The Magazine Myth of Healthy Body Image: How do You Feel About it?

angry woman with rolling pin

“You need a kaftan or shawl because they hide a multitude of sins! Here's a collage of options from our advertisers, now pick one and get it on, fatty”

“Get beach ready with our fruity shakes [read: starve yourself and drink a smoothie when you begin to see flickering dots]”

“Get bikini ready in ten days!”

Sound familiar? It does to me. I have a select few magazines that I like and the rest make me call Live Line. In fairness, Joe, they perpetuate a load of bullshit.

Beaut.ies, ignore it. I'll tell you how to get bikini ready in ten seconds: take your clothes off, whack on some sun block and pull up those bikini briefs.


I can only speak for myself, for how the magazines made me feel. I'd flip through 'em, look at the beautiful clothes and feel like a waste of skin. I felt totally undeserving of any piece of fashion featured, that I'd be tainting the designs by putting them near my chubby frame. I was genuinely ashamed of my body, unable to try something on without crying in the dressing room.

But you know what? I didn't get skinny. I looked at these models, some of them blatantly emaciated, and decided that there was no way I'd get my body to look like theirs if food was a part of my life. We all know that doesn't work, in the long run. I could go for days on a Muller Light and cigarette but eventually a home made meal would be put in front of me and I would inhale it before I knew what I was doing.

On top of that, it's impossible to get motivated when you're unhappy. These magazines shame any woman who isn't slim and shame is not a catalyst for getting fit or dieting. I was flipping through some Sunday supplement last weekend, a mother's day special that did their "sack the stylist" segment on pregnant women.

One was called a "walking sofa" and described as "a sausage ready to bust." Seriously? She has another HUMAN in her belly! And probably food too, well deserved and needed food. I've never been heavily pregnant but imagine that, if I were, I would have and embrace the right to eat everything that can be eaten, especially writers who liken me to furniture.

I don't think these magazines are worth a cent or second of anybody's time. €6 to feel crap about myself for the rest of the day? Do one. It's taken years but I'm fine with my body now, every excess inch of it. I still worry about those who aren't, those who are taken in by the skinny spiel.


How do you feel about the way body image is approached by magazines? Name and shame, folks, name and shame!

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