A Compilation of her
Letters from the Editor
1998 through 1999
Hey, readers, do you know you’re
the greatest? I really appreciate your letters, handwritten notes
scrawled on renewal cards, phone calls, and e-mails. I value your
openness and your honesty as you share yourselves with me. You move and
inspire me as I work on each issue. So don’t just think about telling
me what’s on your mind. Do it! Stay in touch.
1999 5th Annual Swimsuit Edition was a big hit. I knew you’d love
the sculpture and art features, fashion pages, and all those readers’
swimsuit photos! Thanks to all who contributed to this issue, including
our art director for Spring and Summer 1999, Melissa Lawton, for
bringing new ideas and design to our pages.
This Fall’s cover model is Melinda
McCormick, Radiance’s office
administrator and my close personal friend for the past two years. She
has recently made life changes that have taken her and daughter Ellie
(our back cover model and a love of my life!) away from Oakland. We miss
you! Thanks, Melinda, for all the hard work, energy, and compassion you
brought to Radiance and to me.
We welcome two new people to our
staff: Kellie Carbone, a feminist therapist and our new office
administrator, and art director Kristen Rasmussen, who moved mountains
to make this issue come out on time. Thanks and welcome to you both!
If you haven’t yet read Camryn
Manheim’s new book, Wake Up, I’m Fat, go out and find
yourself a copy. Not only have I enjoyed all the stories in her cleverly
presented chapters, but I’ve had the good fortune, twice, to work with
her when she’s appeared in Radiance.
We first featured Camryn in 1994
after we heard about her one-woman off-Broadway show. Our cover featured
her as a beauty pageant winner in tiara and swimsuit, holding a
bouquet of flowers and wearing a banner that read, “Wake Up, I’m
Fat!” Camryn gave writer Gloria Cahill a great interview— funny,
honest, powerful, and down to earth. After Camryn’s role on ABC’s The
Practice took off, Gloria interviewed her again for our Fall 1998 cover feature. In Radiance’s sixty issues, Camryn has been
the only person I’ve put on the cover twice.
This summer I had the additional
pleasure of meeting Camryn in person during the San Francisco stop in
her national book tour. I drove over from Oakland with Bettye Travis of
the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) to San
Francisco together, a couple hours ahead of Camryn’s scheduled
appearance. We wanted to sit as close to the front as we could. Well, we
had two of six seats in the first row. Close enough! As the crowd
gathered, the excitement and energy grew. Finally, Camryn strode in
along one side of the room grinning widely and waving. I was (star)
Camryn took her place at the front of
the room and quickly climbed up on a desk explaining she wanted to be
able to see everyone. She was as funny, bold, articulate, bright, sexy,
and spontaneous as I thought she’d be. She wowed us—fans of all
ages, sizes, female, and male—as she spoke and responded to our
comments and questions.
Afterwards, so many people lined up
for her to sign their books that she ended up scribblling the same
right-on message in each: “Raise Hell!—Camryn Manheim.”
Thank you, Camryn, for urging us to
take risks, to stand up and speak up about our bodies and our lives. May
you continue to touch millions.
So here we are, readers, still
together after fifteen years of Radiance.
Hurrah for all of us. We’re all a part of this size acceptance
movement. We each bring to it our unique selves, our unique stories. We
each have something to contribute to one another’s lives. I want to
thank those who work with me on every issue of Radiance
to put our message out into the world. And in this, our Fall issue, we
especially want to thank our “Friends of Radiance,”
those of you who’ve sent financial contributions our way this past
year. Your support is vital. Each check and letter we receive touches me
deeply. Your gifts honor me, my staff, and our mission. It is your
financial support that allows us to keep Radiance
shining brightly. Please do what you can, when you can.
As we enter the year 2000, Radiance will take a look back at some of the
people, groups, and events that contributed to our movement, and reflect
on the future of size acceptance. Where do we go from here to help
ourselves live wholly, freely, safely, and abundantly?
issue number sixty. Fifteen years! Thank you for your participation in
this ongoing endeavor. With this, I welcome you to our Fall 1999 anniversary issue.
Founder, Editor, Publisher
P.S. Look for the full page color ad
near the middle of the magazine announcing our new t-shirt, “Contemplating
Beauty,” in celebration of our fifteenth anniversary. Do you have an
idea for a t-shirt design? If so, please send it our way for
consideration. If we choose your design to produce for our collection, we will compensate you with a
credit line in all promotion about the tee. What image in the spirit of Radiance would you like to wear? ©