Photo from Brooke Not On A Diet.
So, how’s this for some Grade-A fuckery?
Illinois blogger Brooke Birmingham submitted the photo of herself above to Shape Magazine, which had reached out to her for a before-and-after success story.
Brooke, you see, had lost 170 pounds and she wanted to show off her hard work in a bikini.
Shape — a magazine that shows photos of women in bikinis ALL THE TIME — requested that Brooke submit a different photo. You know, one in which she was wearing a shirt. Brooke told the magazine where to go. You can read about the exchange here.
The whole thing still really frustrates me because I don’t feel like my body was given the same respect as others on their site. Why all of the sudden is it their policy to have fully clothed people? The reporter stated that she wasn’t sure if someone had complained about the previous photos to Shape or not. But in my eyes if someone is complaining about them featuring women in bikinis, then again they shouldn’t have them anywhere on the site. If anything, the should want my picture on their site. My body is real, not photoshopped or hidden because I feel like I should be ashamed. This is a body after losing 172 pounds, a body that has done amazing things, and looks AMAZING in a freaking bikini.
A resounding fuck yes to all of that.
Happily, many people have seen Brooke’s body; her photo went viral no thanks to Shape, which gave some excuse about a “misunderstanding.”
Everyone understands what’s going on here, Shape. You didn’t want to include a photo of Brooke’s body because it tells the truth.
Her body is inconvenient.
It doesn’t support the lie you’re trying to sell.
Virgie Tovar, one of America’s leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image — not to mention a fab femme I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with — wrote a great piece pointing out how post-weight loss bodies actually look is an important piece often left out of the weight-loss narrative.
Marketers are the same people who perpetuate one single ideal body to create ONE narrative: If you lose weight and try real, real hard for an unknown but definitely lengthy period of time you will inevitably get the kind of body that’s in a Transformers movie complete with cut-off shorts, a hero, perky boobs and not a single stretch mark or worry in sight. And if you don’t end up with the aforementioned it’s not that we’re full of shit; it’s that you just didn’t want it bad enough.
Shape, in effect, told a woman who lost 170 pounds — WHO IT REACHED OUT TO — that SHE DIDN’T WORK HARD ENOUGH.
That her body isn’t good enough. That her body is something to be ashamed of.
Instead of showcasing a healthy, happy woman, Shape would rather show fitspo models laughing alone with salad. Which, Zzzzzz.
Why is it that health and fitness mags are so very rarely about either? Give me inspirational over aspirational any day of the week.
Big ups to Brooke for not buying into the bullshit and instead believing the truth: all bodies are good bodies.