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What I Do and Don’t Like About Women’s Health Magazine

As a fan of healthy eating and exercise, I’ve made every effort to stay informed on the nutrition front. After reading countless blogs and articles on “Is Peanut Butter Really Bad For You?” and dropping in on a few nutrition classes, I made the decision to bring the information in the mail by subscribing to Women’s Health. However, this decision has been slightly bittersweet.


Like- Every edition comes with handy fashion tips on how to play up your good attributes and keep up with the newest trends. The latest one that I got in the mail was all about pants and it was truly helpful, specially since the right pants are very hard to find.


Dislike- Titles like ‘Resize Your Thighs’. Phrases like these make me realize that this magazine isn’t so interested in helping women love themselves no matter what size they are. What’s wrong with my thighs and why do I need to resize them?


Like- The monthly article that’s actually about our health. For example, in September I found some interesting information on how studying by family’s medical history is an important way to keep myself healthy.


Dislike- The same healthy articles from my like have also made it to my dislike. Although being informed is crucial, these monthly articles always keep me up with nightmares about my health. Helpful but deadly - for my sleep cycle.


Like- The variety of women featured in the magazine. Every month there’s one or two real life stories on women that have made a change in their health. These women are a refreshing inspiration.


Dislike- The lack of variety in the models the magazine sports. In all the fashion pieces, we see the usual high fashion model even if the clothing that is being featured is for women with thicker body types.  I know this is the norm, but that doesn’t mean I like it.


This magazine has honestly been very helpful, but in the end, it is still like most magazines. When the time comes, I won’t be renewing my subscription. However, I will keep on informing myself health-wise through other sources.


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Comment by Mariana Stavig on September 26, 2013 at 12:53pm

It is amazing how the dieting industry is so pervasive. It is no coincidence that "resize your thighs" was probably fit in between advertisements for different supplements, work out clothes and accessories, gym adverts, etc (this is based off of my previous subscription to Self, which i discontinued with similar frustrations). A need is implanted ("wow, I guess my thighs ARE big!") and then the product to satisfy the need is conveniently placed within reach. For example, as cute as Athleta yoga pants are, I know I don't actually need them in order to work out and be healthy, and I save A LOT of money by wearing regular leggings. It is likewise no coincidence that many companies who sell high, empty calorie products also sell dieting supplements. They create both the supply and the demand, ensuring profits.

Cosmetic advertisements work similarly. To be clear, I am not against cosmetics and enjoy make-up on most days. That being said, I think it is wrong that foundation advertisements try to actively build an insecurity about your "blotchy, uneven, porous, shiny, freckled, etc" face. Yes, my skin is not "flawless," whatever that implies, but I dont think I should consider my face to be the implied opposite-flawed.

We are human beings, big thighs, shiny foreheads and all, and we are beautiful. Don't let the industry say otherwise. It wants your money, not your well-being

Comment by Ana Ruiz on September 23, 2013 at 2:51pm

That's the only health magazine I am subscribed to. I am subscribed to a vegetarian magazine but it is not as geared to women, so the lines don't blur quite as much.




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