Brigitte Magazine Goes Model-Free

October 7, 2009

I know I author a design blog, but since I have an abundance of female readers, I thought this fashion-related topic is relevant somehow as I think this is the most beautiful news article I’ve read in long, long time. And as woman, we care about this sort of thing. Even the men who read this blog may be interested in knowing this… I was moved — it is quite powerful and sends a very positive message I’ll tell you what it is…

Brigitte Magazine Goes Model-Free

Brigitte is a fashion and lifestyle magazine for Woman based in Germany, they have been around for ages… I started reading it when I was in my 20s visiting my husband while we were dating. His mother used to give me copies of it so I could learn more about German life and fashion. Now that I live here, I pick up my copy monthly and have always enjoyed it… but now, I’m just so, so proud of Gruner+Jahr (the publisher) and the magazine in general because they’ve just announced a radical change for the magazine that will begin in 2010. It will be model-free, at least when it comes to their photo shoots (not advertising of course). You have to read this…

“The Hamburg-based title published by Gruner+Jahr plans to choose from readers who register online and staff members based on their meaningful qualities other than their dress size. Attractiveness has many faces,” editor of the bi-monthly Brigitte Huber said in a statement.

“Whether they are actresses, musicians, first ladies or women on the streets of big cities – they all affect fashion and beauty styles.”

Is this not spine tingling? You can read the full article here.

And while I love Cindy Crawford and Heidi Klum, there is much, much more out there that is beautiful that is not represented and I am excited to see where this exciting new direction takes this publication. I don’t mind seeing models in fashion magazines, they are woman too and should not be excluded because of their beauty and no longer featured because they are “model perfect”, however I think that having all fashion magazines saturated with such ideal types can really be stressful for young woman and even older woman as it makes the rest of us feel a bit left out. You need the Vogue and the Elle magazines, yes, but you also need diversity on the magazine stand — you can read Vogue to see “the dream” and you can read a magazine like Brigitte to see the beautiful reality — you and me — our life. I like a good mix and so I’m happy about this bold new direction!

One person, on a board I visited over at Brigitte magazine said in response to all of this, “Thank you for allowing women to be women, and showing them for what they’ve accomplished and who they are as dignified human beings, not as mere superficial bodies.”


(image: holly becker for decor8)


  • Reply Gül October 7, 2009 at 8:07 am

    This is a revolutionary change! I am gald to hear that. I hope it will be followed by many other publication and the fashion indusrty. Thanks for sharing Dear Holly.

  • Reply Marquita October 7, 2009 at 8:10 am

    I’m very impressed. This is a giant step forward. Congratulations!!!
    There are so many beautiful people out there, not because of their faces or their clothes, but for their values and principles, for their lives and what they do/make – these are the real “models” that are worth a magazine cover :-))

  • Reply gina October 7, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Brilliant!! I can’t wait to share this with my friends:)
    .-= gina´s last blog ..Releasing my Inner Nerd =-.

  • Reply B October 7, 2009 at 8:38 am

    As a “Brigitte” who never, ever has her name spelled properly, I just have to comment on this. You spelled Brigitte incorrectly, even though it’s the name of the magazine. Here in the states, I always get a “d” added into my name, so you were pretty close. ;)

    And now, I must go check out the mag that shares my name!
    .-= B´s last blog ..Second to None: Mojo Spa =-.

  • Reply Tamar October 7, 2009 at 8:40 am

    That’s amazing Holly! thank you for sharing this!

  • Reply hello October 7, 2009 at 8:50 am

    ppsst, it’s Brigitte not Brigette :P

  • Reply Lovely Sunflower October 7, 2009 at 8:55 am

    That is so right! I’ve had a couple of girls in my classes fainting because they were ‘on a diet to look like Heidi’. Hope it’s one of the first steps to stop that madness (although the mag is mostly read by 30+ women)
    And how cool is it – readers for models? I guess I ‘m going to apply myself :)
    Brigitte also has a great design section – sometimes they do unbelievable specials full of creative ideas.
    p.s. Holly, sorry to correct you, but it’s BrigItte :) Sorry again!
    .-= Lovely Sunflower´s last blog ..Cleaning madness =-.

  • Reply juliette October 7, 2009 at 8:59 am

    YAY! That’s such great news! Thanks so much for sharing that. It totally makes me want to buy their magazine even more now (I think it’s every 2 weeks or so?).

    I love their magazine for their short and pithy articles. Great for learning German and a few fun things as well. I’ve also had a lot of success with their recipes and like how they mark them as fast and easy, or good to impress/do for company, etc.

    This is such great news. I wish more mags, but really, advertisers, would do this as well.
    .-= juliette´s last blog ..Sewing: A Little Girl’s Bag =-.

  • Reply beth cupitt October 7, 2009 at 9:10 am

    wow. isn’t that a fresh new take. lovely.

  • Reply pretty*pink*rat October 7, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Such a neat change! And I would think it couldn’t hurt sales, and maybe even increase them!
    .-= pretty*pink*rat´s last blog ..Etsy Monday: A Alicia Accesories =-.

  • Reply visualingual October 7, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Very cool news [and I write this as someone who’s also completely obsessed with Top Model]!
    .-= visualingual´s last blog ..Coney Island Vintage Typography Print =-.

  • Reply Brooke H October 7, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Wow, that’s fantastic. It’s kind of similar to Dove’s real beauty campaign.
    .-= Brooke H´s last blog ..New to the shop: Catherine =-.

  • Reply Uncle Beefy October 7, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Kudos! That is quite an editorial statement to make for sure, Holly. And will be curious to see how it is received by its audience so keep us posted. This is one of those ideas that one can imagine being talked about but never actualized so I commend Brigette for their bold (and certainly long overdue) step. Very moving…yes, even to a man. :)

  • Reply Ruth Plange October 7, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Just finished reading your blog and the news about NO MORE MODELS
    in BRIGITTE in 2010. Sound really great and is a good and encouraging, big step into the future. Women are women – all kind of “diffent sizes and designs” so I am glad one finally came to accept this condition and dont force us to be BEAUTIFUL and STANDARD EDITIONS ONLY !
    Thanks for your comment, as I am a faithfull BRIGITTE reader (since my adult days – now 65 — huuuuuhuuiih !!!) this is music in my ears.
    Thanks BRIGITTE, thanks to all women who want to be a women and not a cliché.

    Best regards from southerm Spain,


  • Reply Jenn October 7, 2009 at 10:01 am

    That’s fantastic! Wish I could find a copy in the states.

  • Reply Frau Fine Furnishing October 7, 2009 at 10:02 am

    That’s a VERY great idea! I think it’s a bit like a revolution, a positive one. I’m excited to see, how they will realise it in detail! It’s a first step towards normality- I’m happy :)
    .-= Frau Fine Furnishing´s last blog ..Lebkuchenherz backen =-.

  • Reply Lydia, Clueless Crafter October 7, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Wow, this is a lovely change. I’ve never seen this magazine. Where do New Yorkers pick it up? It’ll be only eye candy for me as I do not speak a bit of German.

    As a side note, I thought it was funny how I interpreted this post. When you said “no models” I immediately thought “no people.” Of course I now realize you meant no SUPER models, but I do think it was funny that my mind didn’t wander to that assumption.

    Cheers to Brigette!
    .-= Lydia, Clueless Crafter´s last blog ..Love, Loss and What You wore? =-.

  • Reply Alexis October 7, 2009 at 10:38 am

    I am going to subscribe to show my support–even though it will cost a fortune to have it sent to NY!

    As a woman and mother of three daughters, I think this is very exciting!
    .-= Alexis´s last blog ..Jessica’s Fall Soup Swap =-.

  • Reply Zia Meadows October 7, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Wow this is amazing, I love fashion mags but they don’t leave me feeling very postive about myself! Imagine what a great gift this is to those real life models- there are not many moments in you life you feel completely fabulous are there?

  • Reply Tamara October 7, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Thank you for sharing this! Fantastic!

  • Reply Passementerie October 7, 2009 at 11:02 am

    That is completely wonderful. It’s frustrating to see truly beautiful people on the street and know that amazing as he or she might look, that look would never be accepted by that world as good enough, thin enough, young enough… Kudos to Brigette for seeing past all that!
    .-= Passementerie´s last blog ..Stairway to… =-.

  • Reply Sarah October 7, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Amazing! What a courageous commitment on their part. I’ve always enjoyed when magazines feature readers in their fashion photo spreads. Thanks for this fantastic story.

  • Reply Karen October 7, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Indeed wonderful! As the skincare company Dove showed a while ago – using real women with real curves is not only beautiful, but financially very rewarding for the brave company that dares! Please however, correct the spelling – the magazine is called ‘Brigitte’ and not ‘Brigette’.

    • Reply decor8 October 7, 2009 at 11:57 am

      Karen – Ha ha! Thanks for catching that. I was spelling it how I pronounce it and since I’m learning German I can see how this happened. :) I’ve corrected it, thank you.

  • Reply lindsay October 7, 2009 at 11:27 am

    REAL people in a magazine. So refreshing. I wish more mags would follow suit.
    .-= lindsay´s last blog ..Curbside Find. =-.

  • Reply apt20h October 7, 2009 at 11:38 am

    I love it! Also a lot of the streetstyle fashion blogs really makes it all feel much more democratic and available to the people… I do hope this catches on!

  • Reply Sophie @ Century Finds October 7, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I think this is great. While I sometimes love the aspirational side of seeing clothes on models, it does get very “samey”. I thought the Dove real woman campaign was so well done and I am sure this will be in the same vein…
    .-= Sophie @ Century Finds´s last blog ..Teeny Tiny Giveaway 5 – Laurel and Snowball Quilt Patterns =-.

  • Reply Susanne October 7, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    This is great news ! I was reading Brigitte when I lived in Germany, it is a good magazine, I also love their BRIGITTE WOMAN magazine. I am sure this will attract more readers and more people will talk about it and more magazines will follow to a certain extend. I remember the DOVE ads, all women working with me then in Germany were commenting positively! I don’t know, if you realized Gudrun Sjoeden, the fashion catalogue, also has more ‘real life models’ . Thanks Holly for sharing this !
    .-= Susanne´s last blog ..lavender sachet =-.

  • Reply Janine October 7, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    hell yes.
    can we please have that magazine or even idea in the US?

  • Reply Penny Patten October 7, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Wow what a huge step, let us know how it works for them.
    .-= Penny Patten´s last blog ..Aprons and Bags =-.

  • Reply Cookie Cutter October 7, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    A brave and admirable step which hopefully will lead the way for others too! *applause*
    .-= Cookie Cutter´s last blog ..What’s there not to love – Studio Clip =-.

  • Reply Irene October 7, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Nice post Holly and I agree with Penny, really like to know if this works, I hope so…

  • Reply Anne October 7, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Amen to that indeed! It’s about time that we learn to love ourselves for who we are including our imperfections and not what society would like us to believe…

  • Reply Shell October 7, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    I love this idea. It would be amazing if a fashion magazine here did that.
    .-= Shell´s last blog ..Butterflies of change =-.

  • Reply Stacey October 8, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Wonderful idea and about time! Leave it to the Europeans to be the first to to this ;) Holly, I love that you said we can “look to Vogue for the fantasy and to a magazine like Brigitte for the reality”. I hope some U.S. magazines will follow suit!

  • Reply ruthie October 9, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Hi Holly!
    I’m a big fan of yours and I read you almost daily from Spain and I just wanted to pop in to say that “Brigitte” was on the spanish news today!!
    Thanks for a wonderful blog!

    • Reply decor8 October 9, 2009 at 11:19 am

      Thank you Ruthie – yay!!!

  • Reply Leigh @ Constant Cravings October 10, 2009 at 11:38 am

    That is awesome. I’d love to get my hands on a copy in the states!
    .-= Leigh @ Constant Cravings´s last blog ..Object Of My Affection =-.

  • Reply julia October 20, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    That’s a bold and beautiful new direction, indeed. It’s funny how it’s Brigitte, of all magazines, who thought about going this new way. Funny because even my grandmother knew and read Brigitte. And thinking of my grandmother, I think she would have liked this.
    .-= julia´s last blog ..inside my sister’s head =-.

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