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Why Did Shape Magazine REFUSE To Run A Bikini Pic Of This Girl Who Lost 170 lbs? See The Controversial Photo In Question HERE!

| Filed under: Icky Icky PooFitnessHealthBody

brooke birmingham sbs watermark

Brooke Birmingham’s weight loss is one of the most incredible transformations we’ve ever seen!

She lost 170 pounds in just over four years!

You go, gurl!

The 28-year-old chronicled her slimmed-down story on her blog, Brooke: Not On A Diet. Her site scored so many readers that Shape magazine wanted to feature Brooke in their Success Stories series!

Or so she thought…

When Brooke sent the mag her "after" photo of herself in a bikini, she says Shape rejected the pic!

But why??

This is why:

brooke birmingham twitter pic watermark

Brooke was asked to submit a different photo - one where her stomach would be covered up by a T-shirt. The freelance writer handling Brooke’s story told her it was magazine policy that all people profiled for this section be “fully clothed!”

Well that’s simply not true!

The Success Stories of the past have featured PLENTY of shirtless and skin-showing individuals. Brooke decided that if she couldn’t tell her story the way she wanted to tell it, then she wouldn’t work with Shape at all!

She wrote on her blog:

"If I couldn't have the picture of me in my bikini to go along with my story, then it wasn't MY story.”

The magazine has since reached out to her over what they’re calling a “misunderstanding.”

They explained:

"This does not represent Shape's editorial values and the comments made about Shape's 'editorial policy' are absolutely untrue. Shape prides itself on empowering and celebrating women like Brooke, and any indication that we would not run the piece with the photo provided was wrong, as we would have been proud to share her inspirational story.​“

So will the mag run the original pic of Brooke now? And will Brooke even let them??

What do you think, Fit readers? Would you run that picture of Brooke in her bikini? Do you think Brooke should even cooperate with Shape after they so rudely rejected her?


[Images via Facebook and Twitter.]

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61 comments to “Why Did Shape Magazine REFUSE To Run A Bikini Pic Of This Girl Who Lost 170 lbs? See The Controversial Photo In Question HERE!”

  1. 1

    That's the reality of major weight loss. Maybe the magazine is afraid that this image will actually discourage people from losing weight.

  2. Raechel says – reply to this


    It's great that she lost all that weight as I have lost 130 I know how great it but I'm sorry I wouldn't want the world to see me in a bikini after the weight loss and the skin. You can be happy about the weight loss but you still need to realize that you shouldn't be wearing a bikini, it is still not attractive to see. There is plenty of bathing suits out there that you could wear that didn't show the hanging skin and still makes you look even more attractive.

  3. nfff says – reply to this


    Maybe they did not want to show it because she looks disguising and no one want to get grossed out. Shape is a business and they do not want to turn people off.

  4. ADiva says – reply to this


    Her picture certainly does not inspire me to lose weight. I think they were right to reject it.

  5. 5

    i think they should have put her as she is…cmon more than 100 pounds!!! they need to show that not all fit people look the same :)

  6. bnietzsche says – reply to this


    sorry.. I'm all for healthy living and loving yourself, but this is too much..

  7. 7

    Look at the majority of this comment section, it's no better example of why the 'mean girls' at Shape didn't run the photo. People are all for fat shaming others when they are Brooke's original size, but apparently that doesn't stop when you lose weight…welcome to the reality: the skin on your body has to STRETCH to get to a certain size and it doesn't always snap back. That this would potentially put someone off getting healthier is pathetic. This is what major weight loss looks like, and instead of being endlessly supportive of someone prioritizing getting healthier, people just want the pretty little after photo of a tight tummy. Not using the photo because it isn't aesthetically pleasing to some people (who get the "heebie-jeebies" about bodies that aren't theirs), devalues Brooke's accomplishment and paints a disturbing picture of the value people put on looking "hot" versus getting HEALTHY through weight loss. How SELF-ish.

  8. bnietzsche says – reply to this


    Re: cheesuschrimbus – Plenty of women have lost weight and not developed that disgusting excess skin. She's either had gastric bypass, or she's developed some sort of eating disorder. This is not the reality of a "healthy" weight loss. It's just disgusting and nobody wants to see that on a magazine. period.

  9. Bcruns says – reply to this


    Re: bnietzsche – you obviously need to learn more about Brooke before you make stupid statements like this. She did WeightWatchers and is a leader now. That is how she lost her weight; by healthy, portioned meals and snacks and plenty of exercise. Learn all the facts before spewing your stupidity.

  10. 10

    Shape is hypocritical - the girl is in the right - kudos to her to lose so much weight.
    It's totally normal you need a plastic surgery after this.

  11. WhoCares says – reply to this


    Re: cheesuschrimbus

    Very well said!

  12. K says – reply to this


    Couldn't agree with Post #7 any more! You hit the nail right on the head!

    and FYI #8 your skin having the ability to snap back is genetic, some people just don't have that capability.

  13. calicat says – reply to this


    I'd like to point out that a majority of the comments here are REALLY negative. And if you go to any other site that ran this story, the majority of the comments are really positive and in support of Brooke. I dont know if its just the type of people that read perezhiltion, but you people need to check yourself with all your negativity. Its negative people like you who are poisonous to our communities and the minds of women. Shame on you

  14. Mp says – reply to this


    Re: pao0olaRe: cheesuschrimbus – I totally agree with you. I can't believe how mean people can be :(

  15. Jaimie says – reply to this


    That photo makes me want to vomit. She has no right wearing a bikini

  16. nikki says – reply to this


    Re: Jaimie – welcome to america. Where majority people are over weight or obese. Kudos to Brooke for her amazingly hard work and not everyone looks like anorexic stick figures. Your comment is rude and you are a bully. didnt you mother ever teach you if you don't have something nice to say don't say anything at all? I'm sure there's stuff about you that would make people want to vomit but would you want to read about that?? No. So back off

  17. Jlc0914 says – reply to this


    What shape should do is put her in a bathing suit that is appealing to the eye as the focus picture. But definitely show the other one as well. She should be proud. She worked hard. Offer her a makeover :)

  18. Jessica says – reply to this


    I think it is absolutely fantastic that she lost all of that weight! That takes a lot of effort and strength. And it's terrible that other people are being so negative towards her. But I can't say that I don't understand why Shape magazine didn't want to run the photo. I'm not going to lie, this photo kind of freaks me out, even though I know it's because she lost so much weight. I hate that people are being so terrible towards her, but the excess skin does make the weight loss much less attractive. And Shape magazine is supposed to be gearing people towards being a healthy weight. Her journey with this is fantastic, but I don't know if Shape is completely in the wrong.

  19. Wendy T. says – reply to this


    Re: bnietzsche

    You cannot lose a whole person (170#) without having this kind of hanging skin. She has probably already had the skin on her arms removed, and either chose not to have the surgery or can't afford it yet.

    That excess skin is the reality of losing a large amount of weight.

  20. Abomia says – reply to this


    Re: bnietzsche – This girl is MY daughter! She has NO eating disorder and has NOT had gastric bypass surgery! This is from hard work and pure determination! People need to shut the hell up if you don't know the truth! You can make ALL the negative comments you little heart desires but make sure if you post it that you know the true story! Shame on you!

  21. Allecia says – reply to this


    Brooke,your story is inspirational! Congratulations on your amazing achievement! I hope Shape documents this true story for every amazing detail. Brooke's amazing story deserves to be shared with the world

  22. geb910 says – reply to this


    OMG Puke Vomit Barf!! That is one of the most disgusting things I've ever seen no matter what she accomplished.

  23. Lulubelle says – reply to this


    Re: bnietzsche – Haters gonna hate. It's what they do.

  24. Michelle says – reply to this


    Re: nikki – Wait wait WAIT…She has NO RIGHT? Who decides this? This right? And she makes you want to vomit? The picture doesn't bother me at all…she is amazing. You, on the other hand, are completely nauseating.

  25. nooooway says – reply to this


    Oh hell no! That picture made me gasp. Put a cute tankini on and cover that skin.

  26. Brenda says – reply to this


    Re: bnietzsche – wow cuz your probably a supermodel hey honey? Who the eff are you to comment on what you think everyone else wants to see or hear?? You keep on fat shaming and cyber bullying behind your computer. Again it's the reality of major weight loss. Your ignorance is really sad

  27. Tina says – reply to this


    Re: bnietzsche – Ive know women that have not done the surgery or have an eating disorder and have had that extra skin it happens i would rather see her than someone who has had a tummy tuck or something else. Not everyone has the money to afford to get the extra skin cut off so what they don't get to be proud or show off because someone like you may have a problem that's not fair and who are you to judge be happy for someone instead of putting them down because i doubt your better than anyone

  28. Jj says – reply to this


    No I wouldn't have used her bikini shot, but used a fully dressed one. It's about selling magazines and most people don't want to buy that cover. Congrats on losing so much weight. Glad she feels better but still wouldn't buy it with that bikini shot. It's just not attractive.

  29. Ohgod says – reply to this


    That looks horrible, I wouldn't want to show that in my magazine either.

  30. luc says – reply to this


    Maybe rather than it be looked at as gross, look at it as a lesson for everyone: that this is the results of loosing weight, but also of gaining it in the first place. I don't personally find it attractive, but that's not the focus - and I don't have to live with it. Don't see why shape didn't publish it - it's her story.

  31. David says – reply to this


    First Brooke congratulations on your weight loss. I think you should except there mistake in judgement and do the story with pic and the magazine should run the story with an apology .

  32. chillax62 says – reply to this


    Re: Bcruns – And you obviously need to realize that if she really followed a healthy diet and did lots of exercises her stomach would be toned and not saggy like it actually is. There is nothing healthy about losing weight the way she did and it shows she did no sports what so ever. Lets be human beings here and admit this picture would gross out anyone looking to loose weight. This is just simply a bad example of weight loss, so no, i do not blame Shape magazine…. don't see why i should. She should have toned up her bod or worn a one piece swimsuit and not a bikini, especially this one!

  33. bea says – reply to this


    I think it's great she lost so much weight. Women who have gone through pregnancies that stretch the skin get tummy tucks all the time. If she is comfortable in her skin then that's her choice. Maybe the magazine should have sent a photographer to her to get the pics they wanted from the beginning instead of her choosing what she wanted to send them.

    Bottom line she is an inspiration of hard work, self discipline & dedication. It's hard to stay committed to a healthy lifestyle.

  34. yay shinies says – reply to this


    I love love love this story. I gave birth to fraternal twins. Were identical twins people can gain up to fifty pounds. With fraternal twins reality is they gain 75 to 100 lbs weight due to all the extra. i was always shown all these weight loss where they show fully covered. I was young when I had them. I lost all the weight but my skin looks exactly like above. I was devastated women don't talk about how that can happen to the body but it does. The more weight I lost the more loose skin I had. I actually looked more natural round. Every one told me keep losing weight skin will stretch back but that not how that happens. Hollywood glosses over pregnancy like your body become immediately flat after birth when in fact it can take up 9 month to return to natural shape. But no one tells this story. They said they would lose motivation but they only think they would because they only really showcase belief of ideal woman if they posted pic as is it would probably create more buzz and sale because it would show substance rather than misleading fluff they usually publish.

  35. ShadowDancer says – reply to this


    I just sat here and read through some of the comments and can not believe some of the more negative ones. Especially those of you offering up your "thoughts" on what Brooke did or did not do to lose this weight! Grow up and find a better hobby because you have no idea, unless you personally know Brooke! This was a result of a lot of hard work and determination! Haters going to hate and as far as I go..since I do know Brooke personally..she is an amazing women and an inspiration! She is down to a healthy weight and should be damned proud to wear whatever she chooses! There is absolutely no problem with letting people (women) know that it is okay to love the skin in you are in instead of being thrust into some mold that society THINKS we should we should be placed in.

  36. Ka-Ka says – reply to this


    I do herald Brooke's success and welcome her to the weight loss sisterhood. I lost 165# in a little over a year, 2010-11 and have maintained 145# of it off.

    I thank the Lord for genetics that allowed me to just shrink back into a slim body except for a droopy butt and bra bulge; no stretch marks like those 20 years never happened.

    Residual self image motivates but can make you think you're more hot than you are. Sadly Brooke doesn't represent the kind of human specimens this magazine portrays. Maybe she should have actually looked at back issues and got a feel for their editorial content and been honest with herself.

    I'm proud of my accomplishment, but at 58 there's no fitness magazine modelling for this girl except maybe in AARP or some retirement community advertizements. I honestly wish her the best.

  37. jessica says – reply to this


    Because she looks like a NASTY SKIN BAG. Thats why. Ugh.

  38. 38

    shape is a back burner magazine to me it has never scored high on the magazine ranking since I was a kid.

  39. Nick M. says – reply to this


    Great for the weight loss, but why not feature a future photo with her body all nice and tight. She still got all the excess skin to work on. In this pic, she looks like she's got two different mishaped legs. Just saying…

  40. VAL says – reply to this


    Well as a person thats trying to loose 80 pounds, this kind of puts me in shock. To see what i can end up looking like is really discouraging, but i think its important for people to know what can happen to their bodies with major weight loss. Not all of us will end up looking like models with flat tummys, huh.

  41. LucyDiamonds says – reply to this


    Re: Nick M. – I'm sorry, "She still got all the excess skin to work on" - exactly how does one "work on" excess skin? Surgery? Because I don't particularly know any exercises that that you can do for your skin…

    Reality is, when you lose a large amount of weight (as someone pointed out in an earlier comment - the equivalent of a human being) you run the risk of having excess skin. I understand how people can find that picture unattractive, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't represent reality.

    I'm sorry that Brooke's friends and family, and herself of course, have to read such ignorant remarks but such is the internet community I guess. I personally think you should be incredibly proud of yourself.

  42. Not Available. says – reply to this


    Re: nfff – Beware people, don't get close to this guy, stupidity is contagious.

  43. Mama2Boys13 says – reply to this


    Honestly this is probably what I would look like if I lost the 70 pounds that I need to lose to get to a healthy weight. I already have a little excess skin on my tummy just after my pregnancies. Unfortunately some of us don't have the genetics that allow our skin to snap back like others more fortunate. I personally would not have the confidence to show the world a bikini pic but kudos to her for being able to do it. And congrats for the hard work and amazing weight loss. You deserve to be praised not criticized.

  44. Donna says – reply to this


    Re: bnietzsche – What is wrong with all you people. Yes the skin is not pretty. But it is HONEST! The weight loss is honest and so is the excess skin. She is showing what happens. Maybe it will help people to decide to lose weight and stay fit and in SHAPE before getting to extreme. In the meantime, hopefully someone will step up and help her get the surgery she needs to get rid of all the excess skin.
    And BTW, I don't find the skin disgusting. I find most of the comments much more disgusting!

  45. Donna says – reply to this


    Re: cheesuschrimbus – Co-dos for saying better then I could!

  46. nikki says – reply to this


    Re: Michelle – uh hi. Yea that's what I said. Some chick named jamie said she had no right, read it again. I'm all for Brooke and think what jamie said was horrible

  47. Jo says – reply to this


    She did a great thing to loose all that weight. Kudos to her and I'm sure it will pay off for her health. However while seeing women with Abs of steel after much weight loss discourages me from losing weight because it's a why bother I'll never look like that, this picture does the same, I rather be more round then have extra skin. It would hurt my self confidence so yes I would not want to see this photo either.

  48. brenda says – reply to this


    This girl claims to be true. If her body is so beautiful. Then why does her blog say she wants to get surgery. Why change something that is so beautiful . She only allows one side of the story. LETS all be real did Shape Magazine say they werent going to post the picture. No they never really did. This is a girl that is making things up If i was Shape Magazine

  49. brenda says – reply to this


    This girl claims to be true. If her body is so beautiful. Then why does her blog say she wants to get surgery. Why change something that is so beautiful . She only allows one side of the story. LETS all be real did Shape Magazine say they werent going to post the picture. No they never really did. This is a girl that is making things up If i was Shape Magazine I would start a law suit now. Shame on you BROOKE

  50. mel says – reply to this


    weight loss isn't only about physically looking better. its about being healthy and increasing the longevity of your life which you are able to live without being diagnosed with x number of illnesses. but a magazine is a business and human being are visual and they buy what looks good and unfortunately we forget to look deeper and are too overwhelmed with the physicality of someone.

  51. WhiteTrashonDisplay says – reply to this


    Poor thing. All that effort and work destroyed by submitting the worst photograph imaginable to generate attention. Obviously a publicity stunt by someone too stupid to understand the internet is forever. Nobody would pay to see this in any magazine, but she'll probably get that free tummy tuck out of it.

  52. Mamaofskinbag says – reply to this


    Re: Abomia – God Almighty..where were you when she was shoveling all this down her throat? Shame on you for letting her destroy her body in the first place.

  53. Kathy says – reply to this


    Re: bnietzsche – Exactly. I was thinking the exact same thing. Absolutely horrifying. Why are these fat women so fucking entitled?

  54. Kathy says – reply to this


    Re: jessica – OMFG, your comment made me almost pee in my pants. Hilarious! I mean, this can't be real, can it? She is absolutely disgusting!

  55. Parker says – reply to this


    With all her free publicity on every available media outlet what's next…a "wagging the flab with Brooke" reality show? Put that disgusting stomach puppet under a shirt ASAP

  56. Elizabetta says – reply to this


    Re: bnietzsche – You are a moron who knows nothing about how the human body works. The reality of massive weight loss is the human skin can only stretch for so long and then it cannot snap back. why you idiotically believe you have to go through gastric bypass to develop stretched skin is beyond my ability to comprehend (basically because my IQ cannot drop as low as yours to function that way). So, how does it feel to be the recipient of MEANNESS? Frankly, your remarks weren't stupid, just ignorant, and really silly. You were mean and made remarks that made no sense whatsoever about someone's weight loss that were not based in fact. Excess skin can be there from having it stretched out from the weight she carried for ages before losing the weight. She spent FOUR YEARS losing the weight in a healthy manner without resorting to other means, and diet alone can leave one with the same excess skin that still needs to be removed surgically. Plenty of women have lost weight–BUT NOT THAT MUCH WEIGHT WITHOUT THE SAME EXCESS SKIN SHE HAS! 50 pounds, sure, no problem with not having the skin snap back into place, but nearly 200 pounds of weight loss, no way!

  57. Kami says – reply to this


    Why not run the picture with the story. I love that a real woman is showing us that she is getting in shape. I hope they run the story. Maybe a follow up could be how to deal with extra skin after weight loss?

  58. teresa says – reply to this


    Re: bnietzsche – You need to get your facts correct I lost 100 pds and have loos hanging skin. I DID NOT HAVE AN EATING DISORDER NOR DID I HAVE GASTRIC BYPASS I lost it on my own the right way sometimes the skin just doesn't go back and surgery is needed to fix that problem. I have done everything to get my skin to go back with out surgery and im at about 75%. So before you go and make assumptions about things you don't know read a book Google it research then talk. Give her the credit she deserves don't talk about her hard work and try to discredit the wonderful accomplishment that she has made

  59. Donald says – reply to this


    I saw this morning it's all better now Shape will be featuring Brooke's bellybag in a "special" issue. Are you fatties happy with being used as a tool for self promotion? Suckers.

  60. Abomia says – reply to this


    Re: Mamaofskinbag – Bitch how Dare You! You don't know me or my daughter! People like you have a special place in HELL

  61. Mamaofskinbag says – reply to this


    Re: Abomia – Oh, I see… the weight just "magically appeared overnight" eyeroll. Looks like you live in some tabloid truckstop la-la land where that bikini photograph is beautiful because she still has all her teeth. # HappyMotherofskinbagDay