I’m absolutely appalled by this latest body image blunder I got wind of via one of my fave bloggers, Carla, via Facebook.
Blogger Brooke Birmingham lost an incredible amount of weight (170 lbs!) and was supposed to be featured as one of Shape magazine’s upcoming weight loss success stories. Check out what happened when she sent in her photo: which included her rocking a bikini.
Basically, Shape wants her to re-do the pic … wearing a shirt.
WTF?!! What Brooke has achieved is incredible– 170 pound loss!! She looks beautiful. Why should she cover up!? She looks exactly like is how anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight would be expected to look, without surgical intervention. She’s not sporting washboard abs and all Photoshopped to perfection; she’s a real woman.
What Shape seems to be forgetting — or deliberately failing to acknowledge — is that while diet and exercise can do tons, they can’t always give someone with lots of excess skin a perfectly flat belly “worthy” of a Shape photo shoot. For a magazine that touts fitness, healthy eating and mind/body wellness …. they couldn’t be standing farther from their own “ideals.”
I think Brooke looks incredible and it kills me that she is being asked to re-do the pics with the shirt. As she noted, most of the success stories show women in bikinis. Of course, the difference is many of these women have lost 20, 30 pounds. And while that can be significant, it really pales in comparison to a massive transformation like Brooke’s. Shouldn’t Shape be applauding Brooke for rocking the bikini and owning it, versus shunning her for not having what they deem to be a picture-perfect body?!
Fortunately, she said thanks but no thanks, and I am so proud of her for sticking to her guns! Way to go, Brooke — I don’t know you, but I dig you!
And the way I see it, she is getting far more positive encouragement by refusing to compromise and do the shoot with a shirt — and she gets to do it on HER terms.
So thanks to Carla for raising the flag, to Brooke for being so awesome. What you’ve achieved is incredible and you are a role model to so many!
Shame on you, Shape. Let’s just say, I’m really glad I canceled my subscription a few years ago.