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I Hate Rag Magazines | Folsom Glamour Photography

Bay Area Glamour Photographer

When women come into my photography studio here in Sacramento, I have very specific “rules”-no bashing themselves, no comparing themselves to anyone else, no pointing out what they “hate” about themselves…and they HAVE to enjoy their makeover and photoshoot. Ok, well, that is my responsibility!

To that end, I absolutely HATE those awful magazines that pull you in at the grocery store with their blaring headlines and garish colors. The photos splashed across the covers.  Ugh.  Besides the crazy visual stimulation, this is worse:

 Jillian Todd Portrait Couture glamour photography

Star Magazine

“Winners and Losers”?!  So what does that make us when we gain weight? I don’t know about you, but man I struggle. I’ve struggled with my weight my whole damn life.  This stuff doesn’t help at all!

Maybe it’s subconscious, but when you finally see it, you can’t unsee it.  How do little girls feel when they see these covers?  My nine year old is already noticing them.

How about teenagers, who look up to their musical and beauty idols?  And don’t forget the yoyos those stars go through, like every normal person.  Take a look at the covers: YAY, she lost weight, she’s so amazing! BOO, look how screwed up she is for gaining! How could anyone every hire her to work?? Don’t get me started on how men are exempt from this.

This crap is part of what makes what I do more of a challenge.  I love a challenge. Sometimes I think I’m a David vs. Goliath against Madison Avenue and Hollywood. Accuse me of grandiosity, I’ll take it.

If I can touch two hundred women each year and show them how gorgeous they are because of the light that shines from inside of them, I can send a ripple from my studio to every woman they meet, to their daughters and granddaughters, coworkers and friends. Maybe I can lower those publishers’ revenue while I’m at it!

Will you join me?

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  • Rachel Grant October 25, 2011  

    One of the things I’m becoming aware of as I lose weight and talk to my other girlfriends about weight, is that one of the struggles actually has a lot to do with the attention we receive from men – and I’m not talking about a little wink or nod of approval – but the all out commenting on which body part they like the most. Some men even go so far as to fondling or block a woman as she tries to get from point A to point B. For many of us, this is a huge deterrent to losing weight. Moreover, the men I speak to absolutely love the small women for gazing upon, seeing particular things of the female body – but want a woman with curves and cushion in bed! I was so surprised when I found out over and over again from the men in my life that this was the case. 

  • Alara Castell October 25, 2011  

    I will totally join you on this movement. I always incorporate exercises in my workshops to help women realize how amazing they are, how sexy they are, how they already have what it takes…screw the magazines, tabloids, internet of what an ideal women should be like. They are enough just as they are. I’m also on a mission to talk to the youth of today to help them realize they are enough. I’m totally with you on this movement and so honor you for what you do for women…helping them feel safe and beautiful during their shoot. You are totally awesome!

    Maybe we should collaborate and do a exotic dance workshop to get women in their bodies then you can do boudoir photos because by then they will feel so sassy and playful 🙂


    Alara Castell

    Purveyor of Prosperity & Laughter


  • Vicki Dello Joio October 25, 2011  

    You go, girl! May your words travel far and change the self-hating paradigm that is so seductive and unwinnable.
     I too sometimes feel like I am facing a Goliath of negative reflection, not so much with weight for me these days, but as a woman aging, “grey head” Moreover I was irritated when discussing a teaching DVD on qigong that I am working on and was talking to a “mentor” who insisted that I needed to have mostly or all “thin” women on the video because otherwise people wouldn’t watch it. Yet some of the people I was picking as students, while not being underweight, exude Such Beautiful qi that they couldn’t be better models for what I want to represent with Way of Joy qigong…

  • Pat Zahn October 25, 2011  

    It’s disgusting. Even when we don’t buy into it, it comes into our language and thoughts – insidious. “Sexiest” “Most Beautiful” – I’d prefer these terms to be prefaced with “some of the” – cause we all are… I’d more prefer us to dwell on much more pertinent features “Smartest” “Kindest” “Most Altruistic” etc..

  • Brenda Jones October 25, 2011  

    This is such an important topic.  Unfortunately, society does make judgements based on appearance… a LOT.  And because of that, we often judge ourselves on the same things.  I know that I looked better thinner, but I also know that I can dress to look great now until I can lose the weight.  I am wondering how to raise a confident daughter within the realm of acting, modeling, and dancing.  I see the other dancers running around in tiny tops and, for lack of better words, booty shorts.  My daughter is just not built like that.  She’s not fat, but she’s not rail thin either… and I know that can affect judging, how her lines look, etc.  I am not in the space where I could feel good enough about myself to do a boudoir shoot even though I’d love to do it for my husband.  My stretch marks and weight gain were one thing in my bare belly maternity shots, but now… I am a product of the culture of thin… one that I don’t match.  I’m working on it, but I’m just not there yet.

  • jstonegoldman October 25, 2011  

    It’s impossible for girls not to be influenced by the multitude of images screaming at them about what constitutes “acceptable” and “desireable” body types. This has been a struggle my entire life as, I believe, it was for my mother. I feel so sad when beautiful young girls doubt themselves because of society’s hysteria about body and fat. Sadly, I don’t see this changing soon or fast, but people like you are making a contribution. Maybe some day women won’t use up precious energy being obsessed about weight and body shape. Who knows? It’s possible!

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

  • Molly Perry October 25, 2011  

    Every magazine geared towards teen girls and women should be thrown in the trash.  If the focus isn’t on weight, it is on getting men and making them happy.  Sends the message that women’s value is based on looks and men.  When I taught a women’s history course, I had the girls really look at the trash they were reading.  It was eye opening.

  • Jaspreet K. Mundeir October 26, 2011  

    Mainstream media has really screwed with our idea of what beautiful is and what ‘normal’ is.  As long as people are striving to be healthy – with a balanced diet and exercise, they should be ok with their bodies.  Our idea of food is so far from what it should be with the influence of fast food and processed foods, people are eating so unhealthy and obesity is on the rise.  Add that to the media influencing us with ‘beautiful’ is and we have the end result – young girls/womenwith distorted views of what they should look like!  

  • Donnam October 26, 2011  

    Jillian, I love your philosophy and see why you are so successful at capturing the beauty of all the women you photograph! I hate those magazines, too, and often wonder just how real the photos are in the first place…I think that so many young girls today are led to believe that the celebrities they look up to are perfect and they need to be told that there really is no such thing! The real beauty in each of us is our spirit within, and I believe that is what you illuminate with your photography.   I hope, too, that those tacky magazines  will have to either change their approach or just go out of business because no one is buying them! The whole subject of beauty is so huge and deep and personal, and I just wish that we as women could feel beautiful because of who we are not how we look, but I am afraid that is a long time coming!

  • Laurie Hurley October 26, 2011  

    Oh, I could write a novel about this subject, given I have a 13 year old daughter who measure her self-esteem by how popular she is, how “good” she looks, how fancy of a car we drive, how expensive her clothes are. It goes on and on. It’s what’s inside that counts, I tell her! Every woman has the power to be beautiful, not being measured against any scale of beauty (or pounds or inches). Those that can love themselves will be the happy people in the world. Those that have to compare to some celebrity or fake beauty barometer will be truly losing out on life. Sad, but oh so true.

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