I found a follow-up article about Lizzie, the model listed in the first post. It's from 2009, but I thought I'd share it anyway. I also love the Dove ad campaign and that is mentioned as well.
The wobbly bits that shook the world: The joyous support created by one model's picture (flabby tummy and all)By Linda Kelsey
Last updated at 4:07 PM on 3rd September 2009
At first glance it's just the kind of playful picture your boyfriend might snap of you, caught unawares on a lazy Sunday morning. The subject looks glowing, happy, natural, totally at ease with her body and herself.
But something is awry. Something that causes you to do a double-take. Especially given that this photo has just appeared in a glossy magazine. By now, I bet you've spotted it. What I am referring to is the small roll of fat around the middle of this 20-year-old model.
It might be a tiny imperfection, but when it was published in the American edition of Glamour magazine, it appeared amid hundreds of pages of adverts and fashion shots in which the models have no blemishes, no frown lines, no wrinkles and certainly no body fat.
Well, even though it was only 3in square and hidden away on page 194, this extraordinary image of a woman with wobbly bits that have not been airbrushed away has sparked a whirlwind of reaction - almost all of it positive.
Hundreds of readers flooded the magazine's website the moment after the image first appeared, roaring their approval and appreciation with comments like: 'I love this picture. I was starting to despair of ever seeing real women in magazines and it made me reassess how I look at myself. I have a similar tummy which I hate - but look at her, she's beautiful.'
Now Glamour is planning a follow-up feature in November's issue which will include more shots of Miller.
Many of the women who spoke out in support of the image were horrified that professional Lizzie - who is 5ft 11in and 121/2st - is considered too big to model even plus-size lines.
What also gives this image such sledgehammer power is that it's not her breasts or her upper arms or her thighs that draw the eye immediately, but the stomach - the area of every woman's body that inspires more agonies of self-loathing than any other.
You might be a mother who, however hard you try, simply cannot shift what has cruelly been dubbed the 'mummy tummy'. Or you might be a young woman who likes a glass of wine and is paying the price with a bulging midriff that just never responds to sit-ups.
Of course, when we dress up to go out we can always rely on one variety or another of Bridget Jones's big hold-em-in pants. But when we are naked in front of the mirror, there is no disguising a sagging tummy. That's why it's so groundbreaking to see a beautiful woman who is a model, even if a curvy one, willing to reveal that she, too, has the same imperfections as the rest of us.
In its way, this picture has as much power to shock as the photograph of actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who seven years ago stripped to her underwear at 43 - without the aid of an airbrush - to prove that even a woman who was once Hollywood's pin-up girl had matured to have as many lumps and bumps as the rest of us.
When I was editing SHE magazine in the early Nineties, we decided to produce a special 'Big is Beautiful' issue. We ran a competition to award a modelling contract to a size 14-plus model, and featured women naked who were far larger than Lizzie Miller. We also ran a picture of the famously fat Dawn French on the cover, showing off her considerable decolletage in a knockout vermilion Vivienne Westwood dress.
That issue of the magazine flew off the shelves to become a complete sell-out, the fastest and highest-selling issue in the six years I was editor.
I made a vow from then on to feature women of all shapes and sizes, and not just in specially flagged-up features. I thought that perhaps in the dozen years since I stopped editing glossy magazines things would have changed.
I hoped that, along with reality television and an appetite for real-life stories of every hue, real-life women with real-life bodies might begin to appear in other glossy magazines and across the media.
- 8 per cent of women have a classic hourglass figure
- 34in is the typical British woman's waist. In the Fifties, it was 27.5in
- 20 per cent of women are pear-shaped
And if models and celebrities are not actually perfect, they sure as hell will be by the time their images appear on the newsstands.
As Lizzie Miller herself has said: 'Pretty much every picture in a magazine or ad is airbrushed . . . I don't think the public understands how much smoke and mirrors are involved in making women look like that.'
On this last point, I think Lizzie is wrong. Almost everyone these days is aware that photographs are re-touched. Kate Winslet went public about her thighs when they were airbrushed almost to the point of disappearing altogether when she appeared on the cover of GQ.
Keira Knightley's breasts have suddenly acquired a bigger cup size in the new Chanel ad, and everyone is talking about her breasts as if they own them.
But even if we are aware of what goes on in the world of showbiz and fashion, that doesn't mean we should be blase about it, or pretend it has nothing to do with us. Being bombarded with perfect images everywhere just makes us despair all the more about our imperfect bodies.
The only genuine media breakthrough in recent years as far as the portrayal of real women is concerned has been the Dove Campaign For Real Beauty, featuring women of all ages, shapes and sizes.
Not only did women respond well to it, Unilever was canny enough to make the campaign ongoing. Never mind that it's all part of its brand-boosting campaign to sell more products, The Dove Self-Esteem Fund, which provides teachers with educational tools to include body awareness seminars within schools, is at least a stab at raising the issues involved.
Even Alexandra Shulman, the editor of British Vogue, entered the fray recently when she criticised prominent fashion designers for encouraging Size Zero models by sending out tiny clothes for fashion shoots.
In an open letter, she wrote: 'We have now reached the point where many of the sample sizes don't comfortably fit the established star models.'
She also pointed to the trend for 'jutting bones and no breasts or hips' and how such body shapes are a result of the 'minuscule' pieces of clothing supplied to the magazine for photo shoots.
Vogue is regularly re-touching photos to make the models look larger, she told the designers. But how much larger, I wonder. From a Size Zero to a size 2 or 4 perhaps? Almost even up to Kate Moss's 'gigantic' proportions? The trouble is, when you're talking about Vogue, it's all relative isn't it? In high-end magazines like that, you will rarely see anything so provocative as this new picture of Lizzie Miller.
Susie Orbach, author of Fat Is A Feminist Issue and, more recently, Bodies, says she sees far more people in her psychotherapy practice than she used to who are unhappy about their bodies - presumably because of the intense pressures they feel from the media to be perfect.
'Bodies are becoming part of our personal mission to tame, extend and perfect,' she writes. That's why she's not surprised that eating disorders, self-harm and a general feeling of being cheated out of the body we want are all on the increase.
'Body shame,' Orbach says, has gone global, and she cites the example of South Korea, where 50 per cent of young women are having surgery to give them 'Western' eyelids.
Chinese girls, in the meantime, are having rods inserted in their legs to make them taller, and Tehran in Iran has 3,000 surgeons specialising in nose jobs. 'The body has become a casing for fantasy,' says Orbach, 'rather than a place from which to live.'
It's taken me 56 years to become reasonably comfortable with the body nature gave me. To my self-critical eye my breasts have always been too small, my bottom too big, my knees too fat.
Islands in the South Pacific, including Nauru, Tonga and Micronesia, top the list of countries with the greatest percentage of overweight adults - a portly 90 per cent
In the past six months I've put on about 12lb and my washboard stomach is now a small mound - rather like Lizzie Miller's, in fact.
I know why I've put on weight - it's because I'm happier and more relaxed than I've been for a long while. Nevertheless, I told my boyfriend I needed to lose a few pounds. He told me I could do with just a few pounds more and that it was good to see me looking like a woman rather than a boy.
At this stage in my life, I hope I have the wisdom to know that he's right and that I will never, and should never, look like the models I see in fashion magazines. But it's so hard not to feel inferior, undesirable, in comparison.
It's ironic when you think about it that mostly it's not men who make us paranoid about our bodies - they often don't even notice imperfections that we agonise over for years. It's the magazines for sure that chip away at self-esteem.
Perhaps one small picture of lovely Lizzie Miller and her little pot belly - just like the women currently prancing in all their variety around the London stage in Calendar Girls - isn't going to make much of a difference to this chronic and complex condition of female body dissatisfaction.
But it's a step in the right direction. Unless we start addressing the issues, unless we wise up to the fact that our body fantasies can never be fulfilled, we'll continue to be pointlessly unhappy for a long time to come.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1210814/Lizzie-Millers-Glamour-magazine-shoot-How-models-picture-shook-world-flabby-tummy-all.html#ixzz1g43MQsfW
Here are some other posts I've done about self-esteem and fat acceptance. Although I hate calling myself fat, I am overweight and admit I need to lose some pounds. But I don't want to hate myself all the way to the scale.
Here is the link to Dove's Campaign For Real Beauty: http://www.dove.us/Social-Mission/campaign-for-real-beauty.aspx
They have some great videos on there that I think everyone should watch.