I will confess that I used to love Jane magazine and was very sad when it went out of print. (I sadly missed out on the whole Sassy thing, probably because when I was in junior high, I wasn’t cool enough for anyone to tell me it existed.) But I loved Jane. I know that Jane Pratt has her detractors (and she’s still as name-droppy as ever) but her magazine was head and shoulders above the Cosmos and Glamours out there, in my opinion.
Now Jane Pratt has started a website, xoJane.com, and I am really digging it. Marianne Kirby (from The Rotund) and Lesley Kinzel (from Two Whole Cakes) are both writers there, and I think at least one of their other regular writers is plus-sized. That’s not just one token size ten contributor, that’s multiple people who are straight-up fat. (Back in the magazine days, there was one vaguely curvy girl named, I think, Katy (?), and I always felt like I could relate just a little bit more to her pieces.) The best thing about this is that THEY WRITE ABOUT ALL SORTS OF THINGS THAT DO NOT INVOLVE FATNESS.
Don’t get me wrong, they write great stuff about size issues. Lesley just wrote a piece called What’s Wrong With Fat-Shaming?, addressing those horrible billboards featuring sad-looking fat kids (I saw them in Atlanta last year, too, and I always wonder how the poor “models” feel, being plastered on a billboard, children, and being held up as some sort of example of what’s wrong with the world.) I also enjoyed her recent piece about Tim Gunn:
His comments are ultimately the same old body-loathing crap we hear all the time, wrapped up in faux sympathy, and therefore I must take issue with Gunn’s self-applied title of “advocate for larger women” as I believe his words do those women more harm than good. Especially when Gunn says of one woman on the new show, “…she’d been overweight her entire life and never known a normal, slim and sexy body.” (Emphasis mine.)
Check out the body politics tab for more (not just from Lesley, but from other contributors as well). But Lesley has also written about Downton Abbey and collecting things and tampons, and Marianne has written about eloping and fan fiction and Anne of Green Gables. I have no idea how the site works, but it doesn’t seem like “you’re our Fat Contributor, so please write about fat,” more like “you’re a contributor, please write about what interests you.”
I have to say tha I would love to see some more contributors of color, but the site is really doing something right by us plus-sized readers. So thank you to xoJane for having some real size diversity among your staff.
Posted by mo pie