Letters - Fall
Radiance For All Ages
I have been reading your magazine on and off for several
years and finally began subscribing two years ago. I feel compelled to write and tell you
how much I admire, appreciate, and applaud your magazine. I also subscribe to BBW and
Mode, and while I do enjoy them, I feel that they dont really promote acceptance for
all women regardless of size and age. I feel that Radiance
provides something that all women need. Radiance
provides more than just fashion spreads and basic articles.
Im still quite young (thirty), and I have a
beautiful plus-size mother. We can both relate to your magazine. My mother is an
intelligent and inspirational woman who still has trouble accepting herself as she is. She
and my father gave me self-confidence through their constant love and support so that I
have had a somewhat easier time accepting myself as I am. But, I cant give them all
of the creditRadiance has been my
shelter from the storm of ridicule and prejudice that I face in my life. Im thrilled
to see that back issues are available and will be ordering as soon as I can. Thank you, Radiance, for being a friend!
Id love to hear from others who need support and
can provide it, too! If we want the world to take us seriously and hear our proud roar,
weve got to stick together!
Just wanted to thank you for your wonderful magazine. I
am a new subscriber, having only received two issues thus far. I read your Spring 1998
issue several times, enjoyed it immensely, and then filed it away with my other
is doing a great service for those of us who have been made to feel like societys
misfits. Some of us have gone many years feeling inadequate and not quite good enough. No
matter what others think, we are still vibrant, beautiful women who have much to
contribute. I find the articles that you print affirming.
For the most part, I have been able to lead a
normal life. I was married, had four children, and did Earth Mother at-home,
child-rearing until my last child was in school. Then I rejoined the work force full time.
Six years ago I found myself divorced, struggling to make ends meet financially,
supporting my last at-home child, and dating. Thats when I started to understand,
and experience firsthand, the prejudice that exists against large women.
At one point, I was told outright by a man I was seeing
that he wanted someone tall and slender, someone he would look good standing next to!
Another said, Look at you. No wonder youre divorced! Thats when I
quit dating. All I was finding were insensitive buttheads, and Id had enough. I know
that there are some men out there who appreciate soft and fluffy women;
Im just tired of looking. And my life is just fine right now. My job keeps me busy;
my dog is my constant companion; my grandson is the light of my life; and my women friends
support, share, and care.
We all have our stories, dont we? Radiance, keep up the good work!!!
Women Just Like Me
I just discovered your magazine. Its refreshing to
see women who look like me! I am tired of extremely thin models and reading about the
latest program to get the perfect body. I will not spend money on these publications
I was always a chubby child. In my early adulthood, I
wore size 13/14 and I felt pretty. It was not until I entered the university that I became
obsessed with my size. I listened to my peers fret about their weight and I endured
comments such as, Wouldnt you like to lose weight? and You
shouldnt be eating that. I became ashamed of my size and no longer felt
pretty. I wanted to be thin, to wear size 9 and weigh 120 pounds. This is when I began to
diet and deprive myself. After a few weeks of dieting, I began to binge and eat more than
ever. After these binges I felt like a failure and wondered why I couldnt stay on a
diet. The goal of exercise became to lose weight, not to move for fun or fitness. This
cycle went on for fifteen years of hating myself with each pound I gained (I am currently
a size 22). When I look back at pictures of myself, I see an attractive young woman. I
feel sad that I could not see this earlier.
I am educating myself on size acceptance, body image,
and stopping the dietbinge cycle. I went on my last diet in November of 1997. Two
months after this diet I reached my highest weight ever. Magazines like yours are my tools
to help me achieve self-acceptance. It is my spirit that counts and not my dress size. I
have two goals for this summer: to wear shorts to the gym and to take a deep-water
I am so happy to see kids in your magazine. I hope that
this will help promote size acceptance at an early age. Keep up the good work.
The Summer 1998 swimsuit issue was fantastic! I
especially enjoyed the swimsuit layouts and the comebacks. I have a growing collection of
pictures of large women looking happy and self-assured, which always gives me a boost.
Its so good to see women with bodies so much like mine beaming with confidence and
romping on the beach!
Some of the comebacks you printed were choice. Id
like to put this out to my fellow readers. What would you say to a person who boasts about
how good he or she has been, not eating this or never touching that? How about
when you offer someone something and he or she replies, Oh no! I have to watch my
These are some of the times I would like to educate
people. Interestingly, some of these comments are from people who seem to have
gotten it, who have been educated to some extent. I guess that the hold of a
society that worships thinness is still strong on them. So once in a while, I would like
to have a comeback that would make the persons jaw drop.
San Francisco, CA
A Centerfold Speaketh!
You made me a centerfold! Such surprise, such shock.
Your Summer swimsuit issue is, as usual, fabulous, but the fact that Im in the
issuemein a bathing suit, barely an inch and a half from a centerfold staple,
is utterly amazing. Its exhilarating. I cant tell you how many average-sized
friends expressed astonishment that an over-forty womanany over-forty
womandared expose her body in a bathing suit to friends, let alone in a national
publication. Ive become a hero to a certain select crowd of friends and supporters.
In my surprise and delight, I rushed out to a newsstand
to buy more copies of Radiance, and
foundnone. None at all. Id love to believe that with me as a centerfold the
issue had simply sold out, but, alas, such was not the case. Most of the newsstand owners
had never heard of your magazine. I tromped to fourand I live in the center of Los
Angeles, California, hardly off the beaten path. How can we improve the circulation of
wonderful, deserving Radiance? I have an
idea. Heres an open letter to certain Radiance
Dear Fellow Readers,
Your gushing, devoted letters to Radiance
show me that you enjoy the magazine just as I do. Dont you then realize that when
you share the magazine with others, you are depriving Radiance
of new subscribers, new readers, new fans? Encourage these people to subscribe and get
their own copies! Think about it: if you check a book out of a library, the author never
gets a percentage of the sales. The same goes for a shared magazine.
needs you, needs your friends, needs the support of everyone. We can have more color pages
if and when theres a larger subscription base. Alice Ansfield can prove to
advertisers that more and more people are reading, if and when theres a larger
subscription base. Advertising dollars translate into a better magazine. PLEASE! Stop
sharing your magazine and instead encourage your friends to buy their own copies of Radiance. The future of Radiance
is up to you.
Los Angeles, CA
Ed. Note: Without taking
away from Dianes sentiment here, I do want her and you to know that the Summer issue
had not yet been delivered to the newsstands, bookstores, or grocery store chains when she
rushed out to find it. Subscribers receive their magazines first. However, what she is
asking for here we at Radiance applaud.
Finding Size-Friendly Doctors
Thanks for a bigger and better-than-ever Summer issue.
The essay by Sioux Polvi on her mortifying visit to a new gynecologist inspired me to
write and ask you to address in an upcoming issue the legitimate resistance many fat women
(myself included) feel regarding visiting a doctor.
We dont want to be insulted, we dont want to
be pressured to step onto a scale, and we dont want to hear our weight blamed for
every ailment. Consequently, many of us stay away from medical practitioners unless
were in dire need; then we take who we can get. And theyre not always the best
or the most sensitive. While Siouxs problem had a simple solutionfind another
doctorshe could have just as easily encountered another fat-hostile medic. Perhaps
some of your readers can offer suggestions on how to find or screen for fat-friendly
doctors. Imagine if there were a national registry, complete with listings of specialists.
If all of us had access to doctors who truly lived by the Hippocratic oath (First,
do no harm), the longevity of fat women might well increase.
Susan Breslow Sardone
Dear Everyone at Radiance,
First, let me say that your magazine was a voice in the
wilderness for me. About two years ago, I was sick in my soul and not too healthy in body
either. I was so beaten down by our fat-hating society that I felt as if I would never
raise my head again. Even with a loving, supportive husband, the constant reminders that I
was a second-class citizen drowned out his gentleness. I was afraid to see my doctor, even
though I was sick all the time. In one month, I would have four or five colds!
Then, on a whim, I picked up your magazine. I would like
to say that I read it and immediately turned into a confident, self-assured, bold woman.
But even after several months of reading, I was still doubtful. I was my own enemy! It
took about a year for me to come to the light, so to speak. I finally had the
courage to go to my doctor. I didnt care if he said to diet. I was ready to speak
out for myself. He turned out to be a wonderful, caring man who said I could be healthy
and big. Nutrition and easy exercise were more important than any number on the scale.
Sadly, and fortunately, he diagnosed me with type two diabetes. Sadly, because it is a
frightening disease, but fortunately, because now I had an explanation for my frequent
illnesses. The high sugar was affecting my bodys well-being and my mental health as
well. Now my blood sugar is under my control, and my life is so much better.
In a way, you saved my life by giving me the courage to face my demons. Demons I know that
many other women share. Thank you. Thank you so very much.
Great Falls, MT
Ed. Note: Readers, please
see the classified ad weve included in this issue about the list that has been
started (online) for size-friendly health professionals worldwide. Also, watch for our
Winter 1999 interview with medical activist Lynn McAfee.