After a woman's bikini photos were rejected by Shape due to an "editorial policy," the health magazine is speaking out due to intense media scrutiny, and chalking the incident up to a big misunderstanding.
Now, the 33-year-old publication will not only feature Brooke Birmingham, the blogger whose photos started the firestorm, and her remarkable 172-pound weight-loss, but also five more "real" women who have nothing to hide.
"I never thought that when I posted about me deciding to pull out from a story with Shape that it would go completely viral on the internet," Brooke wrote in a May 12 blog post. "I just felt like I owed my readers an explanation and wanted to start a conversation."
Brooke was initially approached earlier this month to share her success story on the magazine's website, but when she submitted bikini photos to go along with the post, the writer claimed their editorial policy required she wear a shirt, which Shape's editor-at-large, Bahar Takhtehchian, insists isn't true.
"We want to start a larger discussion about what happens after you lose a significant amount of weight,” Bahar said on the Today Show, where she appeared alongside Brooke.
“Because truly, there is a journey after the weight-loss journey, and those are the questions and the issues that we want to talk to Brooke and the other ladies about.”
Brooke wrote in a recent blog post that she's happy with how Shape has rectified the situation.
"I’m excited to now be working with Shape to feature women who have gone through an extreme weight loss and showing their readers what can happen not only physically, but also mentally when doing just that."