A Compilation of her
Letters from the Editor
1998 through 1999

From Radiance Fall 1999

Dear Friends,

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.

The Summer 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) struck!

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?

Enjoy Radiance 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.

Take care,

Alice Ansfield
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? ©