Shape magazine refuses to run photo of weight-loss 'after' photo due to loose skin
A health blogger from Illinois did something many overweight people only dream of: she lost 170 pounds and completely transformed her life and body.
Last month, Shape magazine reached out to Brooke Birmingham, from Brooke: Not On a Diet, hoping to share Brooke's journey as a "Success Stories" feature the magazine runs monthly, where it documents stories of weight loss.
"Being someone who enjoys putting herself out there and finding new ways to reach people, I agreed," Brooke wrote on her blog.
The interview happened, and then Brooke was asked to send over an "after" picture of her body. So she included a photo of herself wearing a bikini, where folds of loose skin (that occur naturally after such dramatic weight loss) were visible.
The reporter replied, "My editors were hoping you could send over a different photo. (You look ah-mazing, of course, but they are looking to include one with a shirt.)"
Brooke responded to the email, saying she was "furious" about being asked to cover up, when there are other women featured in Shape that are dressed in bikinis.
According to Brooke, the editor claimed that it was the magazine's "policy" to show women fully clothed in these stories.
A few hours later I received a phone call from the woman who interviewed me. She explained that she was just the ‘in-between’ person between Shape and I, and that she had not meant to offend me in any way. She then went on to say that this had nothing to do with me and not wanting to celebrate women’s bodies. That they had just stated it was their policy now to include fully clothed photos for the feature.
In the end, Brooke decided not to do the feature with Shape, and claims she will be canceling her subscription to the magazine.
"I spent MANY years hating and hiding a body I was ashamed of because it wasn’t society’s ideal of beautiful," she said. "Being asked to send a photo of myself with a shirt on made me feel like I again should be ashamed of my body. That since I have the loose skin, I shouldn’t be in a bikini."
Image via Suat Eman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net