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After losing 172 Writer Refuses to Wear a Shirt for Her After Shot

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Old 05-07-2014, 04:41 PM   #1
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Default After losing 172 Writer Refuses to Wear a Shirt for Her After Shot

This article came across my facebook feed today.

Brooke Birmingham is a healthy lifestyle blogger asked by Shape magazine if they could feature her weight loss story (down 172 lbs). She submitted a picture of herself in a bikini as her after picture and they asked for another picture with her wearing a shirt. They claimed it was company policy, she's certain they do not want to feature a picture with the reality of massive weight loss (lose skin) front and centre.

The comments on the article run the gauntlet, some are thrilled that she is so proud showing off her un-airbrushed body. Some insist the magazine was in the right, they are in the business of motivating others and lose skin isn't going to do that.

I believe we have a several lack of realistic bodies in the media for both men and women already. But on the other hand I wonder, how many would start down a weight loss journey without that picture perfect 'goal' body in their heads? What if we knew the reality of where we were going to end up?

Either way it's interesting to see a whole conversation starting on the topic. Anyone else think it was the magazines right to only show 'inspirational' pictures? Or should fitness mags start featuring realistic afters?
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:48 PM   #2
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I LOVE THIS! It should spawn lots of conversation (and I might blog about it soon too).

First, I applaud her "wanting to get real". I have been too embarrassed to post photos on my blog of "after or during" in anything more than regular clothes. I have posted more revealing photos here on 3FC.

Two... would it motivate others or scare them away to weight loss? That is a very good question!

Since I see LOTS of questions here from members about worrying about loose skin (myself included), I know it's a worry. I know it probably does keep some people from trying as they fear the loose skin looks worse that the plumb/fat body.

Yet... I think if you were to ask anyone what looks worse - a fat body or a loose skinned body, they would say the fat body... and that's not even APPROACHING the topic of HEALTH.

My husband who has been thin for life and has a great body, DEFINITELY finds the thinner "saggier" version of me much more attractive over the heavier version of me.

But for a story in SHAPE magazine? That is a tough call!
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:07 AM   #3
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How many people are actually motivated to get healthier by looking at magazine pictures? The issue, imho, is what motivates people to BUY the magazine, and SHAPE probably has a better grip on that than I do. Having the loose skin photo would sell as a sideshow novelty, unfortunately. I'm so impressed that Ms. Birmingham has the confidence and self-love to show off her body, wrinkle, folds, and all. I can't even imagine what that would feel like. Maybe it's time for a new magazine about fitness that's more inclusive of all shapes of fit people. How to sell it???
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:44 AM   #4
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Saw this the other day.
I think SHAPE magazine has made a terrible mistake in not running her story. It will bite them in the butt.

IMO all the airbrushed photos & sugar coated stories are a real turn off and don't inspire as much as they set people up for feeling less than perfect.
Print media is dying.
And if you ask me it deserves to. The internet is burying print media because of stories like this.

I'll take a real woman with a real body and the truth any day. Glossy and fake is a turn off and I think lots of other people will agree.

I did read a comment regarding this story over at the Daily Mail. The commenter suggested that SHAPE should have offered to pay for plastic surgery if it was such a big deal.
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:16 PM   #5
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Love her. Love her choice.
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:02 PM   #6
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Thumbs up Looks Like Shape Will Run Her Story With Pics After All

SHAPE plans on running the story. I'm surprised - and pleasantly so
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:24 PM   #7
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I'm hoping this is an indication that our culture as a whole is getting over the 'photoshopped' look that has been so dominate. I would love to see more realistic bodies feature in the media, in every regard, weight loss especially.

susiemartin- I think one of the reasons print media is lagging behind online sources is because of the stagnation of their articles. They don't have the flexibility to update themselves around a topic like online sources can. Take this issue for example; SHAPE was figuring 'people don't want to see something realistic and 'ugly' they want to see a perfect false body' that has been what worked in the past. Now (hopefully) things are changing and everyone can spot an airbrushed picture a mile away and are demanding more realistic representation. SHAPE has to catch up to the change, hopefully with them running the story they are doing just that.
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:50 PM   #8
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After reading the article susiemartin linked to I read through the comments, so many of them are arguing that SHAPE shouldn't be printing the picture and that seeing loose skin would never motivate them to lose weight.

I wonder sometimes if people who have been on a weight loss journey for awhile and been around places like 3fatchicks have expanded their views of weight loss so much that we no longer synch up with the more commonly held opinions.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:47 PM   #9
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My husband is a good 200 pounds overweight and one of the things he always says when I try to talk to him about losing weight is that he doesn't want loose skin and won't have surgery. It's so ridiculous and irritates me to no end. I'd love to see more folks with loose skin talking about how health and happiness benefits outweigh loose skin.
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:21 PM   #10
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As a success story, i'd go with a picture with a shirt. I don't think the picture would be motivating. I don't think the article would be directed to people who've already come to terms with the reality but to people who never done anything to get started or who've had trouble getting started.

I think an appropriate article for a bikini topped picture would be the pros and cons of surgery. If the writer doesn't plan on having surgery herself, then it would be a great picture to go with that article.

However, the site has buckled to public pressure so that's interesting.

In general, when you are starting out on a massive project of any kind, its good to be in the dark a bit about the more difficult aspects of the project because thinking about those negatives can be overwhelming and put you off the whole project. That's what i've found numerous times in my life. Whereas nowadays when i start something, i don't think about the difficulties down the track until i'm closer to them.

But if i was facing the sort of loose skin problem of the person in the picture, i would start losing weight with a definite plan for surgery and i would start saving from the get go.

Incidentally, skin is not just a aestethic matter, its also got comfort and practical implications. Yesterday i was at the house of my overweight choir leader. She has already lost 50kilograms - over 100 pounds and has more to go. She showed me her thighs which have saggy skin in the middle and she was telling me that she has trouble with trousers riding up because of that so that's why she tends to favour tights or fitted trousers. We were discussing this because i'm going to be doing some sewing for her.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:52 AM   #11
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Are people who are in such a weight class that potential loose skin would be an actual issue the target readership of Shape? When I was at my heaviest, I would generally avoid magazines and books related to exercise or health. To me, such a magazine is probably geared towards people already in shape or those who have comparatively less weight to lose and are just looking for a few tips.

So much focus on the photo, but there will be an accompanying article where I presume the woman will say she looks so much better with the lower weight and looser skin. And is happier with her life now.

Surely, there has been more publicity surrounding the photo now than there would've been if it was just published in the first place. Are there that many people now refusing to lose weight?
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:02 AM   #12
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Maybe they are trying but they are certainly not succeeding for the most part. You just have to look around you.
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:09 PM   #13
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Honestly a few years ago if I had seen the picture it would have added yet another reason to not bother trying to lose weight, if I wasn't going to have a perfect body at the end of it, why do all the work.

Now I care much more about keeping my body healthy and avoiding the annoying aches and pains I get with added weight. Looking better is of course a welcome bonus!

I think the issue of showing the lose skin is really interesting because it applies to two groups of people A) those who have lost significant amounts of weight and b) women who have been pregnant.

I've had two babies in the past three years and the world of baby-bumps shy away from those kind of pictures as much as the weight loss world does.

From what I've seen losing weight purely for aesthetic purposes doesn't tend to bode well for success so I think those who are put off by a picture like this would find something else to deter them from the work of weight loss anyway.

I think the role a picture like this has to play is putting the reality of weight loss/pregnancy into the media and making those of us whose bodies don't reflect that fake ideal a little more comfortable with how we look.
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:31 AM   #14
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I consider Shape magazine to be more about exercise and fitness rather than weight loss, thus the name Shape. Many of the weight loss articles are about not gaining, rather than losing weight.

The following comment might bring alot of people down on me, but if people are so vein that they don't want to lose weight for fear of having loose skin, why were they not so vein as to not allow themselves to gain so much in the first place. How many times have I cursed myself because I should have done something when I went shopping and my size 10s not longer fit and I had to buy 12s. Or 14s. Now it's 18s and I look at myself and wonder how this happened. Let me lose 50 lbs...I'll gladly accept the loose skin.
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wannabehealthy View Post
I consider Shape magazine to be more about exercise and fitness rather than weight loss, thus the name Shape. Many of the weight loss articles are about not gaining, rather than losing weight.

The following comment might bring alot of people down on me, but if people are so vein that they don't want to lose weight for fear of having loose skin, why were they not so vein as to not allow themselves to gain so much in the first place. How many times have I cursed myself because I should have done something when I went shopping and my size 10s not longer fit and I had to buy 12s. Or 14s. Now it's 18s and I look at myself and wonder how this happened. Let me lose 50 lbs...I'll gladly accept the loose skin.
Great observation! So so true.
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