Zoe Saldana looks beautiful on the cover of Allure Magazine, a fact that isn’t surprising when you consider the glossy’s reputation for glamorizing their subjects. What stands out as bizarre is the cover line which reads “Zoe Saldana: 115 pounds of grit and heartache.” It’s the first time we’ve seen a cover subject’s weight featured so prominently, especially in a magazine that mainly focuses on beauty, not body.

It can be argued the editors were trying to play up the “little and full of grit” reference to speak to Zoe’s lithe frame and larger-than-life personality. But they could have accomplished that by any number of adjectives describing Zoe as small and petite. Including the numerical figure draws significant attention to her weight and poses it as attractive enough to be displayed on the cover.

Furthermore, her weight is the first descriptor we read after Zoe’s first and last name. Weighing in at a mere 115 pounds, it’s Zoe’s lithe frame that’s put on a pedestal and seen as something to aspire to; her success, natural beauty, confidence, attitude, sexuality and race all take a backseat.

Interestingly enough, her weight isn’t referenced in the article though the write-up does touch on Zoe’s race and sexuality. In a particularly fascinating quote, she reveals she could “end up with a woman raising my children … that’s how androgynous I am.” The focus remains on her body though as we see Zoe posing in the nude, showing off just how attractive Allure finds a 115 pound, 5’7″ frame to be.

Sure, it could just be an innocent device used to describe Zoe. But given the magazine industry’s history of glorifying thinness as the ideal body standard (even when it’s achieved by unhealthy practices), Allure‘s cover line is ill-conceived. Do you agree?

-Jennifer Grimes

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  • truth

    I have no respect for this person for disrespecting Nina Simone’s history and legacy by choosing to play her. Completely disgusting and shameful in my opinion.

  • KjO

    I don’t care how thin she is, putting her weight on the cover is in VERY poor taste.

  • donnadara

    That’s odd at best. It feels like it’s being used as a modifier like blonde or statuesque. A way to say that she is beautiful. I think that is problematic. Even when other magazines talk about women’s curves or whatever, no one is calling out anyone’s weight number. I think it’s obnoxious that the person who interviewed her asked her to give her weight. Weight fluctuates and I think it opens the door for other interviewers to constantly ask her how much she weighs now. Kind of like Lolo Jones talking about her virginity. Nobody wants to be put under the microscope about something that is personal.

  • Treece

    Allure didn’t put Zoe Saldana’s weight on the cover b/c she’s proud of it, or because it plays on the fact that she also has a “larger than life” personality. BS….they put it there to insinuate that 5’7″ and 115 pounds is a considered a standard of beauty to them. In the entertainment and modeling industry to be that thin at her height is considered a norm. A beautiful norm. Honestly, for her height she is a little too thin. Point blank period. A woman that tall (according to every weight/height chart I’ve ever looked at) should be no less than 125 pounds. Yes, everyones frame is different. I know. But when you glamorize a woman who on average is about 10 pounds underweight, but chastize a woman who is about 10 pounds overweight, I have a problem with that. That is what the beauty/fashion/entertainment industry does. Just when women were starting to focus on health in stead of numbers on scales or dress sizes, the “fight against obesity” has taken a sharp turn back to raising super thin women on pedestals and shaming those who are the slightest bit overweight. I’m all for weight loss to improve health. But I cannot agree with Allure placing an actresses weight on the cover of a magazine as if somehow that makes her more “alluring” (pardon the pun) or attractive. Say what you will, but that’s the reason why they put her weight on that cover. Any other excuse is a lame one.