New UK women’s magazine bans skinny models and diet tips

Photo via Daily MailPhoto via Daily MailMajor fashion magazines tend to cater to a very specific demographic: white, thin, rich women. In recent years they have been making strides to diversify by featuring models of different colors and ethnic backgrounds and even by lowering their price point to include more affordable items during the recession. Which is a wonderful thing. But plus-size models wearing more realistic sizes remain few and far between. While reaching a fair balance in popular fashion mags may not happen just yet, a new UK publication called Just as Beautiful is looking to cover this ground.

Just as Beautiful is the first fashion magazine dedicated to curvy women and will feature models who range from size 14 and 20. Other publication rules: no airbrushing, no diet tips, and no thin models in the advertisements.

The magazine's editor, Sue Thomason, is a size 18 and worked as a body image life coach for five years. "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," she told the Daily Mail. "We want our readers to know that they don't need to change their appearance to 'fit in' or be truly happy. "Most people only think they need to change because they're constantly exposed to the message that they do - and shown images of impossibly skinny models that they're told they 'should' look like."

An ad from Just as Beautiful via Daily MailAn ad from Just as Beautiful via Daily MailThe publication says there will be no diet tips, but will focus on healthy cooking and exercise as well as fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Publisher Ronnie Ajoku told the Daily Mail, "There are plenty of magazines out there which promote losing weight but our readers don't want that. They want a magazine which is relevant to them while making them feel good about how they look." For some back story, Just as Beautiful has been a subscription-only digital publication for three years, but this month it was launched as a bi-monthly magazine, available in selected stores and by mail.

We think Just as Beautiful is a great step for the magazine industry. We love that the magazine aims to show real women as is, without airbrushing, and to make readers feel good about themselves. We are bummed though that the plus-size market has been forced to create its own space in the magazine industry rather than become accepted amongst mainstream titles. With plus-size models like Crystal Renn increasing in demand, hopefully this is just a jumping off point. [Daily Mail]

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