SELF magazine is a having a rough week. Just a few days ago, we wrote about the backlash surrounding a tutu-shaming piece published in the magazine’s April issue—a piece that had many of its readers up in arms. And today it was announced that longtime editor-in-chief Lucy Danziger will soon by replaced by Joyce Chang of Cosmopolitan. Ouch.
Now, there’s no evidence Danziger was ousted for the whole tutu-shaming brouhaha. But we’ve got to say, the timing does seem a bit suspect, don’t you think? Danziger is no stranger to body-shaming scandals, though. Here, a rundown of the most memorable scandals at SELF under Danziger’s helm. Because everyone loves a good scandal. Proof: the hit TV show.
• In 2009, rumors swirled that Jessica Simpson had been dropped from the cover of SELF after gaining a noticeable amount of weight. Danziger denied the claims, saying the cover was scrapped due to scheduling conflicts.
• That same year, SELF shamelessly photoshopped their cover photo of Kelly Clarkson into an entirely unrecognizable person. I mean, her face was pretty much the same, but the image of her body could not have been more unrealistic. (Seriously, you can see side by side photos here. It’s kind of bizarre.) Now, magazines are generally an aspirational medium, and they all use Photoshop. Readers shouldn’t be surprised about that. But when a magazine for women shaves a good 30 pounds off of its cover girl, it sends the message that not every body is an acceptable body. And guess what? That doesn’t surprise readers—it pisses them off.
• After the very obvious photoshopping was pointed out, instead of apologizing to readers, SELF dug themselves in even deeper by poorly justifying their love for Photoshop. Danziger explained on her Self.com blog, “Portraits like the one we take each month for the cover of SELF are not supposed to be unedited or a true-to-life snapshot…Did we alter her appearance? Only to make her look her personal best…But in the sense that Kelly is the picture of confidence, and she truly is, then I think this photo is the truest we have ever put out there on the newsstand.” To recap: SELF strives to make their cover girls look the way they feel, instead of the way they actually look? And Clarkson’s personal best looks nothing like her actual self? Yeah, I’m gonna call BS on that one.
• Most recently, SELF published a piece in the magazine shaming all lovers of running tutus. Unfortunately, the tutu-wearing woman whose photo they used turned out to be a cancer survivor in the midst of chemotherapy sessions, who wears the running tutu to boost her confidence. Oh, and also, she’s the founder of the company Glam Runner, which sells—you guessed it—running tutus. For charity. Yeah—whoops. Danziger apologized, saying, “I am personally mortified. I had no idea that Monika had been through cancer. It was an error. It was a stupid mistake. We shouldn’t have run the item.” One week later, Danziger’s replacement was announced.
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