The “Bodies” Issue
Instead of leaning into the fear of difference, the “Bodies” issue encourages us to consider what we must shift within ourselves to make space for true equity.
Bodies—both those we inhabit as well as the systems we navigate—are complex and ever-evolving.
Nearly three years after the pandemic wrecked our lives, we’re still learning to challenge the systems that have governed us. Our “Bodies” issue not only addresses some of the existential problems we’re facing, but also imbues us with hope. Whether it’s the haenyeo, a community of women divers on Korea’s Jeju Island, adapting to ensure their survival or counselors using an unconventional method to help their patients navigate trauma, we’re spotlighting those who understand the connection between caring for ourselves and creating transformation.
This intentionality also informs our cover, which features actor, entertainer, and social media influencer Astra Marie, who happens to be both plus-size and Black, staring directly at the camera. When we asked our readers for feedback, some responses were both fatphobic and anti-Black. Instead of leaning into the fear of difference, my hope is that the “Bodies” issue encourages us to consider what we must shift within ourselves to make space for true equity. “Bodies” is the first issue I am overseeing as YES! Magazine’s executive editor. You’ll still see stories about environmental justice and sustainability in our forthcoming issues, and you’ll also notice a shift in the artists and writers we feature and the issues and solutions we cover.
I am Black. I am fat. I am queer. I have two chronic illnesses. I am also intentional as a Black feminist in community with those most marginalized among us. That positionality guides this issue, in which there are stories about Black mothers fortifying themselves against a hostile world, abortion activists in Latin America becoming a lighthouse for people navigating similar battles stateside, and Hollywood finally embracing the sexiness of aging women.
Don’t look away from Astra Marie or the issues at hand. Instead, interrogate what makes you uncomfortable about her presence on the cover, and then interrogate where else that discomfort appears in your life. Here’s hoping this becomes a first step in embracing the beauty of difference—something I invite you to join me in championing on and off the pages of this magazine.
YES! Executive Editor
Feature photo: A pro-abortion activist wearing a mask reading “legal abortion now” in Spanish participates in a September 2021 protest in Lima, Peru. Abortion is still illegal in Peru, but several other Latin American countries have recently advanced abortion rights. Photo by Carlos Garcia Granthon/Fotoholica Press/LightRocket via Getty Images.