A few weeks ago, the cover to SELF magazine’s September issue made headlines because it featured a picture of Kelly Clarkson that had been doctored. Ironically, the tag lines around the picture said “Kelly Clarkson: Stay True to You and Everyone Else Will Love You, Too.” Well, they might love you, but they’ll still airbrush your picture is the message I guess SELF (whose magazine tag line is You at Your Best) was saying. You can read Lucy Danzinger’s (the Editor of SELF) blog entry about their decision here.
Meanwhile, over at Glamour, this photo got readers clamoring. Found on page 194 of the September issue, this shot catches model Lizzie Miller flaunting her body as part of a spread called What Everyone But You Sees About Your Body– a piece on mustering up the body confidence every woman should have.
This photo elicited so much reaction that the editor, Cinci Leive, posted her own blog entry about it.
What I love? That the magazines are getting feedback on their choices– feedback that will hopefully inform their future decisions about whether or not to airbrush, how to broaden the messages they give to women and the messages they relay about women, etc. If we choose to be consumers of media, we should be active consumers, giving feedback as to what works and what doesn’t work and voting with our dollars to applaud one’s efforts or withdrawing our support by not purchasing a product that sends a negative message. It is only when WE express ourselves and exercise our power as consumers that those who release images and ideas about women can truly learn whether or not their messages are on target or need to be modified. I am not nearly as plugged into social media as one can be, but I know that all these magazines are set up on Twitter, Facebook, and have comment features on their web-sites for us to have easier access to expressing our opinion. Now, we just need to assert ourselves and send our own messages about what we’be buying- literally and figuratively- from the messages they are sending.