Glamour’s Body Image Revolution

November 3, 2009



Some of the top plus size models working today in Glamour Magazine November 2009

The November issue of Glamour Magazine featured an article declaring that the magazine would feature age, size, and cultural diversity in their fashion and beauty images. Not only did the article include a nude image of the top plus size models working today, but it also included a lengthly quote on my current research about the impact of fashion models on purchase intentions. I was honoured to be part of this revolutionary step forward in changing who is in the pictures that wallpaper our visual world.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“We are undergoing a shift in the mind-set of the modern female consumer,” explains Ben Barry, who coauthored a study on how women in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom respond to advertising images. Conducted in collaboration with the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School, the study of more than 3,000 subjects showed that women were most likely to want to purchase a fashion product if it was associated with a model that directly resembled them. “This does not mean that women want to do away with aspirational images,” cautions Barry. “It is the very opposite. The worst thing a magazine could do is to showcase an image of a ‘normally sized’ model that looks like most driver’s license pictures, with poor styling, clothing and photography. Instead, women want these models to have the same glamour and artistry as other fashion models.” We at Glamour couldn’t agree more, and we’re listening hard to our readers’ call to action. Here’s what you can expect to see in our pages going forward:

  • A continued commitment to showing a wide range of body types—and, of course, racial diversity—in our pages, including fashion and beauty stories.
  • A promise to give the best plus models not just work, but the same great work straight-size models get, partnering with top photographers, stylists and makeup artists. Because a generous helping of fantasy, in our view, is fabulous—as long as it’s extended to women of all sizes.
  • An ongoing celebration of the so-called imperfections, from nose bumps to gap teeth smiles, that make us all unique.
  • Enthusiastic support for any designer who manufactures chic clothes we can photograph on full-bodied models.

One Response to “Glamour’s Body Image Revolution”

  1. centerforeatingdisorders Says:

    We applaud this step in the right direction, that Glamour has taken, and hope that it continues to create opportunities to provide education about the beauty of body diversity and the related issues of health at every size!

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