Can Cellulite Sell Magazines?


This morning, Lena Dunham posted the cover of Glamour’s January issue to her Instagram. On it you can find: the four stars of Girls, four pairs of six-inch Marc Jacob platforms and the first bit of cellulite I’ve seen on a fashion magazine cover. The issue is dedicated to women and is 100% produced by women, per the cover. Fitting then, to feature an unretouched leg — an endangered species in the magazine world despite being the only thing any of us have ever seen in the mirror.

Remember Dunham’s essay in Lenny Letter last March wherein she disowned photoshop? “Not done with getting my picture taken … but done with allowing images that retouch and reconfigure my face and body to be released into the world,” she wrote. “The gap between what I believe and what I allow to be done to my image has to close now. If that means no more fashion-magazine covers, so be it.”

Go Glamour. I particularly appreciated how the lack of retouching isn’t called out — it reeks less of performative activism. It’s not even mentioned in the feature! It’s just a cover with some legs with some cellulite. No big deal.

But it is a big deal! Because, according to Scientific American, 90% of women have cellulite and yet you’d need a magnifying glass and an active imagination to find it anywhere in editorials, or on films or TV. The Mayo Clinic describes cellulite as “a term for lumpy, dimpled flesh on the thighs, hips, buttocks and abdomen. It’s most common in adolescent and adult women.” As in: (almost) everyone has it! It’s not an ailment! It’s strange that something so normal has yet to be normalized, but this feels like a cover photo worth celebrating. I look forward to the day it’s not.


Cover photographed by Emma Summerton for Glamour Magazine

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman is the Features Director at Man Repeller.

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