Earlier this week YogaDork posted on Yoga Journal’s latest body images issues, aka major problems. In the latest September YJ magazine, an article highlights women with curves, but instead of celebrating them, they’re singled out as flaws and we’re given tips on just the right way to hide them. In short, they got the positive body image thing all wrong. In response, the yoga community has erupted in a chain reaction of frustration, disappointment and cancelled subscriptions. Not exactly the way YJ, with its new Editor-in-Chief, smaller staff, and new look would want to kick things off, we assume.
But apparently we’ve all spoken pretty loudly prompting current Editor-in-Chief, Carin Gorrell, to take a moment to briefly comment on the post and respond to the criticism. Here’s what she had to say:
Carin Gorrell from Yoga Journal here. Thank you for your post, I appreciate all feedback, both positive and negative, and try to learn from it. Our sincere intention with the “Love Your Curves” story was to celebrate women’s bodies, definitely not to shame them, and I’m happy that the images of beautiful yoga teachers support that intention. But I’m unhappy if we gave the impression that people’s body shapes need to be concealed, which was not our intention. I also recognize that the labels we chose to represent women’s bodies, which were intended to help readers to find their way in to the story quickly, fail to celebrate the uniqueness of every woman’s body. I’m committed to tackling hard topics like body image and want to do it in a way that moves the conversation forward. Thank you again for your thoughts and comments. Please know that I’m listening.
Gorrell has also promised to answer our interview questions that have been dangling about since our request late last year soon after she was named EIC. The questions can be found included in this previous post, as well as pasted again below.
It’s our intention to continue to help progress the positive body image movement in yoga, and by doing so we wish to provide YJ a chance to speak about their mission and vision as we continue to move forward, and this yoga, as we know it, continues to evolve.
These are the unchanged questions from December 2013. (If you have any further questions or thoughts to add please share them in the comments):
-How long have you been practicing yoga?
-What was the application process like at Yoga Journal? Did you apply or did they seek you out?
-How have you been settling into your new position and surroundings?
-What were some of your proudest moments from your previous career positions?
-What’s your favorite part about the YJ as it is now?
-What are you most excited to add, change or improve as the new Editor In Chief?
-Where do you see the magazine (print and online) heading? What is your vision for the future of YJ?
-There’s been an ongoing discussion about body image in the yoga community, and the need for better representations of real “yoga bodies” in mass media. With YJ being the largest and most well-known yoga magazine, it’s often at the center of the criticism for perpetuating a certain look/body type/age/race/sex of yoga practitioner, often as the Yoga Journal cover model. Do you have any insight or comment on that?
-With a new EIC coming from Self magazine there have been concerns that YJ will start leaning more towards being a fitness & diet magazine. What would you say to those concerned readers?
-Advertising is necessary in the structure of the magazine business, but it can sometimes enter questionable territory. Do you or will you have any supervision over what ads are placed in the magazine? Do you feel that they have any influence over the integrity of the magazine and the brand?
-In the press release announcing your arrival as new EIC, it was said by senior VP of AIM that the editorial in both the magazine and online will be “refreshed” and that you will be helping to “meet the needs of the modern yogi, while respecting the great traditions of yoga and Yoga Journal.” Can you share what you think that means today and maybe a few examples of how you might help bridge the modern and the traditional in this next generation of the magazine?
-What do you see is Yoga Journal’s role and purpose in yoga culture as it expands and evolves?
-Do you have a favorite yoga pose?
-Have you practiced yoga in the office yet?
- Yoga Journal Has a Major Body Image Issue, and By Issue, I Mean Problem
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- Introducing: The Yoga and Body Image Coalition