I’d Really Like to Punch Anna Wintour Right in the Vogue

Anna Wintour is the editor of Vogue magazine.

She looks like a healthy specimen.
Anna Wintour

Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada is based on Anna Wintour. I couldn’t read The Devil Wears Prada because I kept thinking, “no one is actually like this.” I did like the movie because Meryl Streep’s character is so over the top. Then I saw the documentary, The September Issue which tells the story of Anna Wintour and what Vogue goes through to get out the GIANT September issue. Apparently Meryl Streep was being charitable in her portrayal.

Anna Wintour gives new meaning to the word “perfectionist”. She has a critical editorial eye and a glacial personality, she doesn’t appear to have a sense of humor nor much body mass.

You may well ask, “Maggie, what has Anna Wintour done to piss you off so royally?”

I will tell you. I’m mad at Anna Wintour because she is at the top of the food chain. Vogue sets the look and the “look” trickles down to Women’s Wear Daily, Cosmo, Glamour, Elle, Mademoiselle, Marie Claire, Seventeen, and so on. I stopped reading women’s fashion magazines decades ago because I didn’t need to pay money to feel bad about my body. Of course back then I was minute and didn’t realize how good I had it.

I’m not the first woman to decry the fashion industry’s and society’s warped view of what a “thin”, healthy female should look like; I just happen to be the one that was in American Apparel (by the way great store and all product is made in the U.S.) with her 13-year-old daughter last night when said daughter melted down because she didn’t look good in the shorts she was trying on, her stomach looked “bad” and we had to leave the store in tears.

This is a photo of my chunky daughter in Palm Springs last month:

You can see why she would be unhappy with her appearance.
You can see why she would be unhappy with her appearance.

Here are some models from Vogue’s Spring 2013 runway:

These pictures don’t portray feminine beauty, they portray hunger.

vogue model

I’m not going to attempt to address eating disorder issues that stem from this “ideal”. When I was in high school in the early ’80s, anorexia and bulimia were just coming into vogue (pun very much intended). I played with barfing and got myself down to 98 lbs so I was the thinnest girl on the tennis team. I then decided I was hungry and just went back to my normal eating habits. One of my school chums died at the ripe old age of 32 from multiple organ failure due to anorexia.Β  There are many writers on and off WordPress who can speak knowledgeably about the causes, behaviors, and therapies for eating disorders. I just know one of the causes is the fashion world telling us that being 5’10” and a size 2 is a reasonable size for a woman.

For a couple of months now I have been thinking about shutting this blog down and starting a new one. Once the wedding is over, that is exactly what I’m going to do. I don’t write much about weight issues or dieting and it punched me in the face yesterday that I’m not fat. I’m a small framed woman with big boobs. If I want my girls to not hate their bodies, I must lead by example. Enough is enough.

I talked Miss Brigid down and we got her some shorts last night.Β  She is so beautiful and has no idea. Thanks Ms. Wintour.

88 thoughts on “I’d Really Like to Punch Anna Wintour Right in the Vogue

  1. Here here! Your daughter is gorgeous, I wish I could wear a bikini, but alas the last time I had one on I was three.
    Do you watch the TV show Mad Men? I love it, the women have curves and are so sexy and beautiful! They show off the vintage fashion, and actually fill out the clothes, unlike the models above. They are beautiful women, but I hate that the rest of us feel we need to look like that to be beautiful too.

    When you create your new blog let us know where to find the new one! I would be lost without you on here.

    1. I do watch Mad Men and I love it. Christina Hendricks is my body idol! I found this BBC show on Netflix called Monarch of the Glen. it was originally aired from 2000-2006 and the women on it are normal sized, normal looking women. ‘mericans are stoopid when it comes to this crazy ideal but we’re also such a fat country! Sigh.

      Of course I will let everyone know where I am. It’s not like an attention whore such as myself could leave you all behind! πŸ™‚

      1. Monarch of the Glen will be searched for and added to my Queue today! I’m on it.

        We’re all attention seeking whores, why else are we on here? πŸ˜‰ So glad you won’t go off the radar!

  2. This pisses me off so much, but I’m glad you’re doing the right thing here. Your daughter is beautiful!

    Growing up I always felt horrible about my weight and shopping was the worst. I often went home in tears. Having a daughter in this society must be difficult at times, and is just one more reason I can’t see myself being a mother.

    1. Thanks dear Lala.
      I was enraged last night. The shorts looked like they had been made just for her but something didn’t look right to her and she was weeping. Being a mom of girls is hard and just like any good Jewish (Catholic πŸ™‚ mother, “what? You’re beautiful! The world should be so lucky to see you in those shorts!”


  3. Anonymous

    Ugh, was going to compliment the designers who don’t succumb and was looking up something about Rodarte bc I always spell it wrong and the sisters aren’t anorexic and guess what I read in The New Yorker???? UGH. Anna made them lose weight to be in Vogue. How does Oprah justify that too? she was woozy from water and soy shakes to ‘make’ that cover. It is gross.

    This is a quote.

    The Mulleavys had decided on a new technique: β€œWe’re going to burn everything,” Kate said. Tells about the numerous awards won by Rodarte and the weight-loss program undertaken by the sisters for a feature in Vogue. The sisters do not see why their bodies are relevant. β€œIt’s assumed, I think, that if you’re a woman designer you must be designing clothes for yourself,” Kate said. Discusses the collection the sisters designed for Target and tells about their spring, 2010 show.

    1. I just read about the Oprah thing. How can a country be so obsessed with unattainable thinness and be so damn fat? I mean truly fat, not fat like how Brigid is fat or your daughter for that matter πŸ™‚

      Hope all goes well today! xo

  4. Haha, you tell your daughter than don says that she is a total ….wait, did you say that she’s only 13??? Holy poop, that was close! Tell her I said to stick to her studies and keep on after her chores like a good girl! Lol. Women are crazy. My wife won’t wear a two piece ever! Probably not even were she that size 2 you mention. We’re all beautiful in our own way, especially women. I’m hoping that my daughter avoids many of these body related issues. She’s only 9 and I’ve already seen some of her classmates becoming at least aware of themselves in a negative way…grrrr!!

    1. I wish I could tell you, it will pass you by but I don’t think so. I thought this one would be my not going to worry about it girl because she is so talented and smart and um, thin. But NOOOOOOO

  5. I strongly dislike Anna Wintour too, because of this issue and also because she condones the use of real fur in fashion. And this probably sounds rather mean of me because I am judging her by her appearance but I also find her smug smile incredibly irritating. She comes across as a snobbish woman who could set a much better example to young women than she currently does. A lot of models look emaciated. I often flip through Vogue or a similar magazine when I am waiting at the hairdressers and a lot of models look deeply unhappy. It’s not just because of the blank faces they wear when they’re walking down the runway, you can see the unhappiness reflected in their eyes.

  6. My daughter is 8 and already making comments about how ‘fat’ she is. I swear, she turns sideways and practically disappears, she’s that skinny. She’s exactly as she should be for her age, but I dread the teen years and beyond because she’ll be under such pressure, just like your daughter. I come from women who are just big girls…big-boned, dairy-maid chicks. So be it. BTW, I’ll hold Anna down for you while you give her a smack or two!

  7. You asked above how a nation so obsessed with weight can be so fat. I think it’s because so many “health nuts” criticize, ostracize, and chastise those who are overweight. As someone who’s battled weight problems since childhood, (seriously, I went on my first diet in the fourth grade.) I can tell you that hating your body does not give you the inspiration to do what is good for it. It’s a rebellion thing. “Well, I’m already fat and ugly, so I might as well keep eating these cheeseburgers. Now my clothes don’t fit, and I’m depressed. I’ll just go eat some ice cream.”

    Rinse and repeat…

    1. Also, people end up fat because of the yo-yo dieting. They have studies that say that if you do extreme dieting, then gain the weight back, you gain back more than you had to begin with. Something about messing with metabolism. It’s sad, really. If you are an active person who eats right and is overweight, you are in much better shape than someone who is starving herself. But our society still values the anorexic more.

  8. I’ve seen that documentary too, and couldn’t believe what a miserable person she is. At the same time, I was saddened by the reality that she has so much influence over fashion and how so many young women view themselves β€” all of which is based on unreal and unhealthy expectations. There is absolutely NOTHING I find attractive about twig-sized models whose breast bones you can see, and whose knee caps and elbows look like olives bulging through thinly sliced turkey meat. The fact that your daughter β€” and many young women like her β€” don’t see themselves as beautiful is a travesty. Good for you that you recognize the impact you have on your daughter’s self image, and that you’re doing something about it, like eating something! Great post, by the way πŸ˜‰

  9. Oh, I totally believed “The Devil Wears Prada” book because I had an evil boss from Hades. She was just that psychotic, and thought she was fabulous because she was thin. And this was a librarian. She often made very mean cracks about the other main librarian there who was overweight. Yeah, so she’s smarter and better educated and more likable than you could hope to be, but she’s fatter than you, so you win. Yeah.

  10. What a great post, and yes your daughter is a knock out!!!! Good for you for leading by example. You’re a fantastic mom, just what a teenage daughter needs!

  11. I’ve tweeted and posted this one on Facebook because I think it needs to be read by more people. I’m so sorry your daughter is thinking of herself this way, Mags. It’s such bullshit. Anna Wintour and all the other men and women of her ilk have poisoned so many minds with these sickening ideas of what’s attractive. These runway models are nearly emaciated. Your daughter, on the other hand, looks fantastic–healthy and gorgeous. I’m fed up with these twisted freaks instilling this sort of bullshit mindset in people. SICK OF IT.

    1. You rock Weebs. I was so mad last night, not at my daughter but at the whole idea that she could feel like that. I remember feeling like that at 13 and I stupidly just thought since she looks as good as she does (and I’m sure I looked great at 13, too) that this mindset wouldn’t touch her. Alas.

  12. Someone the other day said, “Oh, you’re back to doing Paleo? I tried that, but I couldn’t lose weight doing it. How do you manage to do that?” And I responded, “I don’t do it to lose weight, I do it to stay healthy and maintain a good mental state.

    It says a lot when we automatically assume that people are eating healthy to be skinny, and not just to be skinny.

    1. You are so right Jen. I have a couple of friends who are stick figures due to genetic happenstance but they eat for shit. My girls move and don’t eat processed food. Last night I was so enraged. I hated to see first hand the cycle repeating itself.

    1. I have the idea for the new blog in my noggin but I’m not going alone, I’m hauling all of you with me.

      I should call it Chunk and a Smile! Love that!

  13. omg!! Then you probably saw my cousin Andrew…he works for Vouge – and he’s my little soul mate partner in crime when we are together!!! yay!!! I can’t wait to see your new BLOG!! yay! And fuck eating disorders anyway…my daughter still brings up how funny it was when she asked me once about this model we were looking at…and my daughter said ‘Why does she look like that?” (the model looked mad.) I said: ‘Because she’s hungry.” Ironic right? love you!!

  14. Anna Wintour is the ultimate Lady Choad–she shares that title with Nikki Haley, Sarah Palin and a few other horrible examples of women.
    As someone who had an eating disorder for years, it took a long time to get over thinking that emaciated, Biafra look was IT. Madison Avenue and fashion rags like Vogue have done irreparable damage to the psyche of the American woman. I hope this bullshit will be bred out a little more with each generation, however, I’m not too hopeful. We all thought that would happen with racism, but we’re no different in that regard than we were a generation. It’s just subtler now.


  15. People often wonder if I run to lose weight. I say no, I run to move my body and improve my health. When I train for marathons I get asked how much weight I lose. I lose none because I need the body I have to keep me going. I don’t think Anna W. is any smarter or more beautiful just because she is a stick insect. She may disagree and thus continues to perpetuate that image.

  16. Very well said, Maggie. I don’t find fashion models attractive at all. They are nothing but skin and bones. It’s not healthy, nor is it sexy. Furthermore, physical appearance is extremely overrated in our society today. We place more emphasis on the outside than the inside. It’s backwards and ludicrous.

  17. When my daughter was born, my biggest fear was that she’d develop an eating disorder, so I resolved never to pressure her about food, always tell her she’s beautiful, and never shut up. She’s twenty-six, comfortable with her looks, eats whatever she wants, and we still talk…a lot! You’re wise to lead by example, Maggie. We have far more influence over our children than they’d have us believe. Just keep doing the right thing, like you are! xoxoM

    1. Thank you M. I think one of the reasons I was so VERY angry last night was that I have never pressured my girls on food, other than to say No you are not eating ice cream when dinner is in 10 minutes, you get the idea. And this one is a dancer and eats like a horse and is smarter than hell. I never saw it coming and BOOM. Grrr…. mother bear was NOT happy.


      1. A dancer…body images among dancers are very much on the front burner. Remind her dancers need STRONG bodies! Mother bear will get her through! xoxoM

  18. Your daughter is a stunner! A perfect 10. If clothes don’t look good on her than it’s the clothes’ fault, not hers!
    I agree with everything you said here. Anna Wintour and Karl Laagerfeld are both disgusting humans. Everyone’s body is beautiful no matter what size they are. πŸ™‚ Nice post Mags!

  19. My eight-year-old daughter has already started making comments about her “fat tummy” and how she looks “prettier when she sucks her tummy in.” Killed me to hear hear her say these things. Funny thing is, my daughter is actually clinically UNDERweight and we have to beef up her meals as much as we can to make her gain weight! I had her doctor talk to her about it already. Great post!

  20. unfetteredbs

    As a fellow mom of two girls– awesome post Maggie. I had a shopping episode with my younger teen the other day that nearly broke my heart. My gals are of total different build one is short and petite the other tall and curvaceous. The teen thinks her older sister has the perfect body. Sigh. It sucks. she does not know how beautiful she is. But she Will damn it. Your daughter is gorgeous.

  21. I love this. So much. One of my most vivid teenage memories is crying in a Gap dressing room because my body was wrong for the clothes. Turns out, the clothes were just wrong. Your daughter is very lucky to have such a freaking awesome mom.

  22. This is a wonderful post. Moms of young girls need to keep speaking out, keep this conversation going…with their kids and with other moms. My oldest daughter (now 25) fought anorexia starting at 14 years old and we are lucky that she was able to recover quickly, Three years ago, she graduated cum laude from college and is a successful, happy and healthy woman.

    1. I’m so glad that your daughter made it through and is happy on the other side. It is so frustrating but I will continue to talk to them and watch them and encourage healthy behaviors.

  23. I have not seen that film yet, but I hope to eventually see it. It’s not just the fashion industry that gives the wrong message to girls and women that there’s something wrong with the way they look if they’re not emaciated, but it’s also the film and TV industry. Almost every actress nominated for an Academy Award is a stick. Look at Keira Knightley, Angelina Jolie, Victoria Beckham, even Kristen Wiig. They look like people that could easily snap in two. Yet, real women are eating more than ever, but pining to look like waifs. It’s all about extremes. Where’s balance? I think it has to come from … us! People buy these magazines, the products endorsed in them, the fashions, they want to see the films, the TV shows, etc., that feature the twigs β€” and remember Twiggy, the 9 foot tall 60 pound model that seemed to start this thin is in era that has never gone out of style? Until real women say they’re sick of this with their purchasing power, nothing is going to change. One person who thinks this is ridiculous is powerless, but women together saying “This has gone on for almost 50 years too long β€” I am fine with my body the way it is,” someone might listen to those voices. And while we’re at it, can we finally get rid of these god-awful low cut jeans that are a little less comfortable than sausage casing and make everyone look collectively like hell?

    As for you daughter, she looks like a very attractive and healthy teen. Just continue to do what you’ve been doing to steer her in the right direction. My sister even hid the bathroom scale from my niece when she showed signs of freaking out about her weight. Girls can be fragile; they need moms like you to reassure them that they’re beautiful just as they are.

      1. You are absolutely correct about the entertainment industry. I can’t watch Modern Family because Julie Bowen is so thin it is distracting. Renee Zellweger is another one. Like I said I don’t buy the damn magazines but it is so pervasive.

        V….one word (or 4) NYDJ. Not Your Daughter’s Jeans. I’m wearing some right this second and I love ’em!

  24. Anna Wintour is a control freak who’s never had anyone to rein her in. Karl Lagerfeld defies description, and needs to grow up into a mature man…your daughter is just gorgeous, Victoria Beckham came from a very deprived background, and has no sense of humour, all models are young starved and very unhappy from the look of them – and that just about wraps it up – you and I and the bloggers here are normal!!!!.

  25. Maggie, this is really good. I think that hearing so often about body issues can desensitize us to what is still actually happening everyday. The alien models are still on every cover and our daughters are still growing up in that culture. I am certain I will have to tackle some of these issues in the coming years and I hope my wife is able to navigate the dressing room tears with the right words. Great post.

    1. Thanks Simon. She’ll do just fine although she shouldn’t have to. Your girls are gorgeous, too and it is infuriating that we even have to have this discussion. Glad to see you back!

  26. Just keep encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle. Lead by example. It will help now and in future years. Accent the positive. Since she can wear a bikini and look good in it, just keep boosting her self esteem, get her to focus on all the other good qualities she possesses as a person. I’ve been fat. I’ve been trim. And under extreme stress at one point, lost weight I didn’t truly need to and started stuffing my face to put the weight back on because I suddenly realized my system was going into shock and shutting down. Co-workers were kind enough not to comment on the unnecessary weight loss until they saw me scarfing down malted milk shakes and knew I wanted to get back to a more healthy weight. Healthy beats dead any day.
    And if you do change your blog, get the word out so you can be found.

  27. Thank you so, so much. My daughter is 8 months old and I’m already DREADING the body image issues. I want to hear more from you about this and it inspires me to write more on this. So again, thank you.

    1. Enjoy your behbeh! It goes by so fast and I know everyone says that and they say it because it’s true. In four years, I’m an empty nester!

      I’m definitely going to keep an eye on my girls and make sure they are encouraged to be healthy, not necessarily thin. But hell’s bells look at that photo, she is thin!


  28. I really enjoyed reading this and agreed with everything you had to say. I was anorexic and still have these little habits and tendancies that creep up, I am 19 but I know being healthy is the most important thing.
    These magazines are terrible influences on women my age and I am planning on starting a online forum where only positive messages about girls who are healthy are posted, no matter if their naturally thin/carry a bit of weight etc. It is all about them being healthy.
    These “thinspiration” sites must be gone!

      1. I will πŸ™‚ i’m giving myself all of this month to create a site then hopefully build on it and have it up and coming and have other moderators with me to give advice to anyone with body issues no matter how “big” or “small”.

  29. One of my friend’s sisters recently went into modelling. She is 16 and had dropped out of school to develop her modelling career. She was doing amazingly well, was wearing the dress which ‘headlined’ catwalks and being hired by big names in fashion. Inevitably, she developed an eating disorder, to the point where even her modelling agency said she was too thin and stopped giving her work. She was then dropped by the agency and told she wouldn’t get any more work unless she sorted herself out. Which is taking a long time. So now – she is an unhappy 16 year old girl with an eating disorder, no job and not in school. A year ago, she was a happy 15 year old in education with a sunny disposition and nothing to worry about. Grrr to the modelling world. Grrr!

  30. Your daughter truly is gorgeous!!! Ah, teenage girls and their anxieties. I’d like to think that by now we are older and wiser but I’m not so sure that’s true. The beauty industry is sometimes an interesting place to work (I work at Sephora, a beauty retailer) and sometimes exceedingly frustrating because you have women wanting you to fix things that you, as an outsider, don’t even see as flaws.

  31. Nic

    Love love LOVE everything about this post! It’s so true, our society is on some crazy-ass warped-body-image drugs. And don’t even get a brotha started on these issues as they appear in the gay community. It’s absurd. We ARE beautiful and perfect and not fat and I’m so glad that you are spreading this message! Also, your daughter is perfection! (I’m so glad I can say that and not sound creepy thanks to my gay-card.)

  32. myrunawaysmile

    I grew up in cities most of my life hating my body, and it was utterly ridiculous. I am 19 now, and in my entire life I’ve never weighed more than 112 lbs. I’m at my ultimate height of 5′ 1″ and weigh 103. There are times when I’m not happy, but most of the time I am. and I just want to go back to the 14 year old that sat alone and wore clothes she didn’t even like cause she thought they ‘fit’ her better then the new dark wash skinnies everyone loved, and just SHAKE myself. VIOLENTLY.

    I ran across your blog by accident, seeing that little thing on the side that said ‘blogs you might like’ and I enjoy your page.

    But I hate stories like this. Because more than anything, I get that choked up feeling in my throat because I was just there, because everytime I hear this, I want to talk to that girl. I want to tell her that she’s gorgeous. that no matter what, there is someone that cares about you, someone that worries about you, someone that when you wake up wearing sweatpants, a giant shirt and you look like a kitten whos mother has ‘afroed’ their hair with it’s tongue, they STILL love you.

  33. OMG. Your daughter. Turn that around now. You know what I notice, the fashion industry highlights women who look like young boys! As women they do look hungry.

    The problem is, just because someone is a woman does not mean she is going to be concerned for other women or the future of female children. There are people who are so disembodied that when they reach success…they don’t really….see themselves connected to any community.


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