Why do we keep concealing plus-size women s bodies on publication covers?

Posted on: June 19, 201 6

You’ve most likely heard somebody explain another woman like this: She has an actually beautiful face!

While the woman in question might indeed have a pretty face, it’s frequently a respectful euphemism for she might stand to lose a couple of pounds. Taking a glance at the way mainstream style magazines include plus-size starlets, it’s clear that lots of credit the idea of concentrating on their faces to distract from their bodies.

The current example: Actress Rebel Wilson will grace the cover of Marie Claire UK s July issue, and the publication published a preview of her cover shot. It’s a perfectly gorgeous picture of Wilson, but there’s just one issue. It cuts off at her bust, and she’s hardly noticeable beneath long sleeves and a swoop of large hair.

Other plus-size stars constantly receive this treatment, so the question ends up being: Why do these magazines feel the need to conceal these women’s bodies?

Wilson stars in Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 as Fat Amy, a cappella singing oddball. In the first movie, she discusses that she calls herself Fat Amy so skinny ladies don t do it behind my back. In real life, the Australian actress seems to have a similar convenience with her body.

You don t actually desire to cover up simply because you re larger, she said. After being on the cover of several publications, it’s evident they’re leaning more to covering her up.

The Marie Claire UK cover is just the most current of a string of close-ups. Wilson’s July 2013 Glamour UK cover reveals her body obscured by a bubble bath; her September 2013 New York cover reveals her from the bust up; and 2 various Elle covers give her the headshot treatment.

And there are other mega-stars who don t fit the sample size mold and have been relegated to a pretty face and not much more.

Take Adele, the multi-Grammy and Academy Award-winning singer and songwriter. She’s been a model sometimes over, however a glimpse at her outstanding roundup of covers reveals that a huge bulk avoided her body and concentrated on her face.

I do have body image problems, Adele stated late last year at a Sirius XM occasion, but I don t let them rule my life, at all. And there’s larger issues going on in the world than how I might feel about myself and stuff like that.

In October 2015, Elle commemorated its 25th anniversary with 4 various versions of the cover, including Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, GaboureySidibe, and Lauren Conrad. While Fox, Seyfried and Conrad had their full bodies shown, Sidibe’s cover was notably various: it revealed simply her face. And to make matters worse, Elle was accused of lightening her skin color.

We’ve also seen author and actress Lena Dunham who is notoriously comfortable with her body pictured in severe close-ups on the covers of Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, Harper s Bazaar (where she positioned topless for the same issue.) And body positive activists were up in arms when actress Melissa McCarthy was on the cover of Elle draped in an oversized coat, while other actresses in other variations of the 2013 Women in Hollywood problem cover were shown in much more body-baring shots.

Whitney Thore, star of TLC s My Big Fat Fabulous Life and model for brand new size-neutral health and wellness publication FabUPlus, is honestly tired of the way fellow plus-size women are revealed on newsstands. I do absolutely believe there is a tendency to decrease plus size women so that we are flattered, and slendering, Thore told me in a telephone call.

Assessing Wilson and other plus-size stars who’ve been cut down to simply a face, she sees why magazines do it, but says it doesn’t make it right. It makes them more digestible and much easier to deal with so that people still want to buy the magazine. But what’s the point of putting her on your cover if you weren’t wish to celebrate her body?

Thore is sorry for that these covers send an exhausted old message. It piggybacks on what we’ve constantly heard: You re stunning, but you ought to cover your stomach it’s not necessarily outright, but as soon as you point it out, it really does send out a message.

Not surprising that a 2015 study conducted by Common Sense Media, a kid advocacy group, discovered that children as young as 5-years-old express frustration with their bodies.

Ana Homayoun, author of The Myth of the Perfect Girl: Helping Our Daughters Find Authentic Success and Happiness in School and Life, spoke with CNN about the research and recommended moms and dads to question presumptions about the messages sent by media. So any time there’s an example in media or simply in reality, you build the muscles, if you will, in your kid so that they can withstand the messages that are coming at them.

How can we point to bodies that challenge these assumptions when there are so couple of noticeable by the supermarket checkout?

Wilson tweeted at Marie Claire UK for making her the July cover girl, not mentioning anything about the zoomed-in shot. What we need today is to zoom out and take a look at how we can genuinely provide plus-size stars their due.