Cosmo Magazine Runs Series Of Obese Women On February’s ‘This Is Healthy’ Cover

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Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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Cosmopolitan is featuring multiple “plus-size,” “fat” women in a magazine issue that commends every body size as “healthy.”

The February 2021 edition of Cosmopolitan features women of various body sizes with superimposed text reading “This is healthy! 11 women on why wellness doesn’t have to be one-size-fits-all.” 

Callie Thorpe, a “plus size” blogger and model is among the featured women, and described to Cosmopolitan her involvement with the “body neutrality movement, which focused on what your body can do rather than how it looks.”

“Plus-size people often feel like they can’t be part of the wellness space,” Thorpe told Cosmopolitan. “We are trolled for being fat, then can feel excluded from exercise because our bodies don’t fit the narrative.” Thorpe has previously described doctor’s recommendations for her to lose weight, and remarks made by strangers about developing diabetes.

“People tell me that my husband is going to be a widower because I’ll die of Diabetes before him,” she told Not Plant Based in 2018. “And they say they’d rather have cancer than be fat.”

Jessamyn Stanley, a yoga teacher who self-describes as a “healthy fat person” and “fat femme,” is also featured. Stanley has a significant following on Instagram and runs fitness classes. 

“A healthy fat person is an oxymoron to most people. People don’t realize that they can’t tell anything about someone else’s health by just looking at them,” she told Runway Riot in a previous interview. Stanley described experiences with “fatphobic comments” to Cosmopolitan.

“I’ve had to accept that’s how the mainstream sees me and not try to change,” Stanley said. “For me, that’s been very therapeutic.”

While the magazine’s edition aims to celebrate every body size involved in the health and wellness industry, fitness experts who have spoken out against obesity have faced backlash for citing the risk it presents for developing various medical conditions.

Former “Biggest Loser” star Jillian Michaels stopped short of calling singer Lizzo healthy during an interview with Buzzfeed, instead pointing to the possibility that Lizzo has of developing diabetes. (RELATED: A Celebrity Fitness Pro Spoke Truth About Obesity, And The ‘Body Positivity’ Movement Was Not Pleased)

“There’s nothing beautiful about clogged arteries,” Michael said to People magazine soon after the interview. “I’m not saying you are not a beautiful person, I’m not saying you’re not physically beautiful, but I’m saying being obese is not a beautiful thing, it’s actually a sad thing.”

Obesity is associated with an increased risk of some of the leading causes of death including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The obesity rate in the U.S. is roughly 38%, a number that makes Americans the heaviest in the world. According to the CDC, people of any age that are obese are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

The COVID-NET report, published by the CDC in April, also found that of the patients who’d contracted coronavirus, 9 out of 10 of them had an underlying health condition. Of those patients, 48.3% were obese.