If you want ideas about how to lose weight and how to get the perfect bikini body, you won’t find them in this publication. What you will find is a more realistic overall picture of the type of women that inhabit the world today, what they actually look like and the things that they are interested in. Did you know for instance, that the average woman does really like to eat food? Yes! And there were no expensive studies required to come to this amazing piece of fact. And that most women would feel fine about their bodies if they were not bombarded with airbrushed fictional models who exist on diets of sweets and cigarettes. The new magazine called Slink, is aimed at all woman, but in particular those who are over a size 14 who are quite neglected in the fashion and beauty world. Published twice a month and costing £3.85 or £1 if you download it, it features over 100 pages of fashion clothing tips and ideas, food recipes (no not slimming ones!) and beauty, all devoted to curvier ladies.
Editor of Slink is Rivkie Baum who is 26 years old and as a teenager was a size 22 because, in her own words, “I didn’t stop eating.” Rivkie always had problems with trying to wear fashionable clothes as there were nothing in her size that she liked apart from one brand. “I loved the Evans teenage range, which I wish they would bring back, but mostly it was so hard, so frustrating. I would scour Camden Market looking for clothes that were big enough.” Rivkie, like all teenagers and young women, read fashion magazines and wanted to wear the clothes that the models that appeared in them did. “I loved the images and really wanted to fit in. But there was nothing for young women who are bigger. The only answer was for me to get smaller.” As she always had a keen eye for fashion she decided to study fashion design. She went to the London College of Fashion where she studied pattern-cutting and design but even here things were difficult. “We would cut patterns using a standard block, which was a small size ten. In four years of study, do you want to know how long we spent learning to make a pattern to make a garment that would fit a woman above a size ten? One afternoon.”
Rivkie would still love one day to become a fashion designer but is putting all her energy into this magazine for now. And as for her dress size? If it matters, she is now a happy size 18. Talking of her magazine, she says it is not there to exploit larger ladies and show them in a ‘warts and all’ manner. Rather more be inspirational and be exactly the same kind of magazine that is on the shelves for size 10 girls and under, except this one is for 14 and over. So it will feature where to get the best beauty products, where the sales are on for curvy ladies, what to wear to enhance your looks etc etc This magazine is not about shocking its audience, more about treating them as viable shoppers and a large part of the community. With this in mind, Rivkie has banned all use of models that are under a size 10, deciding instead to go for fuller figure models but this did present her with a problem, as there are no catwalk models of these sizes. So she has commissioned a fashion illustrator to ‘supersize’ the catwalk looks, showing exactly how they would appear on a larger lady. And all the items that are supersized will be available in sizes that go upto a size 30. This is “So the reader feels she is getting the look from the catwalk and is not made to feel she can’t even try to look like that,” Rivkie says.
On first inspection of the magazine, it looks like a typical glossy, chock of of clothing and beauty tips and food recipes that any size woman would want to read. And perhaps that is the point. To me the one thing that I noticed was that all the models looked normal.