Women’s running magazine triggers debate over plus-sized model

panelWomen’s Running Magazine is taking a different route with its upcoming August cover by featuring a plus-sized model instead of a more athletic-looking model readers are accustomed to seeing.

Fox News’ Jenna Lee had two health experts on “Happening Now” Monday to discuss the new cover, and all agreed that women of many shapes and sizes are crossing finish lines these days.

Dr. Michael Kaplan, of the Long Island Weight Loss Institute, told Lee that being obese is not a choice. He argued that obese women are the most discriminated group in America.

“A cover like this is so helpful because it allows any woman who’s interested in running to identify herself as a runner,” Kaplan stated.

Diana Spechler, a New York Times columnist and author of “Skinny: A Novel,” agreed. She said there is no way of knowing what kind of health the plus-sized woman on the cover is in just by looking at the picture.

The two compared the plus-sized cover with an ad that portrays a supposed new-and-perfectly-fit mom jogging with her child. The health experts claimed the ad showing the scantily clad mom without an ounce of fat is not a realistic image.

model comparison

“When you look at these two, how do you know who’s more healthy?” Spechler asked.

Both panelists agreed that the image of the athletic woman sets a bad example for “real” women, and new mothers in particular.

Lee asked them if they could see anything inspiring about the thin woman’s image.

“I guess it could be inspiring, but it’s probably misleading for most,” Kaplan said.

Spechler wouldn’t give an inch.

“It’s perpetuating an unrealistic standard of beauty for women, which is a problem,” she said.

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