and by “things,” I mean “women’s magazines” — never change. [Reddit]