Do “Fitness” Magazines Fail?
Have you seen the cover of Fitness magazine recently? How about Shape?
If you haven’t, good.
Don’t go looking for it.
The covers seem to be getting worse. It used to be that you could count on a cover pic of an athletic, well-toned woman (not necessarily even famous), but not anymore. These photos look like they might well have been photoshopped to get quite the thinness being shown as the ideal.
Slant writer Kate Drummon argues that "psuedo-fitness" magazines are "like heroin for the eating disordered. They often offer misleading diet information, along with airbrushed photos of impossible physical ideals, and perpetuate ugly myths about how health ought to look. It's obvious that these monthly doses are hurting us – but we can't help shell out for our next fix."
While these magazines don't cause EDs, they don't do much to perpetuate a healthy body image, either.
After all, a number of ads in those mags are for weight loss pills and potions, paired with pics of impossibly thin girls. I had an open mind till I went to Fitness Mag’s website and found a way to create a virtual model where, after entering your stats, and customize your features, you can print out pics of the old (fat) you and the new thinner you you’re aiming for. It doesn’t mention anything about health, though. That’s ok, it’s just a beauty mag and not a health ‘zine, right? Oh yeah – this is for “Fitness.” Hmmmm…