You may have heard about this by now:
Self Magazine, some kind of women’s health publication, interviewed American Idol winner/superstar singer Kelly Clarkson for its September issue, which it’s calling its Total Body Confidence issue. Clarkson landed on the cover, in a shimmery purple slip top, smiling, looking pretty.
Clarkson, who I think always looks pretty, talked to the magazine about her weight gain, weight loss, fluctuations in how she looks. And she said she’s fine with that. Did you see her at the MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto a couple of months ago? You would never call her “waiflike.” But she struts and rocks like a seasoned music vet, which I guess she is, even though she’s 27.
Did I mention she looked damned fine on that MuchMusic show? I don’t know her music at all, and she’s actually just always hovered on the edge of my radar, but I remember thinking she looked like a firecracker.
Anyway, after she told Self all about how she was comfortable in her own skin, even if other people might consider her heavy, the magazine promoted those inspiring comments,which could help a whole generation of young women with their self-esteem. And then, as magazines do, Self airbrushed the crap out of Clarkson’s cover picture, making her look like every other skinny cover girl out there.
This makes no sense to me. Wait, let me tell you about things from a guy’s perspective: I like women. I like the way they look, and I am not ashamed of that. I have liked and loved women of all shapes and sizes, all types. There’s beauty in all of them, and I like looking at them. So I’ve never liked how these magazines PhotoShop their cover models — and they’re so crappy at PhotoShop you’d think I did it — to all look the same. We need variety. We need change. We don’t need a rack of magazines where, for example, Oprah, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston and those women with eight children all have the same body type. It just doesn’t work.
Self’s explanation is pretty lame, something about digitally manipulating the picture in order to “capture Clarkson’s confidence.” Bullshit. What that image captures is their idea of a feminine ideal, one that runs counter to the great message Clarkson has for readers inside. Changing the photo sends the wrong message, and blows open any pretense that Self wanted to promote Total Body Confidnce.
If Self magazine wants to put this right, we should see a few real women on their next cover. Gee, can you tell I was raised by women?