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Women’s magazine, Essentials, publishes its first ‘model free’ issue


The latest issue of Essentials, a women’s lifestyle magazine, is already on sale and  is claimed to be a UK first – a glossy that’s entirely model- and celebrity-free. With 100% ‘real’ women from front to back, Jules Barton-Breck, editor of Essentials claimed, “It felt like the right time to do it, and right for us, really,”

The nationwide search for the October cover stars started with Essentials asking readers, and other women via a social media campaign, to tell the magazine why they were amazing enough to appear on the front cover. Hundreds of women applied and a shortlist of 30 were invited to a casting session with the editor and style director for the selection of the winning trio. They wanted “a range of ages and sizes”, and “who had the best story” was also taken into account

Rejecting models and celebrities in favour of “realness” seems to be a positive and growing trend. Dove launched its Campaign For Real Beauty in 2004, using “real” women in its ads, and tying them in to a global awareness-raising project of promoting female body-acceptance. Debenhams now bans airbrushing in its swimwear ad campaigns, claiming the aim is “to help customers make the most of their beauty without bombarding them with unattainable body images”.

Further a field, the bestselling German glossy, Brigitte, began using only amateur models in its shoots. Andreas Lebert, the editor-in-chief, criticised the trend towards thinner models. Even US Vogue, the bastion of haute couture, while sticking adamantly to the principle of using professional models,  has bowed to reader pressure and began using plus-size women for its annual Shape issue.

Let’s hope there’s more of these positive images to come.

More on this from The Guardian.

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