Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

07 September 2007

Erasing America

Have you seen the latest cover to Glamour magazine? It has the fantabulous America Ferrera on the cover. Well, at least half of her. Thanks to Shakes for pointing out the difference in America's recent appearance at the Teen Choice Awards (right) to her magazine cover (left).

I first fell in love with America when I saw her in "Real Women Have Curves." And I love her as Ugly Betty. Each week she shows us that beauty is what is inside, in her heart. A friend sent an email to Glamour and they claim that they didn't airbrush the photo and if we look at the photos INSIDE the magazine, we'll see something different. Thankfully, there is one on their website and I looked. I'm not convinced.

Exhibit A: Their photo inside looks far more natural. Her naturally tan skin skill glows, but not like the cover. Her arms are still thin, but not quite like the cover. Her waist is a bit hidden and her hips are no where to be seen in the other photo.

Exhibit B: The Teen Choice Awards photo. I know she's not standing exactly the same way, but still. Everything looks smaller in the cover photo.

Here's the letter I sent Glamour via email. Their comment page is suspiciously down.
What irony.

For years women and girls have struggled with body images. There are times when people remark that we're seeing a generation of girls wasting away or being erased. Now Galmour has gone and literally erased half of America.

Thank you for giving me something to puke about.

There is no way you can justify or explain away the way that America Ferrera, lovely curvy Latina, looks on your cover compared to her recent appearance at the Teen Choice Awards.

Fess up and just say you airbrushed her away or even that you put her head on another model's body ala Jennifer Aniston a few years ago on Redbook.

As a Latina mother of a daughter, I point to America as a role model. As an example that you can be successful, beautiful and not have arms that look like they can't carry the groceries from the car. Look at the arms you gave her! OMG...

I'll be awaiting an honest response from you.
Why should this bother us as mothers? Because as I said in my letter, we are watching a generation of young women disappear before our eyes. Not just on "Access Hollywood" but in our neighborhoods, our schools, and at the mall.

I received a response from Glamour, the same one my friend got:
Dear Veronica,

Thanks so much for your letter about our October cover photo of America
Ferrera. Let me assure you, we did not digitally slim her; as she mentions
in the interview, she wears a size 6/8 on the bottom, ten on the top. You
are seeing her as she actually appears. That said, we deeply value your
feedback. Be sure to take a look inside at the photos of America and let us
know what you think.

Sincerely,
Emilia Benton
Reader Services Intern
Emilia, I feel for ya sister.

My daughter is 4. I try very very hard not to allow body talk in our home. I scold my partner when he talks about losing weight, I scold myself when I bad talk my body in front of her. I told my family flat-out that there is no talk about bodies. No teasing her that she is skinny. No teasing that she is chubby. And please, no teasing of others while she's with you. I can't shield her from everything, but I want to make our home a safe place. Her body is strong, lean, and did I mention strong? She inherited my thick thighs, but they are powerful. They give her the kick she needs to run circles around others her age.

So Glamour, I challenge you. Release the untouched photos. I know you had to airbrush them to smooth out color. No one's skin is that smooth and glossy. Did you drown her in airbrush tan crap? Something's not right with that photo. If you release them and they don't look like the Faith Hill photos, I'll take this all back.

And yes dear readers, this is going straight back to Ms. Benton.

x-posted at Chicago Moms Blog

Technorati tags: America Ferrera, Glamour, body image, feminism, airbrush

1 comments:

Yes, that's what they want us to believe -- that we can't trust what we see with our own eyes.