Here are some excerpts from a jezebel.com entry about the above magazine cover:
Fashion for Every Figure: Size 0 to Size 20 — but only just this issue, then they'll go back to focusing on size zero.
Real Women Have Curves: Beyoncé at Her Best — If real women have curves, what are the women who usually model for Vogue? Fake?
NIP/TUCK: Designing a Perfect Body — Meaning there's something wrong with yours if you don't have plastic surgery?
WORK IT! Longer Legs, Leaner Lines, Sexier Silhouette — Can legs be made longer without bone surgery?
THE RIGHT SWIMSUIT FOR YOUR BODY TYPE — Instead of emphasizing fit, it's all about "right" and the implied "wrong," and your "type," meaning your body must fit into a predetermined box.
WEIGHT OBSESSION: One Woman Conquers Her Diet Demons — Sounds healthy.
"As for Beyoncé, the feature story in Vogue mentions her weight gain for Cadillac Records and describes her as "comfortably curvy," though writer Jonathan Van Meter also reminds us that she is working very hard to be a Vogue-worthy size. He writes that, on the day of their interview, Beyoncé "got up at the crack of dawn" and "ate a tiny portion of Honey Nut Cheerios, ran six miles, and then worked out with her trainer, who had her in every imaginable kind of squat to get her ready to fit into her no doubt skintight Thierry Mugler-designed tour costumes." Next? A dance rehearsal, after which she barely had time to "scarf down several bites of a salad with jalapeños and avocado ('so that it tastes like something that's bad for you')" and then dance rehearsal again. Van Meter also makes sure to point out that gaining weight to play Etta James in Cadillac Records was "fun." Beyoncé says: "I ate a lot of butter-pecan ice cream. But it's easy for me to gain weight. I'm not a naturally stick-thin girl. I'm not heavy, but I'm not skinny, either." It's almost as though she has to apologize; and Vogue has to stress that while eating may be fun and enjoyable, one should never let it distract from being totally dedicated to making sure you (literally) fit into the mold its editors prescribe."
Doesn't the fact that she has to work so hard to maintain a certain body size show something?! I'm not saying she should eat ice cream and unhealthy food all the time, but she shouldn't have to be working so hard to attain some sort of "ideal" body. There's always all this mumbo jumbo about how we should love our bodies, but it is often in conjunction with advice on how to improve them. Contradictory? I think so. We're encouraged to embrace our bodies, but not our natural bodies. Instead, we should work out, stay away from "bad" foods, and try to cover up our flaws so we meet standards of beauty. Who set these standards anyway?
I'm not saying anything new, these issues have been discussed since way before my time. However, most of the girls I know continue to complain about how they need to lose weight and hate their (fill in the body part). The few that are generally comfortable with their bodies would be considered skinny for the most part. Come middle age though when their metabolism slows down, we'll see if they're still satisified with bodies. These insecurities are applicable to all people, not just females, and it sucks because it has real consequences on people's self-esteem. I think people will read this and agree with what I'm saying, but that won't stop them from feeling insecure and disatisfied with their appearance. Or maybe I'm being overdramatic? I would rather that be the case...