Row over new plus-size Cosmopolitan cover as magazine is accused of ‘glamourising obesity’ during the coronavirus crisis – but model says ‘health is whatever you want to call it’
- The magazine cover features plus-sized models with the tagline ‘This is healthy’
- It triggered controversy with some critics pointing at effect of Covid on obesity
- The models featured defended the issue, though Piers Morgan accused it of ‘glamourising obesity’
A Cosmopolitan magazine cover featuring plus-size models has been accused of ‘glamourising’ obesity amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The cover of the February issue stars plus-size women with the tagline ‘This is healthy’ for an edition dedicated to body positivity.
However, the magazine has come under criticism for its message, after a year dominated by coronavirus, with unhealthy or overweight people particularly at risk of the killer illness.
Piers Morgan led the outrage, blasting the magazine for being ‘shamefully irresponsible’.
Models featured in the magazine hit back, with Callie Thorpe insisting that ‘health is whatever you want to call it’.
The cover stars plus-size women with the tagline ‘This is healthy’ for an edition dedicated to body positivity
Models featured in the magazine hit back, with Callie Thorpe insisting that ‘health is whatever you want to call it’
The cover has divided readers with some praising the magazine for its portrayal of health while others have slammed its message as being dangerous.
Piers Morgan wrote: ‘No, it’s not [healthy]. And given that obesity is a major factor in why many get severe covid illness, this @CosmopolitanUK cover is shamefully irresponsible.’
Others also hit out at the cover, with one person writing: ‘Weird time for @Cosmopolitan to do this cover given the relationship between obesity and death/serious illness from Covid.’
Another added: ‘You cant say the Cosmopolitan cover isn’t promoting obesity. Its fine to live your life at whatever size you choose to, but when you choose inclusiveness over health, by promoting an unhealthy amount of body fat, that really irks me.’
While a third said: ‘The Cosmopolitan magazine covers’ emphatic declaration that obesity is HEALTHY(!) only make further my conviction that it most certainly is not.’
Piers’ comments triggered an argument with Love Island’s Malin Anderson slamming the GMB host and writing: ‘This is disgusting.’
Never one to back down Piers retorted: ‘Actually, what’s ‘disgusting’ is a big-selling magazine glamourising obesity at the height of a pandemic involving a virus that targets obese people more than any other weight-group.’
Models involved in the campaign also hit back.
Yoga teacher Jessamyn Stanley wrote: ‘You know you that b**** when you cause all this conversation. Always stay gracious: best revenge is your paper.
The cover has divided readers with some praising the magazine for its portrayal of health while others have slammed its message as being dangerous
‘Thanks for the love on this @cosmopolitanuk cover, y’all.’
Callie Thorpe added: ‘How the only two plus size people featured have come up against such vitriol just made me realise why I wanted to do this in the first place.
‘The internet doesn’t feel like a safe space for us.
‘It’s REALLY tough seeing horrible things written about me but honestly it’s more concerning to me that it’s effecting people that look like me. that they are reading these horrible things and internalising what these bullies are saying.
‘I’ve been called fat, ugly, obese, on my way to death etc etc for years. I’m almost used to it now. But there are people here that are not used to that. There are people who are still on a journey to be kind to themselves to accept themselves to even like themselves.
‘And it breaks me that because of bullies they will never see the potential of finding peace, happiness and joy no matter what their body shape.’
Being overweight can raise the risk of severe Covid-19 by 40 per cent, while obese people are 70 per cent more likely to be hospitalised with the disease, according to a July study.
Researchers analysed data from more than 300,000 people, 640 of whom ended up in hospital with the coronavirus at the peak of the pandemic.
They found extra weight is linked with ‘higher odds’ of admission to hospital, increasing in line with body mass index (BMI) – a height-to-weight ratio.
Being too thin also raised the risk compared to someone who was a healthy weight, but by a smaller margin of six per cent.
The team, led by University College London, sought to build on previous smaller-scale studies which first shone a light on the link between weight and Covid-19.
Concerns led to an investigation by Public Health England, which last month said it found overweight people are more than three times as likely to die of Covid-19 than those of a healthy weight.
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