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Newsweek Anorexia Cover - Too Glamorous or Too Average?

December 6th, 2005
newsweek anorexia cover story

Salon.com has an interesting collection of letters to the editor discussing the December 5, 2005 Newsweek cover story on anorexia. Some readers thought the cover photo was too glamorous, and the girl was too healthy looking, while others thought the article worked better because she looked like an average girl and not like Nicole Ritchie. Some excerpts:

We’ve all seen plenty of sensationalist pictures of emaciated sufferers - the Newsweek cover is revolutionary for its normality.

This is the kind of picture that we need to see; it is shocking because it isn’t shocking.

The Newsweek article would have inspired nothing more than a ‘huh, I can do better than *that*’. I’m pretty confident that it will not spur any anorexics to change their ways, and it won’t stop any budding anorexics from embracing the obsession. It will simply make parents of healthy girls unnecessarily worried, and parents of borderline/sick girls completely frantic. The cover was selected to sell magazines - a healthy-looking, pretty young girl is something every parent of a daughter can relate to. An emaciated horror show of rotting teeth and thinning hair, scabby lips and jutting knee joints - who would want to buy a magazine selling THAT?

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