I love Glamour magazine. (You might find that frivolous, too. See above.) It has a little bit of everything, and I've subscribed for several years now. Many issues have a "Your Body's Best _______" section in which is highlighted one type of clothing (jeans, dresses, skirts...) shown in various styles that are flattering for different body types (pear-shaped, petite, full-figured...). I appreciate these sections because I really don't like shopping for clothes, and when I have to, I like to have an idea in my mind of cuts/patterns/lines to look for.
Last summer, I opened an issue to find a "Your Body's Best Swimsuit" section. I was 3-4 months pregnant and eager to find ideas -- I'd be needing a suit for several occasions that summer, and I hoped Glamour would help.
But I was disappointed to find that the body types did not include "pregnant." I wasn't entirely surprised -- Glamour isn't a maternity magazine -- but I thought that, since it is a woman's magazine, it could serve a decent chunk of its audience well by including styles for pregnant women. Especially in the swimsuit feature! As expectant women, we can find jeans and tops and dresses that will work for us, and it's even easy to buy cheap maternity clothes second-hand... but you don't see a lot of swimsuits at consignment sales, and that's the one piece of clothing behind which you cannot just hide your growing belly.
So I wrote a quick email to the magazine. (Aha! It's still in my Sent box, so... here it is.)
June swimsuit spread
What a huge variety of swimsuit ideas! I LOVED that so many shapes and sizes were featured. The only disappointment to me was the lack of my current shape: the pregnant one! I'll be about 20 weeks along when "swimsuit season" is in swing, and I'd really like some ideas on what to wear to best flatter my baby-belly shape.
Someone from the magazine staff responded, and it was a little lame. It said something about how they wished they could focus on every body type and included a link to, I assume, some swimsuits. I'm not really sure, since the link was broken.
I wasn't angry or anything; I just dismissed it and ended up buying a swimsuit at Motherhood. (Was I thrilled with the swimsuit? Nah. Since it was mid-June by the time I bought it, summer was apparently over, and the swimsuit selection was slim. I bought a size too big because that's what was left in a style I liked, and I knew I'd fill it out more as my pregnancy progressed.)
Since then, I've never seen a pregnant woman featured in the Glamour style sections. And again, I've never been surprised about it. But this week, I opened my May issue (yeah, I'm behind in my reading -- turns out, being pregnant last summer means this summer I have a baby!) to find the same "Your Body's Best Swimsuit" feature... and there she was! At 8 months pregnant, the model was first featured with three other-sized women in the swimsuit that "works for every body type," and then she was in the following pages, pictured in one more suit with three other recommendations. She got just as much magazine real estate as any other "size," and more than some.
I was giddy. Do I think my email alone convinced a national magazine to make a change? Of course not. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't think it mattered at all. I've never seen a pregnant woman featured, and all of a sudden, there she is, in the exact pages where I'd lamented her absence the previous year?
I could turn this post into a lesson, like "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" or something about how you think your little voice doesn't matter but it does... but honestly, I just want to say this: it's nice to have someone listen. And I'm not pregnant this summer, but you better believe I tore out those pages and filed them away for future reference. Thanks, Glamour!