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A Compilation of her
Letters from the Editor
1998 through 2000

 

From Radiance Spring 2000

Dear Friends,

My staff and I have sure appreciated your feedback on our Winter 2000 Millennium issue! Glad you’re enjoying it so much. The features on dance moved (pun intended) many of you, and thank you for  letting us know. It feels great to have hit such a sweet chord for so many of you.

This Spring issue has been quite fun to put together. One of our features, “Finding Love,” began when a reader wrote asking us to explore the issue of finding “Mr. Right.” Synchronistically, during the next month, we began finding essays in our mailbox from women who wanted to tell us how they had met the loves of their lives.

The weight lifting and strength training theme in this issue all got started when a reader sent us an article from USA Today on Cheryl Haworth, our sixteen-year-old cover girl. I was immediately awed by Cheryl and tracked down her and her coach. I thank them (and Cheryl’s mom and dad) for their generosity of time and information, and thank you Bruce Klemens for your photos. I was overcome (in a wonderful way) with a feeling of motherly pride when I spoke with Cheryl on the phone (see sidebar with her feature). She is an amazing young woman with an exciting path in front of her. She has a lot to teach us all.

“Sexy is as Sexy Does” by Hanne Blank came to me through her posts which I read in an on-line, size-acceptance news group. I immediately loved her writing style, her wit, and her information. To go with her sexy article, I put out a call on-line for “fun, flirty, sexy photos,” and voila . . . we have the “Gettin’ Sexy” color photo spread.

Young folks have graced this issue with their unique works. “The Plaster Shell” by Miriam Goldstein was a true fit for Radiance. Twelve-year-old Katy Alexander wrote to us and enclosed her first drawing of a fat girl! Thanks go to all the young women—Cheryl, Miriam, and Katy—who brought their ideas and experiences to our readers. We’re happy to continue to bring more Radiance Kids Project materials to our pages (and at our web site, www.radiancemagazine.com).

This Summer’s Radiance will be our 6th Annual Swimsuit Edition, or “Swimsuits 2000” as I’m calling it. Time to don your suits, snap those photos, and send them our way. Photo deadline is around May 5. (See the classified ad this issue for details. Information and examples are also at our web site, under “what’s new” on the main page).

Also in Summer, Marina Wolf gives us Radiance’s second interview with medical journalist and author Dr. Dean Edell. Plus we’ll have a behind-the-scenes conversation with Aviva Jane Carlin, actress and creator of Jodie’s Body, her powerful one-woman play that addresses the personal politics of body acceptance within the larger context of Carlin’s life in South Africa. There’ll be more, so watch for Summer in mid-July.

On a personal note (and no editorial of mine would be complete without “a personal note”), I went to sleep last night asking for a dream to help me find the focus of this editorial. I hadn’t been sure of what from my personal life or recent experience was important to share with you. I woke up at 6 a.m., stunned by a series of dreams and ran (well, walked!) to the computer to type what I could remember. The part I want to share with you was quite powerful for me.

So here’s my dream: I am at a conference on women and spirituality. Women in different rooms are doing all sorts of things, like movement and dance, rituals and art, talking and singing.

A woman calls me over to a TV film set and asks me to do a segment on resources for plus-size shopping. I talk about it with the staff, and the crew members are all very friendly, laughing and chatting, busy making the set, bringing in pillows and cushions. Then they start to work on my image, giving me a sexy, lingerie-type look that’s just not me. They also try to get me to sit a way that is not comfortable that creates the look they want.

I am supposed to walk up an incline covered with silky fabric on which I can’t keep my footing. I ask for help, which is okay, until I see that they are filming the whole scene. How odd, I think. Why would they set it up so that I have to struggle?

As if this were not enough, next they want me to wear this totally goofy hat. I say, “No way. Are you kidding?”

As the filming continues, I hear the narrator say, “Can you believe the size of this woman?” I try to talk, but I freeze up. The filming stops. One of the camera crew looks at me and says, “We’re not talking about cancer here. Lighten up. Have fun. Be silly.”

As I realize that I have been set up to be laughed at, I start to walk off the show. The producer shouts out to keep the cameras rolling and I find myself in the middle of one of those sensationalistic “live-tv” scenes. Then it hits me that I can take advantage of the situation. I begin talking into the cameras. I shout out that size discrimination is not funny.

I woke up. (For real.)

I woke up grateful for all the people and groups who are working so hard to educate others about size -acceptance, and about “health at any size.” I woke up grateful for those of us who are angry, and are expressing that anger in so many constructive ways.

Let’s respect the depth and range and power of our feelings, and recognize when it’s appropriate to speak the truth.

Take up the cause, folks. Your gift, your power, is in who you are and how you live your life. Do what you can, for yourself, for others of size, and for those in the next generation.

With this I welcome you to our Spring 2000 issue.

Take care,

Alice Ansfield
Founder, Editor, Publisher ©


Remember, this is only a taste of what's inside the printed version of the magazine!

 

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