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Cosmopolitan magazine hit with fierce backlash over covers praising obesity despite coronavirus risk


'Wokeness at its worst'

Jessamyn Stanley was interviewed by Cosmopolitan. (Getty Images for Supermajority)

Cosmopolitan magazine faced fierce online backlash and mockery for its latest cover that dabbled in body positivity during a global pandemic where obesity has been identified as a high-risk precondition.

The fashion and entertainment magazine geared toward women highlighted an article touting "11 women on why wellness doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all," on its cover for the February issue.

The article interviews several women who have become advocates for body positivity.

"Body-shaming was one of the first things I learned to do. I grew up in a community where all of my physical attributes – wide nose, big belly, big ass, big lips, dark skin – were deemed ugly," said Jessamyn Stanley, a yoga teacher. "I've had to accept that's how the mainstream sees me and not try to change. For me, that's been very therapeutic."

The article also includes stories from a woman who had to deal with body issues stemming from an accident that left her in a wheelchair permanently, a woman with a genetic condition that causes dwarfism, and others unrelated to weight issues.

Many on social media found the article to be problematic given how obesity has been identified as a high-risk precondition for complications from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls obesity a "common, serious, and costly chronic disease," and identifies it as a precondition that increase the risk of serious illness from the coronavirus.

"A very irresponsible PR stunt in the middle of a public health crisis," tweeted one Twitter user.

"We know diabetes puts people more at risk of Covid and obesity is the main cause of contracted diabetes in the world. Wokeness at its worst," she added.

"Obesity is the second most significant risk factor for death from COVID-19, after elderly age, and Cosmopolitan honestly thinks this ascientific rubbish is an appropriate cover," responded Jonathan Witt.

Tone deaf and extremely ignorant," he added.

Supporters of the body positivity movement, however, were outraged at the criticism of the larger-sized women.

"Damn. People are BIG mad about the Cosmopolitan cover. BIG mad. They are literally foaming at the mouth. 2021 let's have more fat women on the front covers of magazines please. Keep it GOING," tweeted Stephanie Yeboah, a body image activist.

"I'm sorry but it just pisses me off that out of all 11 women featured in Cosmopolitan magazine, people are relentlessly abusing, harassing and bullying the two plus sized ones," she added.

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