Marie Claire SA’s November issue is all about us ordinary women loving our bodies, cellulite, stretch marks, lhoobs (low hanging boobs) and all…

The road to ‘sell’ is paved with good intentions…

The theme around the issue was applauded (I think) but the irony of using a super sexy uber model for the cover along with headlines like “21 Days To Get Bikini Ready” and “Tselane Tambo On Life After Lipo”. The magazine, supposedly celebrating female creatures, great and small, is also running a competition for readers, the prize being the chance to “Freeze Your Fat Off”. The blatant hypocrisy left me feeling bitter, fat and hungry-ish (I still battle with self-image so eating isn’t big on my list of things to do)

Tweeters twitted furiously, with some very influential editors and twitterati having a go at the inconsistency of the magazine’s intended message with the actual message. Fiona Snycker’s article ( is a well written piece which points out the hypocrisy of telling women that we’re all beautiful, no matter our shape or size, but then has a super model on the front cover along with

Years back I remember reading a magazine (I cannot, for the life of me, remember which one) but there was an article on a woman surviving her eating disorder, another on accepting ourselves for who we are and then an advertorial on how to lose 100kg’s in a week. The moral of the story for me was regardless of the product or the message, the magazine will run the ad if they’re receiving money. My first thought was (and I suppose it’s easier said than done) a responsible editor or sub-editor would have made the decision to move the ad OR better yet, decline it.

Anyway, back to Marie Claire’s November issue. As part of their Body Issue they challenged local ad agencies to create adverts which will be featured in the magazine. The concept is to let women know, that no matter what shape they’re in (or not), they’re still beautiful.

Ogilvy Cape Town’s response was to create a tape measure with a difference. Instead of measuring size, all the cm measurements have been replaced with positive adjectives so no matter what size, the outcome is always beautiful.

The Jupiter Drawing Room was also involved in creating an ad for Marie Claire’s November Body Issue challenge. The agency sent in an all girl team – from client service to DTP – to get the job done. These two ads are the result drawing from the team’s personal experience and featuring women from the agency.

The concept’s great, the intentions are even greater. But as a woman still struggling with the remains of anorexia and hearing some people refer to my toddler as fat, I personally a feel a lot more should be done to promote healthy bodies as opposed to body shapes and sizes. Of course I’m not an idiot and I understand that gorgeous women sell magazines, sell products and brands as well as lifestyles. I’m also very aware that I’m never going to feature on the front cover of a magazine and that I’ll never look like the women who do. The point I’m trying to make is if you’re going to have a body issue, celebrating women in their real and glorious forms then put your **** and the block and use real women, from beginning to end and don’t send mixed messages to love the body you’ve got but then offer a prize to freeze the fat off of that very same body.

As well intended as the magazine and the agencies message seems to be, I still find the duplicity hard to swallow, almost as hard as those darn diet pills…


4 thoughts on “The road to ‘sell’ is paved with good intentions…

  1. I felt exactly the same and had exactly the same thought as you when I realized the contradiction that the November Marie Claire represents…Why they didn't feature a “Full bodied” model on the cover? Well , we know why….like you said…IT WON'T SELL…
    The world has a LOOOONG way to go in changing perceptions of what is considered “beautiful”.

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