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Women’s Fitness Mags: Friends or Foes?

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Disgusted Woman Reading Diet MagazineFriday I posted a few random thoughts, two of which were about fitness magazines and both started some great conversations in the comments. So I decided to pull them for a post — something I probably should have done in the first place.

The two things I shared were…

1. The Turn it Around Movement

Here’s the scene: You’re standing in line at the check-out counter of your local grocery store. What do you see?  Candy. Gum.  Magazines.  What’s on the cover of many of those magazines? A half-naked, heavily airbrushed, extraordinarily thin female model or celebrity. These images encourage people to see women as objects, valuable only for how they look.And now you’re trapped! Even if it isn’t a magazine you would ever buy, you’re stuck looking at it.

Click here to check out the Turn it Around movement. I love it! And I’ve thought this topic before. I was  going to do a post about how a specific “athletic wear” company only used one type of model in their catalog, like all fit females have the same body shape. It’s infuriating. Anyway, like I said it probably warrants its own post just like…

2. This quote from an interview with a Victoria’s Secret Model in Self magazine…

“If I look in the mirror and see cellulite — and I have some, every woman does! — I run the Santa Monica Stairs. They’re really hard. I’ll go up and down the [170] steps four to six times, usually once a week.” —Alessandra Ambrosio in this article.

First Shauna left this comment.

RE: The Magazine Cover

But are we though? Are we trapped? Or can’t we, instead, look at the cover model and say “wow! she’s gorgeous! Good for her – I bet her cardio routine is outrageous!” in stead of “Oh my GOD she’s too thin, overly airbrushed, I’ll never look like that etc etc” I want to celebrate women. Celebrate each other. Every damn cellulite ridge and hard earned too-big-for-pants-booty. I want us to love our bodies SO MUCH that we also love and congratulate others on loving THEIR bodies, too.

So no – when I see a cover model I don’t feel like an object. I don’t feel trapped. I see a woman who obviously works hard and has a story just like everyone else.

To which I responded:

BUT if we truly want to support woman then ALL woman would be celebrated and that’s just not the case. When was the last time you saw some diversity on the cover of a woman’s health mag? What about the woman who work hard but still don’t look the way the ladies on the cover do. And they are airbrushed and they do extreme things to look that way just for cover shoots. I’m not saying we should shame thin women, I’m saying we should push for more diversity and stop objectifying ourselves. The same image of the female form does not have to be shoved in our faces over and over again.

You can’t deny we are flooded with basically one image of health and it’s based on the aesthetic the magazines promote. I work my ass off, I’m fit, I’m healthy, I am not cover material and never will be and I’m tired of seeing images all over the place that tell me I’ll look a certain way if I just do X or eat Y or workout like so and so.

Re-reading I think I sound a little bitter but I still feel the same way.  Why is working out always associated with trying to achieve an aesthetic? I’m not saying wanting to looks good is a bad thing but the emphasis on it is simply weighted too heavily.

The second comment I received was from Michele:

I agree with Shauna. It doesn’t make me feel that way at all. I also don’t understand what’s depressing about that model running the stairs? Maybe you can elaborate. I don’t mean this snarky, so please don’t take it that way but you’ve been in/on a few magazines. I even bought the one you were on the cover of. I still have it somewhere! :) I think I remember you being pretty excited about it. Again, don’t take it the wrong way because I’m a huge fan of yours and have been for many years but I don’t get why this bothers you.

My response flowed out of me so easily I probably should have just written a post about it.

I would love to because as I said, it warrants a whole post. I just don’t have the time at the moment to collect all my thoughts enough to write one but I’ll do my best.

The reason I find it sad or, what did I say? depressing? is because it’s perpetuates the idea that women need to punish themselves for how they look. These magazines (I’m talking about the “fitness” style ones mostly) constantly bombard us with images that for many of us are impossible or best case scenario improbable even if we ate “perfectly” or worked out intensely. They tell us over and over and over again to do “this” and get “that kind of body.”

If you aren’t bothered or influenced by it I think that’s great! And I wish more women can let it roll off their backs but the truth is many can’t. They just keep seeing the same body types shoved in their faces and it wears on them. Especially younger women who may not have learned their own confidence yet.

All through my teens and 20s all I wanted was to look like the uber thin, tiny, waifish models of the ’90s and I continually “punished myself” because I didn’t, which is what started my horrible relationship with food and my lack of activity back then. I realized no matter how much I dieted I’m just not going to look like Kate Moss. And I don’t want to throw Kate Moss under the bus. Her body is awesome, I’m sure she works hard to keep her figure but that “model look” is not representative of all women.

And yes, I was ecstatic to be on the cover of a magazine, and you know when that happened? When I was at my lowest weight possible for my height. I was super thin. I didn’t workout. I had no muscle and I couldn’t run.

I’m not saying those things are all bad in and of themselves, not everyone wants to run or lift or whatever, but I’m WAY more fit and balanced now even though I’m heavier and a size bigger.

So I think I’m just fed up of being force fed this idea (and I really do think it imprints on many young women) that they have to continuously worry about how they look. So much so that if they see a dimple of cellulite they find it necessary to punish themselves by doing things like running stairs. Can’t she just run the stairs because it’s good for her? Because she enjoys it? What does it say to young women who have no chance of a body like hers? Do they need to run the stairs more and more and more while starving themselves?

For pete’s sake, my upper thighs and ass are ALL cellulite and the funny thing is I’d love to run the Santa Monica stairs not to change that but to see how fast I can do it because I like to challenge myself physically. And don’t get me wrong, no cellulite would be awesome! I just don’t think it’s in the cards for me and frankly, I don’t want to spend any more of my precious time and energy worrying about.

I hope that sheds some light on my perspective and I don’t think you were being snarky at all! I left it pretty open ended in the post.

I think I’m getting more and more passionate about this topic because I really am in the best shape of my life. I’m turning 38 next month and just kicked ass at a CrossFit competition holding my own with women easily 10 years younger than me. I workout 6 days a week because I WANT to, not to just look good in a bikini. My upper thighs still jiggle, I have back fat, stretch marks, a thick midsection and tricep wings when I wave goodbye. In comparison to the images in these magazines I’m a plus-sized model. Like I said, I’m not cover material at all and most athletic magazines and catalogs show the same thinner framed, sleek, super toned bodies.

I just think if more women would/could remove the pressure of trying to achieve a specific aesthetic they could break out of the negative dieting cycle they may be stuck in. However, these magazines just keep reinforcing it.

Of course I’m speaking from my own experience. Ten years ago I was one of those women who “dieted myself fat” and only looked at exercise as a punishment. Once I changed my focus from looking a certain way, I broke out of the cycle.

So what do you think? Am I being overly sensitive? Are the magazines the problem? Or are we?



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Discussion

There are 43 comments so far.

    Shauna

    June 16, 2014

    I suppose now my question is: How do we do it? How do we, the thousands and thousands of Roni readers change this? I bet we can. We can insert diversity. We can prove that women are women regardless of size and shape. That we exercise because it’s fun and healthy and NOT punishment. I’m down to support the cause. My size large bathing suit bottoms look darn good on me and my muscular shape and would look even better on the cover of a magazine! :D:D

    Diana Schnuth

    June 16, 2014

    Disclaimer: I’m on my lunch break, and my brain isn’t quite in the right place to distill all my thoughts on this. Yet. But I wanted to throw this out there.

    Where I’m coming from is a long and slow weight loss — 80 pounds in 10 years, with long plateaus along the way. Just this week, I weighed in within the “normal” range for my height, and it kind of blew my mind. I started having to rethink what “normal” means for me, what I’m willing to live with, and what I still want to change about my body. (I think I still have 15 pounds to lose, and some more toning to do… but I’m pretty pleased with myself right now.)

    Am I ever going to look like the magazine covers? No. Do I want to? Not after reading an article this weekend about a woman who described the sacrifices she makes to stay at a size 0.

    I’m also reminded of a sci-fi story I read long ago ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Bergeron ) about a future society where everyone was forced to be equal — talented ballerinas were forced to wear heavy chains, and intelligent people were forced to be distracted every so often. My point here is that the magazines could choose to feature “normal” people… but that wouldn’t drive sales. It’s a harsh truth.

    Remember that campaign/project a few years back with the photos of plus-sized women that was supposed to be empowering for women of all shapes and sizes? I remember the comment of the retouch artist being leaked, about how hard it was to make them all look good (i.e. smooth cellulite, reduce rolls, etc, while keeping their shape).

    Several related ideas with a common thread. What’s my underlying thesis? I’m not entirely sure. I just wanted to throw these things out there and see what sticks.

    I’ve got a case of the This-Should-Just-Be-A-Post-On-My-Own-Blog, like Roni did earlier. :)

    Coco

    June 16, 2014

    My husband doesn’t understand why I buy these magazine (or used to anyway) and is really bothered by the covers (maybe for the sake of our teenage son). I’m more bothered by the screaming headlines “FLAT ABS FAST” than the models, but they all promote unrealistic “ideals” that keep the industry in business because we never can look like the airbrushed models!

      RoniNoone

      June 16, 2014

      I don’t want my sons to grow up seeing them in my house either.

    Irene @ IZO Fitness

    June 16, 2014

    Roni, I am SOOOOO with you on this. I have canceled all my mainstream fitness magazines. One of the things that bothers me are all the “get that bikini body in 10 days”, or “look like Jessica Alba in 6 weeks”. I HATE those articles.They create such an unrealistic view of what women need to be. I would love to see a woman with GUNS and QUADS on the cover of some of these fake “fitness” magazines. Many of the models are not even fitness models and don’t live a fit lifestyle. Are you serious?

    Tracy

    June 16, 2014

    I agree with you on the stair running, but you also need to think about the context and who is speaking. Most likely she is not saying this is what you/others should do. She is a model and not having cellulite is her job. She is paid a tin of money to look a certain way and needs to do what her body needs to stay that way. Women and girls need to remember that models and actresses are paid to look a certain way. Magazines need to remind us of this and stop telling us we need to look like models/actresses. That is NOT OUR JOB. :)

      RoniNoone

      June 16, 2014

      Then the magazines should not be sharing it! That’s kind of my point. They are interviewing her for her fitness advice. Why?

      Shauna

      June 16, 2014

      Touche! If it’s not fitness related then it shouldn’t be there.

      Tracy

      June 17, 2014

      Agreed. The fitness magazines need to be responsible in how and what they share to not set women up to believe that the model/actress image is mandatory for all.

    Janis

    June 16, 2014

    I can see where this is going, but I still have to wonder why men can look at pictures of George Clooney and Denzel Washington without hating their guts or resenting them for being so good-looking. In fact, men generally tend to think better of themselves: Look at that great-looking guy, he’s just like me. Yet women look at images of other women and instantly transition to resentment.

    I used to think the same thing — Evil images! They oppress women! — but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started seeing them as no different from pictures of men like Brad Pitt and whatever other great-looking actor or millionaire athlete you can name. Men don’t hate and resent these guys nor hate themselves. In fact, they generally puff their own egos up through them. Yet women? The knee-jerk reflex is hate, self-hate, and resentment whenever we see a woman who looks better than us. I’m sorry, but that’s screwed up. The older I get, the more I realize this. This resentment and jealousy is a problem with women, and we need to fix ourselves, not the magazine covers.

      RoniNoone

      June 16, 2014

      I actually disagree. I think it’s getting like this for men too! And, on the flip side, there always have been more diversity of men in mainstream media. Always. Traditionally the media just doesn’t focus on the male form as much the female. That’s why it hasn’t been an issue for men but that’s changing because we are starting to see mens bodies being objectified more and more.

      Janis

      June 16, 2014

      Why they are objectified doesn’t matter. Images of men have always been put forth for success — money, athletic prowess, whatever they value about themselves even if it isn’t looks. And men on the whole do not resent these men for having these things. They don’t look at quarterbacks and say, “Look at him, I hate him, he makes me feel bad about myself,” unlike women who look at models and say, “Look at her, I hate her, she makes me feel bad about myself.” Whether success is defined as money, sports skill, or looks, men look at high-ranking members of their gender and feel proud. Women look at high-ranking members of their gender — whatever that rank may come from — and feel resentful.

      Why looks are only a component of success for women is a separate matter. For whatever reason, men do not see high-ranking men and respond by hating themselves and resenting the men, whereas women do. If that resentment and self-hate weren’t there fueling the fashion industry, it would evaporate overnight.

      RoniNoone

      June 16, 2014

      See I don’t resent the woman on the magazines. I would just would like to see more representation of body diversity.

      Let’s look at successful football players since that’s the example you brought up. There is a HUGE range of body types on the field and there are all successful. When was the last time you saw a slightly chunky model that didn’t make headlines? Let’s look at Tennis, Marion Bartoli who won Wimbledon and the only thing I read about was how chunky she was. Totally taking away from the fact that she JUST WON WIMBELDON! When was the last time that’s happened to a male athlete? Men don’t have to look a certain way to be successful. They are generally only evaluated on their performance or skills. Like you said, it is another issue but I think it’s all related. There is this extra pressure put on females and these magazines exploit that.

      I don’t disagree that woman have jealously issues and such but to say woman and men are treated the same in magazines and mainstream media and our self-hate is all our own fault is a stretch. Young woman and men see these images and headlines and they get influenced, there’s no denying that.

      Most fitness magazines do feed on our insecurities. It’s a conscious decision they are making. I don’t think the images they show are evil and I agree we need to fix ourselves and I think one way to do that is to stop buying into all the crap the magazines are pushing our way.

      P.S. LOVE discussing this with you! :)

      Dallas79

      June 17, 2014

      Completely agree. The reaction is a function of the observer’s attitude and sometimes, insecurities.

      I see too many knee-jerk responses from people who claim to know what “message” or ideals are being “pushed,” when all they really know is what emotion it evokes in themselves.

    PerfectImperfect

    June 16, 2014

    I used to subscribe to MODE magazine — a plus-sized magazine with high-end clothes, not just Lane Bryant and Fashion Bug. Even though most of those models were over 6′ tall in their size 12s and 14s, I enjoyed seeing body types that were a little more like mine. There were a lot of women who were upset that MODE only featured models on the low end of the plus range. They, just like the other magazines, were shooting for “aspirational,” not realistic.

    I think it is unrealistic to expect the magazines to change. I have dropped most of my subscriptions because I find they don’t have much content anymore — too many have resorted to republishing twitter comments or rehashing the same 5 stories. Blogs are much more fun to read.

    Dot ToTrot

    June 16, 2014

    I think women’s fitness/health magazines are garbage. They focus too much on looks — especially looking like some celebrity in weeks with X workout or getting the perfect beach body with 10 min a day. None of that works. Also if it is about health, I know plenty of skinny people who are not healthy.

    To me it’s redefining what is healthy. I’ve lost 115 pounds and have about 75 more to go, but I’m the healthiest I’ve been in more than 25 years. Truth is I’d rather see someone like me on a cover — someone real. If I want that, I go to blogs like Roni’s and not the women’s magazines. They are all about an outdated view of pretty/attractive/healthy. I want real humans who have gone/going through what I am going thru. That’s what inspires me to keep pushing myself.

      Sam (@TipsOfTheScale)

      June 17, 2014

      Completely agree that “real people” stories are way more inspirational than what’s accomplished by someone who’s paid to achieve a certain look or reach a high level of athletic performance.

      Sounds like a market opportunity. ;)

    Michele M.

    June 16, 2014

    I am going to throw the “you’ve really run out of stuff to write about, haven’t you” card on this post. You and every other girl power weight loss blogger has used this topic to create faux outrage.

    Dude, they’re MODELS. Look up what the word “model” means: physical ideal (whose physical ideal? Clothing designers’ and magazine editors’…the people who control these forms of media). Why are they interviewing a model for fitness tips? BECAUSE THERE IS AN AUDIENCE FOR IT who eats up this junk same as they eat up whatever new supplement Dr. Oz is shilling for this week. Just like Lane Bryant uses mannequins that are the size of a 5’9″, 150 lb woman (nothing like its customers), magazines use photos that show, or purport to show, what their readers want to look like and hope they will look like if they keep buying the magazine.

    If we fall for that empty promise, it is our OWN DAMNED FAULT.

    It’s 2014…if there is still a woman out there who is naive enough to think pictures aren’t manipulated and magazine miracle diets aren’t bullshit, and insecure enough to be made to feel “inferior” by their own self-inflicted mind games, I have very little pity for them. My middle school age daughters know that magazine images are photoshopped, that celebrities on TV don’t look anything like that in real life, and their self-worth comes from taking proper care of their bodies and holding themselves to a standard…which is more than I can say for most of the moo cows in the blogosphere.

      RoniNoone

      June 16, 2014

      So I guess you are in the “we are the problem” camp as that’s the question I asked in the post. That’s cool, but there’s no need to be hostile about it. I haven’t run out of things to blog about, the only reason I posted about it today was because it got such an interesting response when I mentioned two things that caught my interest last week. That’s what bloggers do they share things and start conversations.

      And I think it’s great that you and your daughters are immune to these sort of things but I think you are in the minority. And if by talking about it on a silly post on my blog makes one more woman aware then cool.

      Gabriella

      June 16, 2014

      +1. As someone who struggled with an eating disorder not caused by but certainly aided by really messed up media directed towards women and girls, I am so with you on this. I refuse to stop being outraged about this, because I think this deserves outrage. I don’t want to have friends or nieces or daughters grow up learning what I did, that I was never “enough”. So-called “fitness” and “health” magazines, unfortunately, are not exempt from the mass tendency to promote one random body type. I applaud you for a passionate and powerful post!

    tough as nails

    June 16, 2014

    I subscribe to “Track and Field”. I am female. Quit buying even the running and triathlon mags as they are all glamorized anymore. It’s best to stay away from most media and just do your own thing.

    Karen

    June 17, 2014

    Agreed. This was mine.

    http://thefoodwar.blogspot.com/2014/04/unobtainable.html

    Karen

    June 17, 2014

    You’re not being over sensitive from my perspective- because clearly I share the same perspective. To others you might be. But there are a lot of people with body shaming issues and self esteem issues- and for us, these magazines trigger the self loathing feelings that we are fighting back against. If there are women out there that don’t struggle against that more power to them. I wish I didn’t. But I do. Social media has made skinny the focus instead of healthy. And maybe people that really should be making lifestyle changes for their health, feel like it’s impossible because no matter how many stairs they run they will never look like Alessandra Ambrosio. They always do a post about successful weight loss stories. Why don’t they ever put those people on the cover?

    Theresa

    June 17, 2014

    Thank you so much for posting this. I am currently overweight and doing WW to lose weight but most importantly to get healthy. I work out 5 days a week and I am to the point that if I don’t I feel crummy. The sense of accomplishment I feel is awesome and empowering. But seeing the magazine covers does depress me because I will never ever look like that and I don’t want look like that to because I don’t want to do the work. And society is telling me that I must look like her. So everyday I tell myself that no I don’t and I revel in the empowerment I feel when I finish a work out where I did my best. Again thanks Roni!

    kemar Jones

    June 17, 2014

    Love yourself first that’s the genesis of self transformation.Magazines have to have the best images and stories etc.They suit a specific audience so everything is tailored for that purpose.If you’re a bit overweight so what, it’s not the end of the world you’re still alive and kicking and you can look the same just as those girls in the magazine.Wejust have to remember that looking at the images is easy but the work it takes to actually get your body looking that way is on a whole different level…

      RoniNoone

      June 17, 2014

      See I don’t think we all can and that’s part of the problem. Sure, we can put in the work to lose weight, get fit, etc, but the truth is not everyone will look like a model even if they do all the hard work that the magazines promote. I think the question should be “Do you love yourself enough to make healthy changes regardless if you will or won’t look like the models in the magazines.”

      kemar Jones

      June 17, 2014

      Very good point.Little things mean big changes and that’s something we should all bear in mind.

      Shauna

      June 17, 2014

      That’s an excellent point – not matter how hard you work, no matter how awesome you eat – if your body type isn’t that of a typical “model” then it simply wont be. I struggled with that for a long time. “Im running 40 miles a week. I eat clean. WHY AM I NOT A SIZE 2. I SHOULD BE A SIZE 2.”

      Megan Davis

      June 17, 2014

      I think you are epitomising the stereotype that this discussion is all about. We shouldn’t be pressured to lose the weight to be like those ideals. We shouldn’t feel that we don’t love ourselves enough if we don’t lose the weight and we don’t look like those models. We SHOULD be encouraged to live healthy active lives and accept our flaws as well as our assets. So what if you’ve got a bit of a jiggle, so long as you’re healthy. Take pride in your body and it’s abilities for it what it is, not for what it isn’t.

    alexis

    June 17, 2014

    I think it goes farther than just the magazine, our self esteem and confidence is built from bigger things that just our comparison to magazines and how we fit into society “norms”. It is built on our relationships with our parents and family, their relationships with each other and their own bodies, etc. Often times how we feel about our own bodies is in a sense a modeling of how parents feel about themselves. When we are unstable in how we see ourselves, it is much easier to be swayed by the ideas that society spits out. Especially as I get older I realize how much work it takes maintain that kind of physique and instead I’ve changed my view. I realize that many have chosen to follow much more restrictive diets, spend countless hours in the gym or other areas. It’s important to give credit where credit is due. Sure, I have my doubts some days, but at the end of the day I can either choose to change my attitude or flip the page.

      RoniNoone

      June 17, 2014

      LOVE!

    Anar

    June 17, 2014

    Roni, I have been reading your blog since 2005. I am familiar with your journey and the comment I have is “something is bothering you. Fix it”. No matter how much you tell yourself that you don’t want to be bound by the scale or defined by a magazine I don’t think that is the issue. I think the issue is that when your pants don’t fit you it is bothering you. You need to address this for your own sake. There is nothing wrong with dieting once in a while and getting things back to where you think they should be. You can be strong AND leaner than now. You know it is possible. Being thinner than this and being able to run are not mutually exclusive choices as you make it sound.

    I do think you are over-reacting to the model’s comment. She is addressing something that is in her eyes an issue (and clearly will harm her job) with an action…a positive action which will create results for her. Similar to me sitting on my butt on weekend night and just finish a presentation. There is no mention of punishment and as I said on facebook to your post the rest of the article is very reasonable.

    I think, as a long time reader, you need to address what is bothering you. Lose some size and start feeling better.

      RoniNoone

      June 17, 2014

      But my pants are fitting fine! Honestly! (I would tell you otherwise, you know I would.) I have been a bit distracted with a few projects but other than that I’ve been feeling really good about myself lately.

      As for the models comments.. it just struck me because here we see this beautiful woman who, as soon as she sees such a small flaw has to go and do something about it, like run those stairs. Now I get that it’s her job but it did strum up some big feelings for me like why? Why as woman do we do that to ourselves?!? What about all the woman out there that never have chance to look like her? What if I read that as a 13 year old? Would I start over exercising because I had a few dimples on my butt? Is that the message we want to send young women?

      And I don’t think I need to “lose size” as you said, sure there are days I feel bloated or bigger like any other woman but I’m good and I especially don’t want to be any smaller if it means giving up any muscle I’ve worked so hard to build this past year.

      Anar

      June 17, 2014

      Thanks for the reply. I remember you had a post recently that your shorts (I think) didn’t fit and you were not happy. That’s what I was referring to and I apologize if I don’t remember correctly. But my impression from your blog recently is that you are not happy with status quo. If that’s not the case then it is my misinterpretation.

      It is my personal experience that a lot of times when some external factors trigger too strongly it is because it is resonating with some internal unhappiness…again, just my experience.

      And personally I haven’t found the balance on where women should accept themselves and when they should accept they are not healthy and don’t sugar coat it with self-love. Obviously you are very fit. But a lot of women I see in the movements are simply not fit and I cannot celebrate unhealthy for place of diverse.

      RoniNoone

      June 17, 2014

      They were a little snug but I got over it. And I did make a few changes (cut back on snacks, making better choices, etc) and I feel fantastic! Been meaning to blog about it too! :)

      Anar

      June 17, 2014

      Glad to hear that. You should tell us. We care:)

      Anar

      June 17, 2014

      I also have to add that I don’t subscribe to any of these magazines. Only Runners’ World. So in a lot of ways I agree with you. and I do want my daughter to grow up with a healthy body image.

      I remember you had a post on how you can help your children become better by you being all the things you want them to be. That post was/is one of your best. And as another poster said, the role of parents far exceeds any magazine. That’s why I said look inside yourself and make sure you are happy with how you are.

      P.S. The way comments are stacked here is very confusing to me. Doesn’t look like the most recent is on top or at the bottom.

      RoniNoone

      June 17, 2014

      It’s because things that get up voted go to the top. I don’t like it either. I’m redesigning this summer and hoping to integrate Facebook comments.

    Shauna

    June 17, 2014

    Hey, Roni! I wanted to leave this blog post here: http://imperfectlife.net/ilovemyuglybody

    I think you’ll really enjoy it. I keep it bookmarked and read it often when I need a reminder of how awesome our bodies are -r egardless of what they look like!

      RoniNoone

      June 17, 2014

      That’s one of my favorite blog posts of all time!

    VDubbs

    June 19, 2014

    What if we just stopped talking about womens bodies all together? Our own, other peoples, ALL bodies. Good or bad. What if we took the focus off of the physical form completely? I don’t have any right to comment on someones weight loss, just like I can’t comment on someones gain, or the fact that their body never changes. It is theirs and theirs alone. We shouldn’t be bothered by the women on the covers of magazines because we shouldn’t focus on the physical form. Rather than going the opposite direction and saying we should “show and celebrate all bodies”, we should really just not acknowledge them at all, because its just a body, and we all have one. We all have different bodily goals and aspirations, and no one persons goal is better than any others when we have no idea what led them to make that goal in the first place. Another commenter mentioned parental influence on how we view our bodies and that couldn’t be more accurate. Our views of our own bodies are a tangled web of life experiences that no one but ourselves can know and even begin to understand. So we need to stop thinking we have a right to talk about other peoples bodies when the majority of us can’t get a grasp on why ours are the way they are. Focus the discussion inward and you won’t be concerned with superficial images on the covers of magazines.

      RoniNoone

      June 19, 2014

      Love this and you are so right!! BUT we are visual.. and photos will always be a part of publications so since why not show a variety people sizes (not in a judging way) to so all folks are represented? In a way the mags are telling us what our goals should be.

      Again, totally agree with you… We just have to get more people to focus inward. :)

    mindy

    July 18, 2014

    In my opinion, what they are selling is happiness. They send the message that happiness comes from being “better” than we are. We are always feeling like we need to change in some way, we see those magazines selling “20 lbs in 20 days” and we think, Oh! If I can do that then I will be so much happier! In reality, happiness comes from such a different place. If we actually attained the promise, the big letdown would be not feeling any happier.

    I remember my sister lost a significant amount of weight before her wedding, she loved the compliments and was looking amazing but, when nobody was around to pump her up, she didn’t truly feel any happier. I remember her being surprised, and me as well. I didn’t really understand at the time why she didn’t feel happier, but now I finally get it.

    I’d like to see some headlines like:

    Say no when you want to say no and see what happens
    Stand up for yourself, it will make your heart swell with pride!
    Set a small goal and achieve it and you will feel good!
    Embrace your body! Get naked, look at yourself in the mirror and smile!
    Love yourself like you love others!
    Learn to find the humor in failing! It will help you get up and try again!
    Climb the stairs because it will make you feel proud!
    Change is slooooooooow so try to enjoy the tiny changes!

    You know, something like that. :)