Glamour's risky gamble on full-sized female models


In September, Glamour magazine received a deluge of letters, e-mails and phone calls. The magazine, which has been known for its support of the high fashion industry, shocked readers and clothing professionals with a small photo that ran on page 194. On first glance, the picture seemed normal, with a smiling, nude model posed comfortably on a bench. However, on a closer look, it quickly became apparent why this image was so revolutionary: at 5'9" and 180 pounds, the model -- Lizzie Miller -- had a body mass index that was slightly above normal.

While many fashion professionals criticized the decision to feature the plus-sized Miller, the magazine's readers were quick to embrace it. In the following issue, Glamour promised to focus more attention on "plus models," committing to show "a wide range of body types" in its pages. To demonstrate its support, the magazine led with a "beautiful bodies" pictorial of average-sized models.