You are one of the most influential magazines when it comes to fashion and beauty. You reach 18 million women a month with your publication. You truly have a lot of power when it comes to how our society looks at women.
So it was a huge disappointment that in your November issue, you referred to model Robyn Lawley as “plus size”.
Do not get me wrong; you were very complementary of her. You called her beautiful and even said she was “looking good”. You made a point to say her pictures were untouched which is empowering.
The modeling industry calls her a “plus size” model. Everyone refers to her as “plus size”. Robyn Lawley, who is a size 10, calls herself a “plus size” model. So you did not insult her in any way. You basically said she was a “plus size” model because everyone else does as well. Yet, every time she is featured in a magazine or news article, the majority of the comments are always from people shocked she is called a “plus size” model. They find it insulting, as well they should. Calling her “plus size” takes away from her modeling and then goes into another conversation. A conversation more about women’s sizes and less about her modeling talent.
And then other models get insulted. I am sure you have heard the insults… the “supermodel” who starves herself or the Victoria’s Secret model who needs a sandwich. They fight back saying how most women are just not healthy and then the women who are called unhealthy fight back. Women downplaying all sizes of women.
It is a vicious cycle.
Cosmo, you have some power. Actually, you have a lot of power. You have been criticized numerous times for your photo shopped photos and your depiction of beauty. You seem to want to move past that. Body image is one of the biggest topics today. You know that healthy is looking in the mirror and loving yourself, not looking in the mirror and realizing you will never be as beautiful as the women in a magazine.
You are trying. You are putting beautiful women from all walks of life in your magazine. You are putting articles out there for teenage women to help them with their self-esteem. Could you try harder? Of course you could. But at least you are trying unlike other magazines.
I have a daughter. She is going to look into your magazine one day along with others. She is going to have to deal with peer pressure. As much as I would like to think I could prevent it, I know I cannot. But I can try today.
Do you think from this day forward you could refer to any model in your magazine as “model”? Not with a descriptive word on size but just “model”? No matter what number is on her bathing suit or if she falls into America’s “average” size? Just model. Because the modeling industry can determine whatever size they feel is the proper size for a model…
But for all the 18 million other women that read your magazine per month, I think they know better. A model should not be determined by her size…
She should be determined by her beauty.
And everyone is beautiful… and a model is a model without a plus.