The other day I was with a friend when she buying jeans at Forever 21. While I waited for her, I looked through the clothing in the plus size section next to the dressing rooms. Did you know that if you wear a size 12, Forever 21 considers you a plus size? I’m a size 14, size 12 when I’m at my best. I wish I was closer to a 10, but I’m unwilling to go without a meal in order to have the body that I did when I was in my 20s. My 6th grade daughter wears a size 9. She’s in no way overweight.

One of my favorite magazines is Women’s Health. I love the articles, the workouts, the recipes, but I wish they’d use more realistic women in some of their photos. It’s a magazine aimed at active women, but the women inside the covers are frequently very thin and with no visible muscles. Arms that thin would have a hard time lifting a dumbbell.

20080920_zaf_i90_160.jpgBody image is a huge issue with women. This is not an original thought – we all know this. I want my daughters growing up feeling beautiful and smart and strong. I want to feel beautiful, smart, and strong, myself.

Glamour magazine has recently offered an alternative view of a beautiful woman. In September, a photo of model Lizzie Miller appeared in the magazine. She was nude and had a little belly. She looked healthy and happy and beautiful. Women loved the photo and the magazine recieved a flood of positive comments.

The November issue goes a bit further with a photo shoot that features seven beautiful fuller figured ladies. I’m hopeful that this is the beginning of a trend in the magazine industry, not just some sort of publicity stunt. Reading about Mark Fast’s London Fashion Week runway show that included a number of plus size models helps that hope to grow a bit brighter.

Image credit: Zuma Press