Dear Now Magazine…

I haven’t blogged in a while. I was hoping to kick back off with something wonderfully witty or deeply interesting, but Now Magazine changed all that when I saw a Tweet containing an image of the vile bodyshaming cover from their 10th December issue. And so this was born…

Dear Now Magazine,

I’m writing to you for some advice. I’ve seen your 10th December cover, so I’m pretty sure you’ll feel qualified to offer some guidance here.

I have this daughter, you see. She’s 21 months old, and she’s quite possibly the most wonderful little girl I’ve ever met. She has enormous brown eyes and a wild mane of curly hair. She has a wicked sense of humour and a huge, loving heart. She has a squidgy little bum and an adorable little dimple in each thigh. And therein lies my problem.

I wondered if you could please advise me when would be a good time to stop telling her she is a beautiful human being, and start encouraging her to feel shame and worthlessness over the squidginess of her bottom and those adorable dimples in her thighs? Perhaps I should start now? Or maybe I should hang on until she starts school so she can benefit from your tried and tested method of measuring her self worth against the shape of her peers’ bodies? Or maybe I’m being silly. Maybe none of this is necessary until it’s time for her to bag herself a boy who’ll love her despite these hideous body flaws… I do hope she’ll be suitably grateful.

I’ve taken on board the message of the cover in question, but I’m still a little bit confused. Am I supposed to look at these women and feel smug that my body is nowhere NEAR as hideous as theirs? I hope not, because mine is worse. Perhaps I’m just supposed to look at it and be reassured that other women have such hideously normal bodies too? Phew. It’s so helpful of you to show me some other women whose achievements in life are also null and void because they have a wobble, dimple or love handle.

Here’s the thing. I’m carrying a few extra pounds. Curvy, cuddly, voluptuous… Whatever your choice of slightly condescending adjective is, I’m it. ¬†You’d probably describe me in one of your horribly patronising articles as a “real woman”. Well, I identify as a woman so I guess that does make me a real woman. Yep, I’m all of those things and yet somehow, astonishingly, I’m actually not worthless. I made three actual human beings. Grew them, I did, inside my wobbly tummy. I’m surrounded by people who love me and whom I love. Can you believe that? I have cellulite and people actually love me?! Wow. Who’d have thought? I have a great job, nice hair and I’m happy. Is that even allowed?

Sure, I wouldn’t mind losing a few pounds. In the meantime though, I’m going to take myself off to the kitchen for another slice of the better-than-sex cake I baked, and leave you to obsess over other people’s bodies whilst they just enjoy being in them.

Love,

Pols

P.S. Don’t bother answering the question about my daughter. I figure it’s just easier to love her and teach her to love herself. It’s not a wobbly bottom or dimply thighs that stop you being beautiful, it’s making yourself feel good by publicly shaming other people’s bodies that’s truly ugly

51 thoughts on “Dear Now Magazine…

  1. I honestly don’t understand what they get out of all of this. It’s so sad, so much pressure and I am sure the likes of Now! do more damage to girls and women than any of the lads mags! x

    • And yet it is the lad’s mags that they want taken off the shelves. When there is stuff like this allowed to be printed freely, I think the publishers need to rethink their campaigns….

  2. I haven’t seen the cover but can only imagine, those mags are such vile trash, too fat, too thin, blah! you have a great attitude and this will only rub off on your daughter and she too will realise how stupid these options are :) xx

  3. All celeb mags give me the rage when it comes to body image.I know there are some people who are naturally thin but where are the women who are naturally curvy and just don’t want to be skinny or can’t??

  4. What an amazing post.I read twice, showed my husband and explained to my 7 year old daughter. I am sick of being made to feel that my size 16 body is something to be ashamed of. If you check out my blog i am a healthy and fit woman who in a normal week will walk a mountain, canoe a river and go mountain biking, and yes i am a size 16. This constant media coverage on how a woman should look worries me especially for my little girl. Thank you for your post and will gladly enjoy reading future ones. P.S. Sorry for my mini rant.

  5. It is awful how body image is portrayed by the media – but let’s us not forget that it is the same for males – who are meant to aspire to look like muscley footballers or some other sports figure.

  6. Luckily for me I don’t read that trash or look at it or buy it and I LOVE your response. If everyone abstained form buying it they’d go out of business and POOF! It would all be past. I live in hope

  7. That front cover seems to have been everywhere the last few days and I don’t really understand it – Now has always been like this – disgusting.

    The way you write about it does cut right to the heart of it though.

  8. Totally agree – although I had to Google the mag cover in question to find out which one you were referring to. Sadly, you could have been writing to any British women’s magazine. They all publish irresponsible crap, referring to size 10 celebrities as “curvy” because they’ve “ballooned” from their usual size 6 (which quite frankly made them look like a starved alien life form!)

  9. Well said! I’m a curvy girl and I love being this way! I wouldn’t change it because some stupid magazine has nothing else to write about! Besides I don’t get cold in winter ;-) lol x

  10. Absolutely brilliant! I love how you opened the piece! Fat shaming is pathetic. Body shaming is ineffectual to the ‘real women’ but I imagine these front cover gals will see this and be on next months aa slim and slender as they imagine will make them popular and accepted again because this IS their motivation. The thing with body image, its not a single size that’s ravaged by these articles….its every size, every person that has an issue is affected. Bit like a bully though, Now magazine has to dig and pick at others sores and make them bleed because looking inward would scare the crap out of them. Thanks so much for this xx Happy New Year with all your beloved xx

  11. Fantastic post. The shite these magazines spout about bodies is shocking. It’s no wonder girls and women have such messed up views of their own bodies.

  12. Fabulous clear headed response to a low life piece of anti female propaganda that exposes it for the underhand, nasty misogynistic crap that it is. Well done and thank you x

  13. It’s so true. If these slebs went and got skinny you know these trash mags would be featuring a cover showing their “shocking” bodies. How’s can women know what reality looks like when these publications will make a scandal out of anything?

  14. It’s so true. You know that if these slebs went and got skinny this same trash mag would be criticising them and featuring covers of their “shocking” bodies and how unhealthy-looking they were. How’s a girl supposed to know what reality looks like when these gutter snipes insist on making a scandal out of everything?

  15. Possibly one of the best letters I’ve read. Being I guy I don’t really read this stuff however I dont like the message that they seem to exclusively convey.

  16. I love this post. As a mother to a beautiful slim 8 yr old girl who occasionally calls herself a “fatty” while I am trying to still lose the extra bumps my body gained growing her and her 3 yr old brother I feel there is so much pressure to look perfect and the current body shaming culture is terrifying for all women (and probably plenty of men if they chose to admit it) so thank you for reminding me I’m doing the right thing for loving my children, husband, myself and most of all everyone for who they are NOT how they look xx

  17. Fabulous piece, very well said. Although I’m now left feeling slightly worthless because Im not beautiful so Now wouldn’t think much of me and I can’t make any babies in my tummy to balance my unattractiveness out. Seems I’m no ones idea of worthy.

    • There are so many standards us women are required to meet, aren’t there? Have a perfect body. Have a man (or a woman). Make babies. Have a great career. .. I’d stick two fingers up to them all and say “be yourself, and love being you”

  18. With a mum like you your daughter will hopefully never have a self esteem low enough to let images like this influence her negatively. Well done for hitting back at the producers of this mindless nonsense that stops women enjoying being women #Brilliant mum.

  19. very distasteful article and a very tasteful reply…. it’s left me with an appetite! I’ll join you for a slice of cake thank you please!

  20. One way to make hideous magazines like “Now” sit up and think is for people to stop buying it.

    And to all you Mums of young children, please, don’t let bathroom scales into the house. Teach your kids they’re worth their weight (whatever it is) in gold. Buy them clothes that fit them and remove the labels. Tell them if they eat too many sweets it’ll rot their teeth – don’t tell them they’ll make them fat. Teach them that the best thing they can wear is a smile.

  21. Interesting thought, where you say about the lack of self esteem and being grateful that they are loved, if you extrapolate that out I wonder if that is a connection to the increase of violence against women? I stopped reading all these mags years ago as it’s just a cycle of too fat/ too thin and it’s so damaging and the worst thing is I get sucked into it all!

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  24. Pingback: Well said!! | Beth for B.O.D.Y

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