Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday's fabulous fat chick: Figure magazine

I look through magazines like Cosmo and Vogue and instantly become indignant because of the waifish, sickly women strung throughout the pages. Collar bones and ribs on display for everyone to see.

A flip through Figure, on the other hand, provides a cuddly good time with the big, beautiful girls out there who are making it the big, bad, fat-bashing world.

Sure, Figure isn't as edgy as MissBehave or Bust or as future-minded as Bitch. But, what it lacks in trend appeal it makes up for in the way it mirrors other mainstream fashion magazines, only with a fat girl angle.

There are bland features on exercise and diet alongside celebrity interviews. Fashion spreads show off the latest styles in career wear, sportswear, and lingerie. Yet, instead of anorexic models picked for their slender form above all else, Figure provides readers with sumptuous curves and happy faces.

The most recent issue, with Camryn Manheim on the cover, included a feature on advice for what to do if a stranger shoots off a fat hating comment in your presence. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the link to the article online, but it reminded me of an article I recently read on the Utne Reader Web site.

"Love Your Fat Self" explores what it's like to be a fat girl in today's society, and it specifically showcases the life of Gareth, an active, involved, and tuned-in woman who is beautiful and fat. It shows how others see and treat her despite her accomplishments and pleasant personality.

Photo of Morgan

The woman plays with yarn. What's not to love about someone who crochets?

I'm glad I picked up the new issue of Figure when I did. With graduation the need for a real job looming, my morale has been at an all-time low. Especially when I'm confronted with the other students in my department (many of them look like they've been bred specifically to be botoxed and augmented news anchors). I hadn't picked up an issue since high school; it helped me remember that a good magazine doesn't always have to support a cause or showcase innovations. Sometimes it's good to cuddle up with a warm cup of hot chocolate and look at sexy pictures of big girls in lingerie.

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