A Compilation of her
Letters from the Editor
1998 through 1999
We’re getting great feedback about our
Winter 1999 issue. I’ve had calls and e-mails regarding our interview with the legendary folk diva Odetta.
Readers were thrilled to find out more about this amazing woman/singer. And the articles on tai chi spurred a
number of you to explore classes in your local area: just what I’d hoped for!
Readers appreciated health activist Lynn McAfee’s medical activism
information, her personal stories, and her insights. You can be sure that we’ll be featuring more from Lynn in
We hear that you’re enjoying our newly expanded, full-color “Images”
department, also known as our “Fashion and Art Feature Section.” In this issue, you’ll find twelve full pages of
fashion, color, and style! This new feature is a great opportunity for businesses to promote themselves. If you
have a store, a mail-order business, or a jewelry or accessories line, or if you create or sell sculpture or
other art, call our office for details on how to make your way into these pages. (Read more about this at our
web site.) It’s win–win for all: our readers, Radiance,
and your company.
Now to the issue at hand: focus on teens. Since 1984, our first year in
print, we’ve run articles about children, weight, and well-being. We’ve heard from professionals, and we’ve
heard from kids. We’ve written about families: about healing the hurts, changing the patterns, and how to better
support one another to grow into our fullest selves. In actuality, the
Radiance Kids Project is nothing
new. But in the past few years, I’ve renewed my passion about helping our youth, both through the magazine and
at our web site. Simply put: kids need us. The same old stuff is happening in their homes, in their communities,
on their playgrounds, and in their classrooms that we adults endured when we were kids. Most of us had no one to
talk to about body image, diversity, and self- and size-acceptance. It’s up to us, folks. We need to do what we
can, when and where we can, to reach out, to reach back, and to bring others along into greater self-love,
awareness, and tolerance.
I’m glad to read in some of your letters that the
Kids Project articles from Fall 1998 were useful to
you. One woman told of how she took a few of those articles to her daughter’s school and passed them out at a
meeting with the principal, teachers, and counselors. As a result, the teachers there planned to distribute the
articles to other school staff and begin addressing how to end size discrimination at their school. This is the kind of thoughtfulness and action we hope our Kids Project will inspire. We owe it to ourselves
and to the next generation.
Our Spring “Teen Scene” is a collection of essays from teens of varying
sizes. One title, “Just Fat, Not Stupid,” reflects the flavor of their writings: refreshing, articulate, bold,
and thoughtful. I thank these young women for expressing themselves and sharing their lives with us. We all have
a lot to learn from them.
Also in this issue is your introduction to Debbie Powell and our new
This time, Deb takes six girls from a Catholic school in Baltimore for a day to the salon to enjoy
creating new looks for the prom. I think you’ll get a kick out of seeing them go from school uniforms to prom
gowns and reading their reflections on this size-positive “before and after” experience.
Each issue of
Radiance has a different theme. Catherine, our senior editor, describes
the shift in content from Spring to Summer as “going from wholesome to naughty!” It’s true. Summer’s book
reviews by Marina Wolf will tempt you with readings on food, sexuality, and sensuality. And we’ll hear one man’s
story about exploring intimacy with his plus-size lover and wife (the same woman!). I can hardly wait! There’ll
be more in Summer, including pictures of you—our bold and colorful readers in all your glorious shapes and
sizes—for our Fifth Annual Swimsuit Edition. There’s still time to send in your color photos, if you do it
Strut your stuff and send the proof our way!
I always like to share something personal in my editorial. Recently, I found
my way back to the water. Swimming laps has become a regular part of my week. The pool is a magical place for
The other night, I had a new insight as I swam through the water. I felt that
swimming, or the motion of my body gliding effortlessly through the water, was my natural state of being. I felt
that what happens outside the pool—home, work, friends, upsets, anxieties, new adventures, and so on—was the
stuff of life, the constantly shifting and changing dramas we all go through. But swimming was real. I am still
not sure how to explain this enchanting moment. But the awareness and peace it brought has stayed with me!
A few months back, a woman I was swimming with shared her own little fantasy
with me. While she swims, she likes to pretend that she’s at a spa or hot springs in the mountains, in a private
pool, feeling totally pampered. It’s an easy fantasy to believe, because in the recent winter months, there’s
been a gentle mist rising from the surface of the water as we swim, making the pool a truly exotic scene.
Another swimmer told me that when she comes to the pool, she “gives ‘it’ to
the water”: whatever is going on in her life, at work or at home, she brings to the pool and
releases it. I borrowed this from her today as I was trying to mend a hurting heart.
Then there’s a Chinese woman who doesn’t speak much English (and I don’t
speak much Chinese). For the past several months, we’ve been passing each other in the lane and smiling. The
other day I asked my lifeguard friend, Perry, if he knew a phrase or two so I could speak to her. “Hi, how are
I asked in her language, and she beamed! I repeated my greeting to her at every lap, and we laughed with
such great joy and delight in our new contact. Then there are the women who bring treats to share as we pause in
the shallow end to chat: cappuccinos, cookies, carrots, and even chips and salsa one night! I love the pool. I
love the people.
As the year unfolds, I hope that you, dear reader, find that which allows you
to feel your effortlessness and joy in just being. And may you find those whose company brings you pleasure,
insights, love, and delight.
With this, I welcome you to our
Spring 1999 issue.
Founder, Editor, Publisher ©