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Brooke Birmingham is an Illinois-based blogger who runs a health site called Brooke: Not On A Diet. Over the last couple of years, Brooke has lost over 172 pounds, which she’s chronicled on her site. Her success story caught the attention of Shape magazine, and they wanted to feature her in on Shape.com’s “success story” area. Brooke agreed, and send the photo above.

But then it went all down hill from there.

From Brooke: Not On A Diet:


Really? Have you logged on to Shape’s website lately? You can find MANY women in bikinis on the site.

I’m not going to lie, I was absolutely furious with the email and while I wanted to call them every name in the book and tell them how they were wrong. My inner lady (and help of Emily) spoke up and conducted a response:


After several emails, Shape informed Brooke that it was their new policy to not display people in bathing suits, even though there were examples of it presently on their site and in the magazine. Brooke then decided to not associate herself with the magazine.

She then asked me to reconsider my choice to no longer be featured, that my story is great and I would get a lot of exposure from it. I told her that the exposure wasn’t worth it to me, that I’m an honest person and I didn’t feel like the story was letting me be honest if I couldn’t share that photo. I told her that if their policy was to have fully clothed people, then they needed to do that with the rest of the site as well. She said she understood and that was that.

The whole thing still really frustrates me because I don’t feel like my body was given the same respect as others on their site. Why all of the sudden is it their policy to have fully clothed people? The reporter stated that she wasn’t sure if someone had complained about the previous photos to Shape or not. But in my eyes if someone is complaining about them featuring women in bikinis, then again they shouldn’t have them anywhere on the site.

If anything, the should want my picture on their site. My body is real, not photoshopped or hidden because I feel like I should be ashamed. This is a body after losing 172 pounds, a body that has done amazing things, and looks AMAZING in a freaking bikini.

This is the type of body they should have featured because it can give people hope. Hope that they can lose weight healthfully and even if they don’t end up with airbrushed abs of steel, they’re gorgeous and shouldn’t be ashamed of whatever imperfection they believe they have.

Clutchettes, what do you think about Brooke’s decision and Shape requesting different photos?

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