After massive weight loss, Shape magazine tells local woman to cover up

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An Andalusia, Illinois woman's successful weight-loss story has gone global, after Shape Magazine in New York, denied posting the fitness blogger's picture in a two-piece bathing suit.

It began when Shape magazine told Brooke Birmingham, who has lost 170 pounds, that they wanted to feature her in their "success story" column. She agreed, but just days after she sent the photo of her in a bathing suit, she received an email from the Shape reporter asking for a different photo.

Read Brooke's blog -- click here.

When the magazine's reporter spoke with Birmingham, she said her editors told her it's company policy to show success stories of woman wearing a shirt; however, Birmingham said there are several success stories in the magazine featuring women in bathing suits.

The photo of Birmingham shows excess skin around her waist, something common in rapid weight-loss.

Since the story released, Birmingham's Facebook page: Brooke: not on a diet, has gotten thousands of follows. Every day, dozens of people send inspiring messages to Brooke.

"It seems like they are punishing her for what she actually looks like and who she is," said Tracy Johannsen of Moline, who has lost nearly 50 pounds in the past year and a half.

"I know how difficult it can be to lose weight. The magazine should be rewarding her," Johannsen said.

Since the incident, Birmingham has been interviewed by media outlets around the world. She said she hopes to continue motivating others.

Photo from Brooke: Not On A Diet's blog

Photo from blog "Brooke: Not On A Diet"


  • Leslie Watkins

    Just saw your story on the news. Wow so proud of you lady! I live very close to you so this isn’t a somewhere not in my world story. Glad you stuck to your convictions. You made an awesome accomplishment & look great ! I had a stroke & have gained 30#. You are an inspiration to me. Screw those magazine people that think you should cover up. It’s more motivating to see REAL people & how far they have come.Hang in!

  • banana-rama-ding-dong

    that is a great accomplishment, good for her….but….as much as people want to believe that truth and honesty is what sells, it’s not…seeing real people in real situations does not sell

  • Jon Anthony

    Cudos to Brooke on her determination and a great accomplishment. having said that, her descriptive words can be an inspiration to all.

    Many of us however prefer not to see the after-effects as depicted.

  • den

    Great job do not not listen to the jerks who say to cover up. You are what all of us “real” women want to see. The men who say that are used to looking at the retouched and made up women in the magazines and porn. By the way it took how many hours to get these models to look like that. I think it would be great if the magazine would post before pictures of all the models. When will society grow up we all can not stay teenagers forever and that is what the majority of models look like. We all come in different shapes and sizes and it is about our daughters see what real beauty is.

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