A Compilation of her
Letters from the Editor
1998 through 1999

From Radiance Spring 1998

Hi Friends,

Ah, springtime! I have to think hard to imagine spring today, as it’s the middle of winter and El Nino season here in Oakland—sixty-mile-an-hour winds and flooding throughout the Bay Area. As rough as it can get here in “sunny California”!

What do you think of our cover model, Alan Morgan?! This young man has just won Hollywood’s Young Artists Award for his original Target commercial. Thanks to Alan, his sister Stephanie, and to Jenna Sol, for helping us kick off our Kids Project. In future issues we’ll print essays from and features about girls and boys of all ages, as well as information for parents, teachers, and others who want to help kids feel seen, loved, and valued for who they are, whatever their size. It’s about time, isn’t it?

A lot of this issue contains features about people I’ve wanted to introduce to you for quite awhile. I’m happy to display the wonderful sculptures of German artist Viola Jurgens. Another inspiration from outside the United States is Linda Omichinsky, from Canada. She created HUGS, a resource for teens and adults you’ll want to know more about. Also in this issue, a refreshing way to get active and enjoy nature from kayaking enthusiast Shirley Reynolds. And when you read “Red Line,” the powerful story by a new writer for us, Beth Shanewood, you’ll agree that she’s one we want to hear more from in upcoming issues.

I also want to draw attention to our Making News column where health educator and size-acceptance activist Pat Lyons tells us about the January 1, 1998, editorial printed in the New England Journal of Medicine. In a position unprecedented for this conservative and highly influential journal, the editors actually question the usefulness and safety of dieting and some of the assumptions adhered to by obesity researchers and the diet industry. They also call on doctors to help end discrimination based on size. Lyons’s commentary on this is a must read for us all.

Watch for our Summer issue—it’s gonna be big: Our Fourth Annual Swimsuit Edition will show off photos of your adventures in the water! We were delighted with your response to our call for Big Beautiful Beach Babes photos. Also for Summer, Gloria Cahill has put together a fabulous interview with three stars from Broadway’s The Life. I first learned of this play about tolerance, self-esteem, and survival when the cast sang one of its biggest hits, “My Body,” on the Rosie O’Donnell Show last year. My jaw dropped! As Cahill says in the introduction to her article, “‘My Body’ summarizes the show's radical casting choices. Never has such a diverse collection of body shapes and sizes graced a Broadway stage. The song, which was performed by the company during the 1997 Tony Awards, could be seen an anthem for many of the issues close to the hearts of  Radiance readers.”

Need some tips for good summer reading? Our Summer book reviews will have you dashing to your nearest library or bookstore. This Fall, we’re featuring favorite cookbooks—those tried and true we couldn’t do without, as well as specialty books for more extravagant and exotic meals. As you can see from our classified ad in this issue, we’re wanting book ideas from you, our readers, too. Send us a list of your favorite cookbooks by mid-April: the title, author, publisher, year of publication, and a little about why you love the book. Include your name, phone (or ) number, and city and state so that we can credit you if we print your selection.

In future issues we’ll ask for your favorite books in the areas of size acceptance and body image, stories of strong women, books that have inspired you, books that give you tools for feeling better, great mysteries, current and classic literature, poetry, and just plain fun reads! Thanks, Oprah—it was your book club as well as our own readers’ letters, that inspired us to give more space to good reading.

I’m also happy to report that we’re going to revisit a few of the women we’ve interviewed in the past: for starters, Camryn Manheim, film actress and current star of ABC’s The Practice  (Monday nights), will enliven the cover of our Fall issue. Actress Elaine Miles has also agreed to fill us in on her life and new roles since she played “Marilyn” on the popular TV series Northern Exposure.

On a personal note, the past few months here at Radiance have been quite a ride. I’ve come to a place where I can clearly say it’s time to go bigger, for Radiance to shine even brighter. The mass market is ready for our message! The magazine, our staff, and the vehicles for expansion are in place to help make this happen. I’ve chosen a small group of supportive professionals to work with us, and we’re developing plans for increased marketing and visibility. We’ve signed on with a new national distributor who’ll help us become more accessible to readers around the country and abroad. Your continued support is vital for us to keep moving along as we must. Please keep it coming, through calls, letters, and contributions.

If you think you can help, please contact me. I ask you all for your continued blessings for us and for Radiance as she grows into her fuller purpose.

With this, I welcome you to our Spring 1998 issue.

Take care,

Alice Ansfield
Founder, Editor, Publisher ©