Big Beautiful Woman

big beautiful women cover

Big Beautiful Woman magazine
February 1989 issue

Submitter: I work at [University] Libraries. The periodicals collection still has many many volumes of this that have yet to be weeded. Looking at the item records indicates that no volume of this magazine has ever been checked out more than once.

Holly: Ahhh, February 1989.  A good month for fashion.  (What…no?).  This is a perfectly reasonable magazine for a public library, and maybe an academic library for a school that has a fashion program.  The submitter said that there is a fashion library at this university, but this magazine is held in the main library’s collection.  If fashion students are using it (which they aren’t, based on the circ stats submitter cites), maybe it could be moved to that library. If it isn’t being used – which it isn’t – by all means, weed it.


  1. “This is a perfectly reasonable magazine for a public library” — No, seriously, if you can afford this, send some money our way so we can renew Time, alright?

  2. February 1989 I was a big beautiful woman who would deliver a baby girl in 3 months time.

    This was a good magazine and at the time, when plus size women had little choices between muumuus and polyester it gave hope that there was a way to look good and still be large.

  3. Some of my academic work is in fat studies, and I know that I’d definitely have a look at those magazines. Maybe the fashion students aren’t the right target audience. Does this university not have programs in women’s studies or media studies? I think that students/researchers in those areas are more the types that would use these resources. But even though I’m sure the fashions they depict are likely hilarious, they’re definitely not awful as library holdings, at least from my perspective! 🙂

  4. In all fairness to BBW, it came along at a time when we “full-figured gals” were supposed to wear mu-mu’s or all-black pantsuits; suddenly, here was a magazine that showed larger-sized models wearing bright colors, big hair & jewelry (hey, it was the 80s), and make-up. It opened a door and let garment manufacturers know that there was a market for good fashion in larger sizes. However, this magazine was published the month and year I was married, and seeing as I’ve been married for 22 years, I think it’s time to weed it (the magazine, not the marriage).

  5. In this time of 24/7 news Time, or any other news magazine, is less and less relevant, but there will always be fashion.

  6. I was very bummed out when this magazine went out of print. I loved having a magazine with stylish clothes for us large and lovely ladies. I wish there was something similar on the market today but every incarnation has been bought out by the larger magazines and then discontinued.

  7. I don’t think they’re commenting on the usefulness of this magazine, just the datedness.

  8. @candycane Me too! I assumed the library had weeded the title based on this initial assumption of mine. Content wise it might be a great mag., but it is certainly dated, especially when the seedy underbelly of the internet has resolutely coopted the term BBW to be closely associated with sex.

  9. While it’s out of date I vote to not only keep it, but make it part of a display to influence future fashion designers – because today’s fashions for us fat gals SUCK! (I prefer the term fat to BBW.) They’re just larger versions of the skinny girls clothing – which frankly most of the skinny girls look bad in to begin with – and don’t address our different problems. Since this is a university library use the magazines to teach people what fat lady clothing should look like so there’ll be no more women like on People Of WalMart!

  10. I like the idea of keeping this for Women’s Studies. It would be better if the model on the cover didn’t look so unhappy.

  11. It could be argued that the 1989 issues of ANY fashion magazine should be weeded, unless people are just in need of a really good laugh.

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