A Compilation of her
Letters from the Editor
1998 through 2000
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
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
Founder, Editor, Publisher ©
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