Blogger Who Lost 170 Pounds Says Magazine Refused to Show Her in Bikini (PHOTO)

Brooke Birmingham Shape Magazine Brooke Birmingham is an inspiration. A blogger who has chronicled her journey to fitness and her weight loss of 170 pounds on her site, Brooke: Not on a Diet, she was initially excited when Shape magazine reached out to her. Wouldn't you be? It's one thing to be proud of your own accomplishments, but to have such incredible validation coming from the greater world at large? That's got to feel like the proverbial cherry on the sundae.

They asked Brooke to send in a photo for them to post to their site along with her story. She was happy to oblige, and taking a cue from other success stories like her own she'd seen on the site, she posed in a bikini. Shape got back to her and asked her to send in another photo -- one where she was covered up. Alarm bells sounded in Brooke's head. They said it was just their policy. But Brooke was sure it had more to do with the fact that they didn't want to feature the excess skin her tremendous transformation left behind.

She shared the photo Shape rejected and her exchange with the magazine on the pages of her blog. I don't even know her personally, and the story has me seething. It's proof that we live in a society that presents us with insurmountable obstacles in the battle to be beautiful. Brooke lost the weight and STILL has to contend with unrealistic beauty beauty standards. 

Brooke Birmingham Shape Magazine

Shape begs to differ. It chalks up Brooke's story to the error of the freelance reporter she was working with. That's nice, Shape, just pass the buck. The reporter interviewing Brooke claimed that it was an "editorial policy" that had them ditching the picture of her in the bikini. Shape says that this is simply not the case:

This does not represent Shape’s editorial values and the comments made about Shape’s 'editorial policy' are absolutely untrue. Shape prides itself on empowering and celebrating women like Brooke, and any indication that we would not run the piece with the photo provided was wrong, as we would have been proud to share her inspirational story.

I find this statement to be highly suspect. If the reporter in question was asking Brooke for another image, it's because their editor requested one. The reporter might be freelance, but the editor works for the magazine. I think rather than make an already gross situation worse, they should have simply apologized, admitted fault, and left it at that. 

Do you think the magazine should just admit it's in the wrong?


Images via Instagram

body image, exercise, weight loss


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Happy... Happydad73

Lets face facts. What she did was incredible, 170 lbs is a huge triumph, but people do not buy Shape magazine to have pictures like that. It may sound mean, but its not attractive. She could have put a shirt on, but her pride was too high and she refused to budge. Shape is gonna try to shine the best light on it and yes they failed, but that doesn't mean this picture is a good fit for their magazine.

AshDep AshDep

Great for her for losing the weight but that pic is not inspiring. Maybe if next to a before pic of her heavier self in a bikini. But no overweight woman wants to think about loose skin after weight loss

BGarcel BGarcel

Her story is inspiring, the pic not so much. But at least the pic is real and therefore I would have printed the pic.

Now... discerning the truth from the story of why Shape rejected her picture is going to be hard to do. I say, Brooke should try again and see if Shape runs the story.

nonmember avatar Jennifer

I have always struggled with my weight and to me she is an inspiration but that's the reality obese people face when trying to lose weight, and why did the magazine ask her to do it anyway...did the think that she just magically tucked away that extra skin that stretches when you are that large? Nice work Brooke you still look amazing!

Austi... Austinsmommy12

That's not the least bit attractive. Why would you want to show that off, even if you were incredibly proud of losing the equivalent of a full grown man in weight? I find the picture as tacky as the Maria Kang one asking us what our excuse is, just on the opposite end of the spectrum. WHY do people feel the need to validate themselves publicly in such a manner??

nonmember avatar KSS

I think she sent the picture to stir up trouble. If it was sent for innocent purposes then she would not have used this as a means for publicity. That photo does not put weight loss in a positive light. I could see that disuadeing some from losing weight. I would rather keep my big and beautiful figure or at least cover up rather than parade around like that. But then, I am happy with me.

Wendy Sunshine Brewer

Honestly, if I were a "shape" magazine type reader, I wouldn't want to see her in a bikini when I'm looking for inspiration to be toned. I don't even like looking at her "after" picture now! And I'm in NO WAY a Shape reader or body type!!!

Nicky Hidu

I actually am a Shape reader. And no, I don't want to see that. Sorry. But it doesn't inspire me. (well, i'm already thin) But when I was heavy, I went to Shape for inspiration.

merma... mermaid13dragon

OK lets be honest, the picture just sucks! Maybe if she hired a professional photographer and they had some nice lighting or angles, anything  - but its the most unflattering selfie ever. I've had three children, and have some stretchy muffin skin too, and you know what I'm planning on wearing a mono-kini one piece for my fun at the beach because the world doesn't need to see it.  She could have taken a more flattering bathing suit picture, that's the issue - but the pic just doesn't do her justice, period. Yes it's inspiring she lost all the weight, but the picture is just going to worry people that they will have lots of excess skin if they also lose weight. Shape magazine may have handled it less than tactful, but clearly she should have considered another type or style of swim-wear. 

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