Whoops! Elle Actually Does Care What I Have to Say

There is some back story to this post, it all started with one of my first posts on this blog. I wrote about a letter I sent to the editors at Elle about how pissed-off I was about a piece of advice given by their resident advice-giver, E-jean. You can check out the original post and the letter I wrote to the editor here. You can also check out the angry rant I wrote after I received the July issue of Elle, and not only had my letter failed to be included, but there were zero negative, or even lukewarm, letters printed at all. As you can tell by that post I was pretty annoyed at Elle and fed-up with magazines in general. So when I received my August issue, I tossed it on the coffee table without glancing at it, and there it sat—until yesterday.

I had a lazy Sunday, I was blown out from attending Meatfest the day before, it’s an annual BBQ and ode to succulent, fattening, tasty meat held by my sister and her boyfriend. I ate a “bacon explosion” which consists of bacon, sausage, and cheese, all rolled-up, covered in spices, and smoked until delicious. I ate lamb chili, and tried hard to forget I was eating baby sheep because it was so damn amazing. I ate a lot, and for the occasion I made cornbread covered in bacon, and I ate some of that too.

Anyway, I overindulged, and I spent the next day recovering. My day involved a few accidental naps, some aspirational internet shopping, and a lot of in-depth vegging. It seemed a good time to finally put a dent in the accumulation of magazines on my coffee table. I grabbed the August Elle, and after reading the same old crap about Drew Barrymore and some boring stuff about home hair color, I flipped to the “letter to the editor”, or “mail bonding” as they call it, page to see if they had any less-than-positive readers this month. A negative letter caught my eye, and I spotted the name “E.Jean” and thought “Alright! At least someone got to have their thoughts about this lady put in print”. As I continued reading the letter sounded strangely familiar, and I almost fell off the couch when my sluggish meat-infused mind put it all together and I saw my name in print. I squealed, and then I thought “whoopsie! Maybe I should have held off on my little rant”.

Here it is, highlighted in pink, click the image to view it larger.

I can’t say that I’m not a bit embarrassed, but I’m really glad they printed my letter, so thanks Elle! That being said, I stand by most of my rant, but I may not cancel my subscription just yet because I’m still a total sucker for pages like this:

Pretty isn’t it? A good makeup collage can mend all wrongs (well not really, but it doesn’t hurt). Makeup is the only thing in the pages of Elle that I can even remotely afford anyway, so I have to hold on to something. I’m super psyched that Elle published my letter, and I hope that if enough people continue to speak their minds, I’ll actually be able to relate to some of the stuff they publish. For the moment I can say that I enjoy looking at the cosmetics pages, and maybe one day Elle will catch-on that most of the women who read their magazine would like fewer items that are “Priced upon request” and more that are available at say Forever 21 or Macy’s.

As for Ms. E. Jean, I still think it’s about time for her to retire, and if Elle needs a new advice columnist—well, I’m currently available.


Filed under acceptance

12 responses to “Whoops! Elle Actually Does Care What I Have to Say

  1. Glad they at least printed it! And yeah, they should definitely hire you. No doubt about that.

  2. mkz201

    Ahh! That is amazing! Congratulations! I hope they actually consider what you said.

  3. Alison

    im so happy they printed your letter! kudos to u!

  4. lizzy

    girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl! you were heard! i love it! you should frame it! or at least put in a scrapbook or something. oooh snap elle!

  5. Jessica

    Justine Congrats on being published, I have to say I am proud of you!!
    …..i just read the column for the first time..don’t hate me –
    E. Jean is ridiculous and really what are her credentials? But I have the feeling that if someone REALLY wrote in to ask Elle’s advice on if her appearance effected her being promoted at a company where she ALREADY overheard them saying that, then she knew the answer. E. Jean was giving her an honest analysis, and prefaced it with a whole paragraph of her predicament in doing so. But she answered her question. She was harsh, I agree, but she ended with Crystal Renn as a good role model, so I give her a tiny bit of credit, hey its all relative. A good second piece of advice would have been- there is an alternative… quit that job! Eventually all the CEOs will realize they need actual workers…. right?

    • Of course I don’t hate you Jessica! I hope you don’t hate me after my rebuttal, but Crystal Renn is an example of a woman who was so pressured to be thin by her employers that she nearly starved herself to death, and then wrote a book about how awful it was. Renn’s entire purpose is to say that no woman should let that pressure sacrifice her health, she is the last person to use as an example when discussing physical standards in the workplace because she represents what a slippery slope it is. E. Jean says “lose the weight” followed immediately by “read Crystal Renn’s book”, when obviously she has no idea what the content of the book is, because it is in direct opposition to the advice she is giving.

      I understand that E. Jean is trying to deliver the realities of workplace discrimination, but in doing so she is telling the advice seeker that it’s a defensible way to behave just because everyone does it (including doctors). I’m sorry, but I can’t get behind justification for any form of discrimination—and it *is* discrimination, plain and simple, calling it anything else is victim blaming. Also, E. Jean is just a pain in the ass, is she British? Why does she always say “chap” and “darling”, it’s just trying too hard.

      • Jessica

        By giving the example of Crystal Renn, she is saying dont become a sample size, no need to take it to the extreme, because of her story. She also agreed it was discrimination. And she should hav just left it at- make sure you look your best.

  6. Nuala

    Congratulations on being published in Elle! The fact that they had the wisdom to print your letter raises my opinion of them.

    I’ve never read E. Jean, until now, (nor lookd a an issue of Elle in a v–e–r–r–r–y long time.) She does seem rather affected, “darling.”

    Yes, it is terrible that the original letter-writer suffered disrimination in the workpalce due to her weight. Yes, someday those shallow guys who couldn’t appreciate her value as a worker because they couldn’t see anything beyond her weight, will realize that so many of the pretty people around them aare decorate but not very useful. No, our girl should not have to lose weight just to appease the aesthetic of the office.

    However: Something I haven’t seen mentioned in the lively discussion about weight-discrimination in the workplace. The worker’s health can be neatively affected by obesity: heart problems & diabetes are two of the most well-known problems.
    I’ve always struggled (mostly unsuccessfully) with my weight, so I know it’s very hard, and a “forever job,” like parenthood, or marriage for that matter.

    My problem with many of the beauty-culture magazines is the diets always seem to emphasize that skinniness will allow you to fit into a great dress. Why don’t they emaphsize that not being obese will help you live longer?

  7. Kathy

    Congratulations! Good for you for speaking your mind! There’s a related article in the August 1st NY Times Magazine. It talks about it from a designer’s point of view. Keep speaking out, Jus!!!

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