Thursday, March 02, 2006

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Boycott REDBOOK Magazine - Obesity Is Not Fashion

Redbook Magazine Boycott Called by Anti-Obesity Advocate MeMe Roth

-- Hearst’s Redbook and Editor-in-Chief Stacy Morrison Called “Reckless in Age of Obesity” --

New York, NY – March 6, 2006 – In response to Redbook Magazine’s March 2006 Issue and cover story, “We Love Your Body From Size 2 to 20,” anti-obesity advocate MeMe Roth calls for a boycott of the magazine citing its piece as “reckless in the age of obesity.”

March’s issue, with rocker Sheryl Crow on the cover, features a seven-page spread of women of varying sizes, many of whom are Redbook employees. Half the women are visibly overweight and some “plus sized.” Height and Body Mass Index (BMI) are excluded.

In her opening letter, editor-in-chief Stacy Morrison bemoans the fact that many of her favorite fashions are not made larger than size 12, while also heralding that she is “quite proud” to be a size 14. Later within the article, it is pointed out the average American woman is a size 14. Noticeably absent are facts that the average size 14 woman is 5’ 4”, overweight and at risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer, as well as a host of additional medical complications.

“Redbook always has had a friendly tone, but don’t let that friendliness lull you into comfortable obesity,” said anti-obesity advocate MeMe Roth. “If you’re post MarieClaire and Glamour but not ready for AARP, I’d suggest reading Shape or SELF and getting your nutrition information from consumer watchdog, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI.) The CSPI takes no corporate or political money and publishes the exceptional Nutrition Action Healthletter. Until Redbook Magazine gets real about the risks associated with extra heft rather than parading health-compromised, plus-sized women in its pages, boycott it.”

Redbook Magazine, a Hearst Magazines title, reaches an audience of 2,350,000 each year, 90% women the average age of 44. The magazine’s tag line is “The Married Girl’s Guide to Life.”

“Redbook is a popular title and certainly knows its audience and advertisers. It’s quick to point out the “W” in plus-sized clothing stands for ‘woman.’ I wonder if that’s what Gloria Steinem and her contemporaries had in mind?” said MeMe Roth. “In Manhattan there’s a window etching that reads, ‘Life equals outrunning lesser versions of yourself.’ I couldn’t agree more. Name one men’s magazine that would parade its overweight employees? Redbook needs the courage to be honest with its readers and stop the patronizing articles. Instead of extolling the virtues of loving your body at any size, let’s ask women to love their bodies by keeping them healthy—and certainly offering advice that women become physically fit well before having children.”

Fast Facts:

  • Women are at the center of the obesity epidemic. More than 90% of family food-buying decisions are made by women.
  • 65% of U.S. adults are overweight or obese.
  • A child of overweight parents is 15 times more likely to become overweight.
  • Today’s generation of children is the first to be given a lesser life expectancy than their parents.
  • This due to obesity related health complications: cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc.
  • The Wedding Gown Challenge encourages women to focus on being fit for life—maintaining a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI)—well before, during and long after their wedding day.

About MeMe Roth
MeMe Roth is host and organizer of the Wedding Gown Challenge. As an anti-obesity advocate, Ms. Roth's efforts to eliminate junk food from schools, eradicate Secondhand Obesity™ (obesity handed down from one generation to the next, as well as from citizen to citizen), and to celebrate women committed to remaining fit have been featured on Fox's Your World with Neil Cavuto, CBS’s The Early Show, The New York Times, New York Magazine, The New York Post, Playboy Magazine, The New Jersey Star-Ledger, TimeOut New York, Big Apple Parent, WABCRadio, 106.7 LiteFM, Q104.3, Parents Magazine, Vicinity Magazine, Suburban Essex Magazine, School Administrator, American School Board Journal, The Winnipeg Sun, UPN Channel 9 News, News Target,, The Item, WCRN Boston, BigFatBlog, Nippon TV, The Associated Press and Health Magazine. Ms. Roth’s agenda: Brain/Body/Libido. “Let’s re-tool the image of ‘mom’ and live a lifestyle free of excuses.”



Anonymous gramina said...

Obesity is, indeed, "not fashion." Neither is slenderness, nor is health. Fashion is about what clothes you look good in. If you choose to be concerned about health -- certainly a valid concern -- read magazines that have to do with it.

With any luck, you will find that those magazines encourage reasonable activity, a wide variety of foods, and the avoidance of the eating disorders that are so commonly encouraged in our culture, and that are killing so many of our young women.

"Redbook" is a fashion magazine. Unless you propose that only people in good health should be dressed, I strongly recommend you rethink your position.

4:03 PM  
Anonymous gramina said...

p.s. I should have said, "people in what you understand to be good health..."

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, aren't you a heinous bitch. Fix your highlights.

4:12 PM  
Blogger steph said...

I see you overlook the fact that Redbook continually features articles regarding health and fitness. In an age where females in the spotlight are getting dangerously thin and eating disprders such as bulemia and anorexia still heavily perpetuate our society, you decide to take a self-esteem boosting article about accepting one's self into a campaign for your wedding gown challenge. Way to twist things to get more attention.

By the way, implying that the highlight of a woman's life is her wedding day and how she looked in her wedding dress is pretty sexist. Thanks for perpetuating the myth that a woman's goal is to be a pretty bride.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

“Let’s re-tool the image of ‘mom’ and live a lifestyle free of excuses.”

Re-tool the image of mom? Since when has the image been in need of 're-tooling'? What patriarchal asshat crawled into your head and called it home?

If a woman gets fat having a kid, then so be it. So what. That's her concern, why must you serve the usually male dominated shame parade so well?

You do nothing for women's health but to assist the patriarchy in its constant, never ending bleating about how women just are never good enough and must continuously starve, feed, contort, bend and twist their minds and bodies in every way imaginable just to 'fit in' to some prescribed notion designed by some asshat, controlling man.

Go back to school Meme, find a cause that elevates women, or maybe your cat! Go back to the Junior League and have lectures on child abuse or something to other trapped, vapid, middle class white women.

Women like you do nothing for women. You serve the men who pay your way. Go earn your own living, you have way too much time on your hands and are up to doing the devil's work.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

It's news to me and to anyone who understands the difference between correlation and causation that "the average size 14 woman is 5’ 4”, overweight and at risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer, as well as a host of additional medical complications."

No study has EVER concluded that body weight causes these or other conditions. Perhaps having them makes people more likely to be overweight. I'm sure you would have considered Jim Fixx to be in wonderful physical condition, but he dropped dead of a heart attack during a morning run. And gee, Mary Tyler Moore sure is the model of a fat diabetic, isn't she? And, wow, Dana Reeve, what a big fatso she was.

Cancer, heart disease, and diabetes can strike anyone at any time, regardless of their weight. Perhaps you should encourage women to eat a diet that is rich in fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains, move their bodies and stop judging their worth as women by the numbers on their scale.

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Marsha Coupé said...

The Chihuahua Syndrome

Until two minutes I had never heard of MeMe, but her mindless whining over Redbook turned up on Big Fat Blog, motivating me to have a quick look at the brittle moaner herself.

Poor little MeMe suffers from the Chihuahua syndrome. She yaps out of frustration. Everyone knows that Big Girls Have All The Fun.

Mimi, get checked for osteoporosis. You’re looking a bit hunched.

Viva La Redbook!

I’m off to buy every copy.

Marsha (The Perfect Size 28)

4:21 AM  
Anonymous MReap said...

So, if I fitted well into my size 24 wedding gown then, and still fit into that gown now, do I qualify for your "challange"?

Didn't think so.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am surprized at the intensity of emotions displayed in these responses to you, Meme. I saw you interviewed last night on The Factor (Fox News), and thought you had some good points to mention.

In choosing to eat healthfully and take care of our bodies (fitness-wise), that doesn't necessarily mean we'll be a size 6... but in most cases it would probably rule out a size 20.

But, instead of people getting defensive, why not look at the good in what you are saying and try to improve our health?

I cannot fit into my wedding dress... I am 36 weeks pregnant with my fifth child. However, between children, I end up getting back to a comfy weight for myself (117) ... and still cannot fit into that dress... besides, it's packed away :) But in general, I like to do active things (hike with my family, try to jog, bike) and I try to eat whole grains and get fresh fruits and veggies into my diet... getting back to that weight just happens (albeit, slooowwwwlly).

So, in my opinion, I think the things you are saying are good for us women to hear, even though it may make us uncomfortable at moments - what good is something that doesn't make you think!

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Don said...

What a bunch of whiney butts.

Meme Roth has expressed a keen interest in the physical health of our children. As a father of 2 teenage daughters, I knwo their physical appearance has a direct impact on their confidence and self-esteem. I want my daughters to have every advantage as they race to be adults.

I truly pity the complainers in this blog. In addition to Meme's worthwhile advocacy, she is HOT!

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. What a bunch of defensive whiners.

If you people would expend some of that energy on exercise, maybe you wouldn't be so fat!

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Wow. What a bunch of defensive whiners.

If you people would expend some of that energy on exercise, maybe you wouldn't be so fat!

Interesting how this person did not bother to take up any of the very valid arguments posted here. What is the matter? Lack of convincing argumentation or lack of intelligence? And also, why assume that all those arguing against Meme's ridiculous position are fat?? You have a lot of nerve! What an ignorant hungry prick.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh - look how the angry, fat people can't express themselves without using a bold font, curse words, and gratuitous punctuation.

Take some of that anger and go exercise - then you won't be so fat.

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: "and next time, pick on an anorexic"

I agree with you. "Fat acceptance" and anorexia are both mental disorders.

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how many calories you burn sitting there hitting refresh, waiting to type something else insane?

2:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw MEME’s review from Red Book on Fox news and totally agree with her. I walk around the city and look at the amount of fat Women that are shopping for cloths that will not fit. These women are not in shape and don’t even try. No wonder that the kids are fat too.

I went to the beach last week in Florida and wow.. Did not realize that how fat Americans are. The only people that were in a fairly good shape were Boys and Girls around the age of 16. But when looking at a family you see the huge wife and the fat husband and the fat kids. It makes me sick. They get to the ocean from walking 20 Yards and they are so out of shape they barely make it. Huffing and puffing as they walk towards the ocean.

Well after seeing this I’m happy to report that my family is in good shape the kids exercise on a daily or weekly basis and they DO NOT eat junk. My wife shops art whole foods and monitors the food in the house. My kids (Both girls) do not have either anorexia or bulimia they have pride to take care of their bodies as both parents are in shape and eat right and exercise. Role models.. Wake up fat America..

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meme is right on the mark, being fat is not healthy no matter what you whiners may think. Do us all a favor and slim down so the cost of health care will be affordable for all. Why should fit people pay the same freight as a fatty that clogs up the health care system?

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MeMe hit it right on the mark. Both women and men need to look at themselves each day in the mirror. Being overweight causes alot of social issues and can eliminate a person from many activities. Overweight has tremendous effects on a Marriage. Who wants to go to bed with someone that has 3 layers of fat on the overhang. My Point is: Stay in Shape....

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The re-tooling of the image of "mom" should not be patriarchal or take away from her quality of life. Rather, it should recognize that daily exercise for physical and psychological well-being (yay for endorphins) is everyone's right, and instead of having overburdened moms who are expected to work the "second shift" of running the household and rearing the children alone, have spouses who share the work and schedule physical activity into their day. Exercise is about taking care of yourself, and the most health-positive message you can give is that women have a right to do something that is entirely for themselves and not for someone else.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 1971 only 4% of 6-to-11-year-old kids were obese; by 2004, the figure had leaped to 18.8%. In the same period, the number rose from 6.1% to 17.4% in the 12-to-19-year-old group, and from 5% to 13.9% among kid’s ageing between 2 to 5. Include all overweight kids, and a whopping 32% of all American children now carry more pounds than they should.

4:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

meme rocks. period. just accept it.

12:34 AM  

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