Remember how people totally lost it when Runner’s World gave us that cover of a woman of size EXERCISING this year? It was like the coming of Christ. A magazine made the illuminating discovery about how women of different sizes actually show signs of behavior associated with..health. And now we have the Pirelli calendar, which gave us Amy Schumer’s glorious soft stomach. A major cultural shift is in the air, or so they say.
With this in mind, RunwayRiot crunched the numbers on ten top magazine covers – Vogue and the like – and we’ve tallied them all up from best to worst on body diversity. We found that of all the glossy covers, this year, 27% of the cover girls were “curvier” women. This total percentage was up a considerable 18% from last year’s embarrassing 9%, so most of the covers have improved their body diversity stats. (To flip the perspective, last year, 91% of the time, the cover girls featured on the covers of the magazines we examined were predictably, all slim women. This year, the cover girls were slim only 73% of the time.)
Metrics: we took our walkabout through the size prism scanning the glossies for women with body types that were larger than the typical sample size cover girl, i.e. women with some curves. Specifically, we reviewed: Elle, Vogue, Self, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Shape, Harper’s Bazaar, Redbook, InStyle, and Allure. Spoiler alert: skinny, white, and Reese Witherspoon’s smile: still so hot right now.
Unsurprisingly, your homegirl Redbook was best in body diversity both years, featuring women like Khloe Kardashian and Kelly Clarkson, and even normals for their splashy non-famous September cover. (Just this year, Redbook lead the pack with a commendable 50% of their covers starring women with visible curves, double last year’s 25%.) Elle came in second with 27% this year, a major shift from last year’s 5%. You can thank their Women in Hollywood covers for this powerful dose of new figures. Vogue went up from 13% to 16% (thank you Serena Williams and Beyonce.)
Allure, on the other hand, came in dead last in 2014. It was the only magazine to cast zero women who wear larger sizes than your garden variety cover-worthy female. Odd, considering this magazine focuses on hair and makeup rather than fitness and clothing, but what do we know. This year, Allure reached 16% when it came to size diversity on their covers. Shape and Self both featured women with curves at the same rate: 8% for both years, but the majority of their cover lines were focused on the one thing most directly proportional to a woman’s worth: losing belly fat.
Sorry to get all curve counter on you, but when you stack them all up together, magazines still aren’t where they should be. Anyway we’re at 27% now so release the doves or something.
See below for the breakdown from best to worst in 2015 and 2014.
1. Redbook 50% (up 25%)
2. Elle 27% (up 22%)
3. Glamour 26% (up 1%)
4. InStyle 25% (up 17%)
5. Cosmopolitan 17% (up 9% with a powerful dose of size diversity thanks to the Kardashian blood line)
6. Vogue 16% (up 3%)
7. Allure 16% (up 16%, e for effort?)
8. Self 8% (stayed the same)
9. Harper’s Bazaar 8% (up 1%)
10. Shape 8% (stayed the same)
1. Rebook 25%
2. Glamour 25%
3. Vogue 13%
4. Self 8%
5. InStyle 8%
6. Shape 8%
7. Harper’s Bazaar 7%
8. Cosmopolitan 6%
9. Elle 5%
10. Allure 0%