Just As Beautiful, the first glossy aimed solely at women sizes 14 through 20 launched this month, the Daily Mail is reporting.
Like any glossy lifestyle mag, Just As Beautiful will feature fashion spreads, interviews, articles on cooking, entertainment, etc., with the exception of one glossy mainstay: the diet feature. Just As Beautiful will not put out any dieting articles (only exercise tips), and EIC Sue Thomason, a former lifestyle coach who is also size 18, says that only models size 14 and up will be used in editorials.
Thomason created the mag, because, told the Daily Mail, "If you're a woman over Size 14, you're likely to be stuck for something to read that doesn't make you feel like you're too big or 'wrong' because you're not a Size Zero." "What we want to do is supply a magazine for women who don't want to be made to feel bad about the way they look," adds publisher Ronnie Ajoku.
On the one hand, Just As Beautiful seems like a great idea. Despite all the talk about the fashion industry working towards embracing models who deviate from a sample size zero, there's not much to show for it. For the most part, the major fashion glossies still only feature fuller figured women in their requisite, once-yearly, "size" issues. So kudos to Just As Beautiful for refusing to wait it out until magazines truly change.
On the other hand, previous plus size mags haven't been successful. Mode magazine, billed as the "first and only high fashion monthly targeted to full-figured American women," folded in 2001. Radiance: The Magazine for Large Women shuttered after 16 years of publication, in 2000. Is the latest round of buzz centered around fuller-figured high fashion models like Crystal Renn enough to ensure the success of a publication like Just As Beautiful?
Renn, who has become the unofficial spokesperson for issues around body-size in the fashion industry, has said she would like to see all shapes and sizes in the pages of glossy mags, on the runways, and in campaigns, so that when she lands a Chanel campaign, it might not necessarily make headlines. "What I think would end the confusion is if we call all the models just 'models,'" she told the Today show after her recent retouching scandal.
So there's also the danger that a plus-size mag might relegate fuller-figured women to a niche publication, rather than making strides to diversify the body types in existing mainstream glossies.