Sunday, January 24, 2021

Jennifer Hawkins: Unairbrushed, nude, bogus effort gets slammed

January 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Body Image

Hawkins quoted as saying "It's not like I am a stick figure." Reality check Jen, if you are not a stick what the heck are the rest of us?

Here’s an update on Roni’s post “Baby Step? Untouched Photo on Cover of Marie Claire” which discussed the photo of Former Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins on the cover of Marie Claire.

As it turns out, the fact that she is NUDE is getting more attention than the fact that she is UNAIRBRUSHED.

Ahhh yeah — this chick looks perfect, even with no touch ups, so do you think she may not have been the right choice to serve as an example to girls and women that we need to “get real?”

“I didn’t do this for PR – I did it to raise awareness for the Butterfly Foundation which helps men and women with eating disorders, but you wouldn’t know that because it has hardly been mentioned – and I had no idea that what was a good intention to promote healthy eating and lifestyle could snowball out of control as it has,” Hawkins told the Herald Sun.

Hawkins appears naked on the cover of this week’s Marie Claire magazine, which draws attention to blemishes including a “slightly dimpled thigh” (where is that again??? I don’t see it do you?) in an apparent effort to make readers feel comfortable with their bodies.

But Hawkins yesterday said she was unaware the images also would be used to present her as a woman with “flaws”.

“I don’t see myself as a poster girl for body image,” she said.

Hawkins would not comment on Marie Claire’s use of the photos, but it is believed some in her camp feel the magazine exploited the naked shoot.

“Again, I didn’t do this for PR or to attract attention – just to help a cause,” she told the Herald Sun.

Eating disorder experts, such as The Butterfly Foundation, have praised Hawkins for her support, but said Australia’s magazines should do more to promote healthy body image.

I’ve sent this off to The National Eating Disorder association for comment, let’s see if they come back with some common sense commentary.



53 Responses to “Jennifer Hawkins: Unairbrushed, nude, bogus effort gets slammed”
  1. Bek says:

    Women really are their own worst enemies sometimes.

    I think the idea is that even the images we see of supermodels like Jen Hawkins are NOT real. So this is very much a step in the right direction to show a real image of a woman

    She is a beautiful woman. Not just because she is thin. And she s well known, and she is brave to do something like this. I;m sure she didn’t expect this much criticism, but this is her on the cover.

    I live in Australia…people have mentioned that perhaps a size 14 on the cover would have made more sense. But I think everyone is missing the point.

    There is the point of the ‘model’ size being unattainable
    but then there is the point that you are looking at images that have been changed to be absolutely unreal and unattainabe.
    This leads to a whole lot of women, thin, not so thin thinking there is something ‘wrong’ with their bodies because of their cellullite or muffin top no matter how small.
    These are two separate issues, Kudos to Marie Clare and Jen Hawkins for taking a step in the right direction and putting at least a real body on the cover. Ifwe pick he body to pieces for being too thin, too whatever we are no better than those who pick your ‘average’ woman’s body to pieces for her flaws.

    • Gina says:

      I live in Australia and I agree totally with Bek. Jennifer Hawkins is our highest-profile model at the moment and she is very popular with both men and women. She is popular with women because, as well as being a genuinely nice and down-to-earth woman (from all accounts), she is not “stick thin” (as another commenter said) nor a “toothpick”. While she is very slim, she has curvy hips – and I’m using the word “curvy” to describe her curves, rather than as a euphemism for “fat”.

      Jennifer is popular because she embodies the ideal Australian woman – tall, tanned, healthy-looking and beautiful, yet approachable.

      There’s something very wrong when a former model – of all people – rips apart a slim, healthy-looking model as a “toothpick”.

      • JacJacJacqui says:

        Oh my god, that’s so embarrassing. J-Hawk is a most high profile model? I think you mean Miranda Kerr seeing as, of the two of them, only Miranda has had international success. Talk about that bogan Hawko to a foreigner and they’ll ask you who you’re talking about. She’s popular with women because she has a normal, ordinary, attainable, girl-next-door image. And if she had hips, she wouldn’t have had to sit like a transverstite on the cover. Oh and her tan is fake and she tattoos her eyebrows. Sorry, I don’t see the appeal. She is not natural.

  2. Mish says:

    It’s a double edge sword that will slice and stab either which way it’s used in my opinion.

    Great that she did it—but she’s thin
    Great that she said that it’s untouched—but why does it matter?
    Great that she’s naked–why is she wearing a full set of make-up?
    Great that she did it–why did she not know MC intentions?

    Perhaps they only showcase models in the whole next mago w/ nothing on…untouched totally in all shapes and sizes.

    Nothing is ever talked about how the body is a vessel of amazing power/strength/etc. Instead it’s ripped about for what is looks like.

    When will this change?

  3. lissa10279 says:

    Thanks for delving further into this, MamaV. I’ll be curious to see NEDA’s take on it.

  4. Julie says:

    I find it very ironic that you call yourself a body image activist and yet berate this woman for being ‘a toothpick’ as you tweeted this morning. When will we stop this horror criticism of other women based on their appearance?

    I have met Jennifer Hawkins in a professional capacity and can tell you with absolute clarity she is not a toothpick – simply a thin, but clearly fit and bodily healthy woman. Since when did that not become ok? And before anyone makes any judgments, I am not thin myself – far from it – so this is not an exercise in saying thin is good and fat is bad. I am fat. I just believe in body acceptance and diversity for ALL.

    On a separate – but equally important note, please be aware that the inferences you make in this post about the choice of Jennifer, the so-called flaws of her body, her being upheld as someone with positive body image etc have all been driven by Marie Claire magazine. None of it has come from The Butterfly Foundation whom I work for. We have chosen to be positive about the fact the cover is a small step by a major publication to present a high profile woman in a magazine with no digital enhancement. This is something we have been advocating magazines do more of for many years and finally they are starting to listen.

    • mamaV says:

      Hi Julie: Thanks for your comments, here is my response.

      In this particular circumstance, in relation to the topic at hand, making statements about her “toothpick” frame is appropriate. Perhaps a poor word choice I’ll grant you — let’s say “thinner than 98% of the female population.”

      Its appropriate to make these remarks because you and I both talk to girls all day long that want to look like her. Therefore, hailing her a hero for showing her “flaws” sends the wrong message. And it sends up huge red flags for me because I imagine the pro ana girls who are suffering, who then look at themselves and say “if she is flawed what am I? If the world thinks this is a big deal — what if they saw my thighs?” (translation = I am a fat loser)

      I am sure Jennifer is a very nice woman, but I would like to hear WHY she wanted to do this to support eating disorders. Does she have a history? If not, that is fine, but it would be appropriate for her to share her struggles with body image as a whole. Instead, she is quoted saying the total opposite! (I understand this may not be accurate)

      According to the Herald, “Hawkins yesterday said she was unaware the images also would be used to present her as a woman with “flaws” (wasn’t this the whole point?)

      “I don’t see myself as a poster girl for body image,” she said (ditto)

      “Again, I didn’t do this for PR or to attract attention – just to help a cause,” she told the Herald Sun (huh? Again, is there a story within the magazine that she shares her story?)

      As far as The Butterfly Associations choice to be positive about this small victory, I can understand your perspective. But I believe this could have been a step in the right direction if the model, the flaw, and the figure they chose to highlight were a bit more realistic. This whole thing did more damage than good.


      • Julie says:

        MamaV –

        1. Yes, toothpick is the wrong choice of word. It is offensive and berating to another woman re: her appearance. If you and this blog are about size acceptance for all that is not ok.
        2. Jennifer has not been hailed as a hero by me or anyone from The Butterfly Foundation. That is a word the wider media has used. Despite what has been reported, at no point in time have I or anyone from The Butterfly Foundation stated she had flaws. The thought of saying such a thing makes me ill and goes against all our organisation stands for.
        3. Jennifer does share her body image thoughts/struggles in the magazine interview so yes – again – it’s not accurate.
        4. No – the cover was not meant to be about her “flaws” and once again I am shocked to hear that someone who considers themselves an activist such as yourself should think that any woman’s body has flaws. The cover was simply meant to present her unretouched as it would have been for any other woman who posed, regardless of their shape, size or the unique features that make up their body.
        5. Thankyou for understanding our stance of not berating this woman for her size and shape and the fact that a major magazine in our country has published an unretouched cover. Surely that can only be seen as a good thing.
        6. I disagree with you that this is not a “step in the right direction” and that it has done “more damage than good.” A major magazine presenting a high profile woman unretouched is a great step towards more realistic images of women being presented in the media. We have also supported many other photo shoots and unretouched spreads in magazines of other women of different shapes and sizes and will continue to do so. In this instance though, Australia’s most prominent model agreed to go unretouched and how hypocritical would we be to not support her in those efforts? And once again – we don’t operate from a perspective that any persons’ body is ‘flawed.’

        We believe all bodies are beautiful, no matter what their shape, size, colour or ethnicity. This includes Jennifer, you, me and indeed ALL people.

        • sayhealth says:

          Julie, You know I support you all the way with this!

          MamaV, I am stunned at what a closed-minded post you’ve written here. This magazine cover is not about finding “flaws” in Jennifer Hawkins body. No one who actually understands the message of this cover (Julie, The Butterfly Foundation, a number of fabulous body image advocates including Kate Harding) is using the term “flaw.” If women with eating disorders are seeing this and thinking “She’s flawed,” it is because the media is distorting what’s going on here. It’s the media that is saying she’s “flawed.” And have you thought about how your one assumptions about her being perfect and your own unwillingness to consider the body image concerns of thinner women belittle the incredibly intense fears that women with eating disorders have? Have you thought about how belittling terms like “toothpick” may make women who suffer from restricting eating disorders and are already self-conscious about having low weights (because, yes, many of us are aware and very self-conscious about what others might be thinking – and often verbalize – in regard our thinness) even MORE self-conscious about our bodies, and even more afraid to speak out because people may be seeing us and making assumptions before they listen to our voices?

          I can tell you right now that, on a personal level, your words make me cringe, and make me want to hide my body even more. I feel like, because I’m a “chick” who might be considered a “toothpick,” my body image concerns can’t possibly be justified. I feel like I don’t have the “right” to enter the discussion, because my body must be “perfect” since I’m a “toothpick” as your blog so eloquently describes.

          In contrast, the work and dedication of Julie and The Butterfly Foundation, as well as the Hawkins cover, absolutely have the opposite effect. Getting to know Julie (even just over the internet) and seeing her dedication and compassion has been transformative for me. The Hawkins cover was also incredibly eye-opening for me, and made me realize that there are variations even in the most supposedly “perfect” bodies. And they are still beautiful. It made me consider that maybe mine can be too.

          Or, I would consider it except that it’s a “toothpick,” so I better continue to worry and be self-conscious about being thin.

          Jennifer Hawkins is real. She is the real deal. So are you. So is Julie. So am I. If we can’t accept diverse bodies as real, how dare we call ourselves body image advocates?

          Yes, I hope NEDA does come back with a common sense response to this – one that embraces all healthy body types, and does not feel justified in bashing any of them.

  5. Shelly says:

    I posted this on mamav, but her post is different on we are the real deal, but I will just repost…..

    Well, I am not as worked up as you. For one, I speak out about eating disorders and I am pretty thin. Even underweight, and I am not actively engaging in eating disorder behaviors. It saddens me that you are judging her when we are trying to raise awareness about accepting your body. I think it is counterproductive to go on a rant about someone’s body (calling her a toothpick) when you have no idea what her eating and workout habits are. I love what you are trying to do Heather, but this posts is a little hypocritical. Let’s stop judging whether or not a person is thin, fat, normal, whatever….We are supposed to be working toward size acceptance

    • Julie says:

      Shelly – You are my first heroine of the day. Thankyou!

    • mamaV says:

      Hi Shelly: This isn’t about being thin, you and I both know that.

      This is about showcasing a thin model on the cover of a magazine and saying “wow! she has a flaw!”

      But the problem is the flaw is nearly invisible, and the woman would be perceived as damn close to “perfect” in this insane world we live in.

      Please see my comments above to Julie, I believe a story within the magazine about her efforts, her struggles, her perspective would have made this entire thing worthwhile. Maybe it is there, I don’t have the magazine, but I havent found anything. Instead, she’s got a mess on her hands… and surprise, surprise — no one gives a rip about her mini-dented thigh, they are all worked up about her being nude.

      Can’t win,

      • Jill says:

        I just need to comment on this…

        Jennifer chose to participate in something MARIE CLAIRE decided to do for THEIR magazine. I highly doubt she had much say in the art direction, the angle of the story, etc.

        The fact the media is skewing the concept of “an unretouched woman on the cover of a magazine” as “omg look even model-esque women have flaws!” IS NOT JENNIFER’S FAULT.

        So it’s quite offensive for you to say “she’s got a mess on her hands and no one gives a rip about her mini-dented thigh”.

        • Jill, I agree. Why isn’t marie claire editor Jackie Frank copping any grief over this? Particularly when the rest of the magazine features models who have been airbrushed to oblivion.

          • Jackie says:

            Jackie Frank is doing her job. Jen Hawkins agreed. Not Jackie’s fault Jen is an ignoramus who doesn’t think before she acts.

  6. Shelly says:

    ok, so if I dont look like the women in the previous posts (curves) I could get upset. Hell, I mean really, the two previous posts just remind me of comparing. We need to STOP comparing. I mean I dont look like Hawkins and I dont look like the curvy women….wah, poor me. Who cares. Get over it. People look different, there is no “normal”. The pro ana girls will use the curvy women in magazines to not eat. They will use a image of a normal person. It is what they do.

    The only logical thing to do is ban magazines, cover our eyes, and never look at another person ever again.

    Or here is a better idea..

    Just deal with it. and by that I mean, get some courage, get some help, and start learning how to accept who you are. Use your voice and not your body to tell people how you feel.

    gosh, I am grumpy.

    • ronisweigh says:

      Your grumpy but your right.

      The only thing I’m against is the airbrushing. That’s it.

      I, for one, am happy to see that baby step. Why should this model apologize her “perfect body” (as society has defined it) but the “curvy” women in the previous post get praised for theirs. They are all women and beautiful for who they are.

      • lissa10279 says:

        Ditto, Roni and Shelly. It’s like my post on men/women and Hollywood’s beauty expectations. Til we stop comparing ourselves … we’re hopeless as a society. We need to get past the comparison. I love the baby steps though.

  7. Jan says:

    By saying Jen is too thin to pose for the pic is just as bad as saying someone is too fat. I am larger than average and hate discrimination against larger people. I equally hate comments against “skinny” people. They can be whatever shape they are and not be criticized for it. Let people live in peace and not judge on their appearances. Yes Jen put herself up for scrutiny by appearing in public this way but that is no excuse to rip her to shreds. There is no such thing as a flawless body as there is no such thing as a flawed body. Something flawed is something with imperfections. Who is anyone to judge what is perfect when it comes to a persons physical appearance? Jen may feel she is far from perfect so it was brave of her no matter what size or shape she is. She might look in the mirror and see the tiny piece of cellulite as being enormous but has chosen to leave it exposed even though we can barely notice it.

  8. Mary says:

    I swear, every time I try to come to this site all I feel is this overwhelming negativity. Maybe I just come at the wrong times, and catch the wrong posts by the wrong contributors. I don’t know, but it seems like the tone of this blog is that nothing is ever good enough and it seems as if here there is more nitpicking over women’s bodies than their is positive support for them. I know you have good intentions, I just wish that there was some positive proof of that. I probably had more to say, but I’d rather not even stick around. It doesn’t feel worth it.

  9. Aisling says:

    Why is everyone picking at the wording or how it was said? Is everyone missing the point? The girl up there in that photo is perfect, airbrushed or not she is perfect, she is what the majority of my friends would die to look like, in fact are dying trying.

    Yet its supposed to be a miracle that a magazine put her on the cover unairbrushed?? I don’t see why, there is nothing to airbrush she’s “perfect”. The magazine knew what they were doing when they put this on the cover, it would bring them a ton of publicity and show them as activists yet ironically this photo looks just like all the other stick thin models on magazine covers.

    If she didn’t want to see herself as a poster girl for body image she shouldn’t of represented the cause she chose and by coming out with a statement denying that she was thin, seems to go against what shes trying to do.

  10. Carmel says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Julie. Calling someone a ‘toothpick’ is derogatory and offensive, and no better than abusing someone for being ‘overweight’.

    I too believe that this has been handled very, very poorly. I also believe that using a supermodel as an example of a ‘real woman’ (whatever that is) is very strange logic, at best. But the fact is that NO one single woman should be used as a physical role model for everyone else – whether she’s a size 6 or a 26.

    But to make such rude remarks about Jennifer’s body is a personal attack and I hope (assume) she won’t read this herself.

    • Gina says:

      Calling someone a ‘toothpick’ is derogatory and offensive’

      My point exactly. Nor is she a ‘stick figure’. Hawko (as she is affectionately known down here) has breasts, a waist and hips – how exactly does that make her a “toothpick’?

  11. Ella says:

    I think we really, really, really need to get over the fact that she’s just “not flawed enough” and be appreciative that she’s healthy. She’s not the pin up for anorexia. She’s got good skin, a healthy body, no bones protruding, no scars on her fingers from jamming them down her throat. I don’t understand what everyone’s so upset about.

    Why aren’t we complaining and campaigning about something real. It’s a picture.

  12. mamaV says:

    We are complaining because this is a joke. This is not an example of a real woman showing her real flaws. Further, making this a step in the right direction is just silly. We can make bigger strides than this — and we have!! Check out all the great efforts just in the past year:
    Glamour, now that is an obvious roll, amen!

    VMagazine, airbrushed yes, but curvy voluptuous beautiful women:

    Crystal Renn, celluite in lights:

    Brigette Magazine, using no models, instead real people, what a concept!

    These example are what I call a step in the right direction. And perhaps the best example — Jamie Lee Curtis, star of the movie “Perfect” showing herself all decked out, and then no makeup or airbrushing. See the difference?

    Jamie Lee Curtis
    Jamie Lee Curtis gets real

    • Gina says:

      We are complaining because this is a joke. This is not an example of a real woman showing her real flaws.

      So Jen Hawkins isn’t a “real” woman because she’s not fat, doesn’t have a prominent belly roll, or cellulite (that anyone can actually see)?


      Maybe, just maybe, she’s just a near-perfect woman who doesn’t need Photoshopping. I don’t like to say this, but the more I read MamaV’s comments about this whole issue, the more I think that MamaV is jealous of Jen.

      • ronisweigh says:

        Sorry MommaV I agree with Gina. I think the airbrushed “curvy” women are just as bad as an airbrushed “stick figure”.

        Jen is a real woman.

        A picture of ANY WOMEN untouched and the publicity that brings, is a step.

      • Mish says:

        It’s a dangerous line that many tow. ‘She’s not real cause she’s not curvy’.

        I think it’s interesting the a woman, who admittley is trim/fit appearance is landblasted for being as such.

        Yet curvy women (myself included) are praised.

        We celebrate curves as a backlash to being fit/trim/thin by standards placed upon bodies by us/them/we

        But really it should be about celebrating people from their souls outwards regardless of bodies and also praise people who have made positive changes to lead healthy lives.

        I hope that what ends up happening is that we strip away all of the labels.

    • Julie says:

      “This is not an example of a real woman” – what is she then? How can she not be real. Please stop this abuse.

  13. mamaV says:

    Here is a response from a woman suffering with an eating disorder regarding the Marie Claire cover of showing “flaws” of a model from my personal blog (I invite you to read all the comments, it will help you see how the individuals suffering with eating disorders feel about this situation

    She is perfect. If she is flawed, I’m missing it. If she is flawed, I’m extremely and disgustingly flawed. I can’t believe anyone could think keeping her perfect body unairbrushed and pointing out her “flaws” is going to help anyone with an eating disorder. It definitely doesn’t. At all.

    This is why I believe The Butterfly Association’s support of this image as a step in the right direction is irresponsible. They know how those with ED’s think. They know about the proanorexia “lifestyle.” This model is a perfect example of “thinspiration” for these girls — so holding her up as a brave woman who shows her flaws is just not a good move.

    Does this help you all see my point?

    • Julie says:

      I think you can already see MamaV from most of the comments here that people are not seeing your point. You have attacked this woman and a good organisation that saves peoples lives, without looking into the full story. As you will clearly see from my points above responding to your first reply to me, you have gotten many things wrong here.

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when it is not based on a full representation of what is happening and involves the denegration of other women based on their appearance, it is very hard to see validation in what you are saying.

      • mamaV says:

        Hi Julie: Here is my bottomline:

        Are there girls and women who were made to feel badly about their body image because of this stunt?


        Why is that not enough of a reason to validate my points? I am trying to speak for them and you are telling me I can not do so.

        This is not about you or I — its about those with ED’s, and if you would take a moment to go over and READ THEIR WORDS on OR read those who have even posted here, maybe your compassion would kick back in and you’d get off the defense for Butterfly and Jennifer Hawkins, and yourself.

        Commenters are point blank saying THIS MADE ME FEEL LIKE CRAP…and your response is “it shouldn’t, the media misrepresented, its a baby step.”

        Who the hell gives a rip — harm was done. Stop telling people they can’t feel how they feel. Period.

        PS You can read my response to everything else below in a thread to myowndisaster…I highly recommend you read her comments first and take a moment to absorb them.

        • Sayhealth says:

          Since you seem to be calling for the voices of people with eating disorders here, and since I have lived the vast majority of my life batting eating disorders, let me chime in:

          a) There is no one, monolithic response that “people with ED’s” are going to have to this cover. Contrary to popular belief, we’re not actually a homogeneous group. We may often have *some* traits in common, but we’re not identical. Some people with eating disorders will probably support your point, MamaV. Some, like myself, may be incredibly offended by it. Some may feel indifferent. Some may be just trying to hard to recover or stay alive to really care. And many will react in many other ways. So, it’s pretty presumptuous to talk about what is or isn’t good for “people with EDs” and extrapolate from the voices of a few (and of course these voices are very, very important) and place it on the whole.

          b) Julie is one of the most compassionate people that I have come across, both generally and in terms of her work with people with eating disorders. She has shown such incredible empathy, care, and understanding for the struggles and concerns of people with eating disorders, and people with body image concerns more generally. She has also been incredibly, incredibly supportive.

          You, MamaV, on the other hand, have decided to speak “for” people with eating disorders, rather than WITH us time and time again. This delegitimizes us and puts your voice before ours. Throughout this post and the following comments, you have been abusive and degrading both to Julie and her work, and to Jennifer Hawkins and others like her based on her body. How can that possibly show compassion or be good for “those with ED’s?”

          c) Are there girls and women who were made to feel badly about their body image because of your post here? ABSOLUTELY. I, in fact, am one of them. Julie’s language has NEVER degraded women’s bodies – ANY women’s bodies – while your language absolutely does. It also erases certain bodies by marking them as somehow “unreal.” What is more harmful than actually erasing or degrading someone’s existence? Do you really think that only claiming certain bodies as “real” isn’t harmful? Why can’t we admit the fact that Jennifer Hawkins’ body – if not statistically average – is no more or less real than other women’s bodies?

          d) I don’t think this is actually “about those with ED’s.” This is about (or for) anyone who is struggling with body image – those with and without eating disorders.

          • Julie says:

            Nothing much to say except a very humble and heartfelt
            thankyou. Such kindness from someone I have never
            even met. I appreciate you and all you have said here
            in support of me and Butterfly – a situation that has
            been so innacurately reported on. Thanks again.

        • Frances says:

          You’ve spoken negatively about other women’s bodies, you have incorrectly attributed things to an excellent organisation and you have not read the interview supporting this cover. No one is telling you cannot voice your opinions, but we are telling you to do better.

          You should not be insulting other people’s bodies just to make a point and you should not be presenting misinformation as fact because some people feel bad. That makes you a poor activist and a lazy writer.

        • Julie says:

          I guess we are just not hearing or understanding one another as once again I find your words offensive. You shout at me in capital letters to do something that you have no concept of whether I may already have done and state I have no compassion which is just outrageous behaviour coming from someone that has denigrated Jennifer Hawkins based on her appearance. I see those comments clearly. Can you not do the same for others who do not think that way – including those with eating disorders?

          Am no longer interested in being part of a community that thinks it acceptable to speak about other human beings in this way. It’s not what I think positive body image activism is about or meant to create. This is my last comment and visit here which I am certain based on your comments to and about me you will be pleased about.

  14. Jan says:

    Will it help me see? I am not really sure. I am an individual who suffers with an eating disorder fighting for recovery and I still don’t think you referring to Jen as a toothpick is very kind at all. It is like calling a bigger model a chubby or a lardy ass. It is offensive either way. Yes you are right maybe they could have picked a curvier model. But would it have helped everyone with an eating disorder? Probably not. I know several people in my therapy group find curvier models repulsive and because they have such a warped image of what they look like they actually think they are bigger than them. More “flawed” if you want to use that word than the model. In reality they are so thin they could die but still won’t accept. They actually said to me Jen was fat! So she is obviously not “thinspo” for everyone who has an eating disorder.

    • Gina says:

      They actually said to me Jen was fat! So she is obviously not “thinspo” for everyone who has an eating disorder.

      I can’t see her as “thinspo” either. As I have already pointed out, she’s not “thin” or a “toothpick” – she’s a very slim yet curvy woman.

  15. heart says:

    I think the media has a responsibility to be more realistic in their portrayal of ..well, everything, and putting an unairbrushed woman on the cover of their magazine is a (baby) step in the right direction. The magazine (and certainly the woman) should not be slammed for the unairbrushed model being beautiful, thin, and a model.

    They do deserve jeering for calling her “flawed”, cuz clearly she ain’t. And I’d like to see them commit to no longer airbrushing anyone who appears on their cover or in their articles (they have no control over the advertising), instead of doing it just this once as a publicity stunt. Really, if they made that no-more-airbrushing-anyone promise, I’d subscribe. Otherwise, this is a publicity stunt that makes a valid point, but doesn’t really get us very far in the right direction.

    The media does *not* have a responsibility to take into consideration “how those with ED’s think”. If mamaV herself feels she has that responsibility in her blog, OK whatever, but maybe she should consider that her own extremist and denigrating statements (the “toothpick” name-calling is *name-calling*, get it? remember calling me harsh?) are not really helpful either.

  16. myowndisaster says:

    Wow, this is really heated. I generally don’t comment here, I’ve always been really intimidated. Regardless though, here it goes…

    It’s really not about who is raising awareness about eating disorders or what they look like. Good for them for speaking out for it regardless of their size. But it is about how it is presented. I don’t want to get into what Jennifer Hawkins is or isn’t thin wise. I will say though that it is safe to say she weighs less and is thinner than the majority of women. This doesn’t mean she can’t raise awareness about eating disorders, she can.

    But, it is how the magazine cover has been presented–a women showing her flaws. And this is what it was turned into whether it was suppose to or not.
    “The Butterfly Foundation’s general manager Julie Parker pointed out Hawkins flaws, including her dimpled thigh, creased waist and skin-tone changes.”

    This is counterproductive. I mean if her body is flawed and she has a better body than the majority of women, how is that helping anyone, let alone those with an eating disorder? Further, she says she is not that thin or however she said it. This may be a general comment to most people, actually I’m sure it probably is. But not to me. I get that’s my problem, but if she wants to raise awareness for eating disorders she should probably realize this.

    By the way, MamaV isn’t the only one saying the cover isn’t helpful.

    “…the cover sparked an outcry from Marie Claire readers such as “She wants to make [women] feel more comfortable about how they look, gee thanks, I now feel worse! I’m a size 10 and I still have more rolls than her!” and “If anything is going to have me running to the toilet with my finger down my throat it’s a picture of Jennifer Hawkins naked.””

    Again, this is not about her appearance. But how the whole thing has been presented. This could have been productive and helpful had it been executed differently by all involved–perhaps not pointing out her flaws. A more powerful message and larger step could have be realized had there been no mention of her “flaws”.

    • Julie says:

      Just a quick chime back in to say again I never said Jennifer had flaws. That is a very unfortunate misattribution to me. That is the way the wider media has reported her body which I completely disagree with. No persons’s body has flaws.

    • mamaV says:

      Hi myowndisaster: You’ve articulated many of the points I have been attempting to make- so thank you!

      I am going to cut and paste a response I just made on Lissa’s latest post “All Women Are Real” to a commenter named BeautifulDancer because it touches on all the points going on here:
      Hi beautifuldancer: You’ve touched on something I have been wanting to say but was not sure I wanted to get into it — but you inspired me, so I hope I can articulate this well. 🙂

      This post of Lissa’s stemmed from the one I did on this topic in which I said the comment that this model was not a “real” example.

      I am the one who criticized her magazine cover because I felt the effort was weak.

      I am the one who said she is a “toothpick,” which was a word choice used to drive home my point.

      Here is why I stated all of the above; I was “that girl” 20 some years ago. As a Paris former model, tall, blond, the “perfect” one, I lived it and here is the sad bottom line:

      When you have the figure “everyone wants” pointing out your flaws makes everyone feel like crap.

      Is this fair? No.

      Do I/Jennifer Hawkins have a right to have body image issues just as an obese woman would? Certainly…lord knows I did for half of my damn life!

      Is it lonely? Yes, very, very much so. And this is a core reason why I started this blog so we could open this honest dialogue.

      But even closer to my heart, is sending the right message to the girls of today, the whole generation of girls who are trying to be “that girl” and have gone so far to declare “anorexia a lifestyle” because of the society we have created.

      This doesn’t mean Jennifer Hawkins is to blame in any way whatsoever, she is a gorgeous woman who should be proud of who she is, and can certainly flaunt her beauty if she feels like it! In this case, she set out to do a wonderful thing, which went a bit haywire, and I feel sorry for her for that because I am sure she had good intentions.

      BUT, in my view, she should have known better.

      Of course some of the 98% of the female population that doesn’t look anything like her, may just take offense to her nearly invisible “flaws”.

      Of course a certain population of the teens out there that wish they were her will be motivated to try to be her by continuing to starve themselves or they will just sit around and feel like crap about themselves because at their age, at their maturity level, they just aren’t able to see it any other way.

      So to the question —
      Is Jennifer Hawkins “real?” Of course.

      Is Jennifer Hawkins a “real,” GOOD example to put out there on a cover of a magazine, with minuscule flaws? Not so much.

      Because the truth is, the vast majority of us don’t relate, so what good is it doing?

      Looking forward to your thoughts!

  17. Meredith says:

    I’ve always been a fan of fuller-figured models. There’s a great site with many images of plus-size models here:

    They’re all gorgeous.

    The site’s forum also has thought-provoking discussions about body image and the media.

  18. CookieGirl says:

    MamaV makes an excellent point here.

  19. Allison (Balance in Bites) says:

    Also – how many of us, having seen that magazine on the rack, would stop, pick it up, and immediately and actively search for “flaws”?

    My (sad) thought process:

    1. Holy crap, she’s naked and on a magazine.
    2. Activate radar ON for wrinkles, fat rolls, cellulite, rough skin… etc.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one, right?…. so sad. The other sad thing is that if she DID have more visible “flaws” (ie, she was 40 pounds overweight, had a little stomach pooch, baggy eyes, etc), is that I would have stared longer.


    (ps – note I’m putting quotes around flaws. Having a little stomach pooch is only a flaw when defined by our general society, in my opinion)

    (pps – “pooch” is the cutest word ever to describe a stomach…. I’m so using that from now on ^.^)

  20. kunal says:

    wow cool pic’s

  21. Jules says:

    “Stick thin” women don’t have “flaws”? Wow, I wish I knew that before I started stuffing my face with chips and donuts to try to gain weight. Everyone else around me was telling me to opposite.

    But now I’m confused. Because Jennifer doesn’t have “flaws”, she isn’t good enough anymore? Women with cellulite and fat rolls are “flawed” and thus better role models?

    What is the REAL message here?

    Julie, I’m 100% with you! All women’s bodies are good enough, and no woman’s body has flaws. Women with EDs, including anorexia/bulimia, need to see the people around them accept all bodies (including the thin ones) as good bodies. Only then will women struggling with their own body image learn to accept what they have.


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