This Week's Beauty News Is Basically Just One Long Rant About Amy Schumer and Glamour

Plus a really cool undercut.
Publish date:
April 6, 2016
body image, weight, magazines, glamour, Amy Schumer, Plus-size

Screw intros, y'all — I just have to dive right into this Amy Schumer v. Glamour debacle.

In case you haven't gotten wind of this situation yet: good morning, you're quite a deep sleeper, but now that you're awake, let me take you through it in the order I experienced it.

First, someone showed me Amy's Instagram post:

Mixed feelings: I had 'em.

Taking Amy's word for it that this was a "plus size only issue," I did feel like it was a little weird that she was included since, like she mentioned, most plus-size retailers start at size 16; it was just a matter of inaccuracy if this was supposed to be a plus-size issue and strange of Glamour to include her just because she's not very thin...?

I empathized with her confusion, but not with her apparent offense.

"I think there's nothing wrong with being plus size," she says, because a) there is nothing wrong with it and b) it's good PR to say that, especially when you're about to complain about being lumped in with bigger women. After stating that she usually wears a size 6 or 8 and doesn't appreciate the lack of a heads-up about her inclusion in the issue, she incredulously says, "Young girls seeing my body type thinking that is plus size? ... not cool glamour"

I know what she's trying to say: don't let kids see a size 6 being labeled as fat, because then they'll have unrealistic body-image ideas. But — and I could be mistaken — it's very hard to read that last part without imagining her tone as upset by the very notion of being thought of as plus-size. Like, you weren't listed among "women who inspire us" in a special edition dedicated to people who force-feed elderly nuns their own shit, Amy. It's a pretty nice shout-out, and you're in great company.

Anyway, then I saw the full cover of magazine in question and experienced MOAR FEELINGS, mostly because Ashley Graham is the cover model, and I'm still reeling from the awesomeness of meeting her a few weeks ago.

Almost simultaneously, I saw Glamour's response to Amy's Instagram post:

"First off, we love Amy, and our readers do too – which is why we featured her on the cover of Glamour last year." FUN FACT: I wrote the Dos and Don'ts section of that issue. "The cover line on this special edition – which is aimed at women size 12 and up – simply says 'Women Who Inspire Us,' since we believe her passionate and vocal message of body positivity IS inspiring, as is the message of the many other women, of all sizes, featured. The edition did not describe her as plus-size. We are sorry if we offended her in any way."

Point, Glamour. Although the issue is, in fact, aimed at women size 12 and up — two sizes smaller than what Amy herself said is considered plus-size — it isn't specifically called the "Plus-Size Special Issue" or something. Semantics, I know — it's absolutely implied. But in the context of what Glamour points out — Amy's own open and refreshingly shameless discussion about her not-Hollywood-ideal body and how she loves herself exactly the way she is — Amy is an understandable inspiration. Her unapologetic stance can inspire women of all sizes, but of course it could and would be embraced by women who are of a size that society constantly demands an apology for. Could the cover mention be misinterpreted as "We think Amy Schumer is plus-size"? Sure. But it also could maybe not be.

That said, I'm going to take back the point I gave Glamour, because I think the whole issue is a mistake.

There are no plus-size people. Yes, there are people who wear plus-size clothing. But size 16, size 12, whatever — it's an arbitrary line drawn by clothing-industry big shots who have been dead for a long time. It may seem cool and progressive and celebratory when magazines like Glamour dedicate a whole special edition to women who aren't thin, but that just ends up emphasizing segregation and upholding needless labels. Regardless of good intentions, it's misguided to essentially relegate women over a size 12 to their own special issue of a magazine instead of just regularly including a range of sizes in their fashion pages every month. Doing this gives that arbitrary size line a fresh coat of paint instead of just letting it fade. Ultimately, the difference between wearing the largest straight size and the smallest plus size is about as thick as this 96-page magazine.

Anyway, there's not much time left for other beauty news today, so here's a picture of a woman who had a portrait of her cat shaved into her multicolored undercut.