Monday, September 13, 2010

Gabourey Sidibe on the Cover of Elle - Thoughts and a Bit of a Rant

This year I started receiving Elle magazine for the first time ever. I made the random choice of choosing this magazine when someone called doing a magazine fundraiser.... you know the drill. My husband has always had magazines, but I have not. So I thought why not? Then came the Body Image issue with Kristen Stewart on the cover of the June magazine.

Image from Elle.com

I happened to read the Editor's letter that issue and was surprised to find that it talked almost exclusively about Gabourey Sidibe instead of Kristen Stewart. If you have the magazine, the article appears on page 34 and is entitled "The Big Idea". I wish I could find a place to just link to it, but I can not.Please grab yourself a copy of the magazine and read it. To paraphrase, the Editor wanted to celebrate women of all sizes, that they had discussed putting Gabourey Sidibe on the cover but chose not to because they also wanted to emphasize a health. She said she had nothing against Gabourey Sidibe's size, but didn't want to give the wrong message. She is not "pro-obesity", a term I found a little silly. They were worried that by putting a larger girl on the cover of Elle for the Body Image issue that it would be glorifying a body type that was generally considered to be unhealthy.

Personally, I  thought that since Twilight: Eclipse was coming out Elle projected they would sell more mags putting Kristen Stewart on the cover. Clearly, given the amount of space given to discussing the cover choice (emphasis on Gabourey Sidibe) Kristen was seen as being neutral and marketable.Of course the Editor's Letter tried to draw a comparison: that both Kristen Stewart and Gabourey Sidibe want to be judged by "their body of work". How lame. Of course they do. Doesn't everyone?

The more I thought about it, the more I got offended that they would devote so much space to telling us why they didn't choose Gabourey Sidibe for the cover. As if the thought that they WOULD choose her would even enter my mind. Why discuss Gabourey's joyous outlook on life and happiness with herself only to put a stick girl on the cover? I jumped on Elle.com and wrote a strongly worded complaint, that the choice they made of having Kristen Stewart on the cover was an incredible cop-out. That if they had wanted to make a statement and really loved Gabourey as much as they said they did in the letter that they would have just stuck her on the cover. Why not? Because they didn't want to seem "pro-obesity"? What a ridiculous concept! What about the idea that it's ok to feel good about yourself no matter what size you are? That's not being "pro-obesity". That's having a healthy self-image, integral to happiness in my opinion.
Image from Elle.com

Well I must not have been the only angry person, because they finally did put Gabourey Sidibe on a cover - the 25th Anniversary cover. It's about frakking time! I'm glad Elle quit their yapping about body images and how much they love Gabourey and just had the balls to go ahead and do this. I'm still angry that she wasn't on the cover of the Body Image issue because I think she has an incredibly wonderful attitude (and the sexy sass she showed at the Oscars when she was all dressed up is to be commended).

I've been all shapes and sizes and never have I ever had the love of myself and my body the way that Gabourey Sidibe seems to love herself. I applaud her for that, regardless of her size. 

Gabourey Sidibe shares the cover with Lauren Conrad, Amanda Seyfried, and Megan Fox. When my copy of Elle arrives in my mailbox I really hope it has Gabourey Sidibe on it and not one of the other three.

You can read about Elle's 25th Anniversary Edition and their chosen "25-somethings" at Elle.com
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