Weekly Magazine Wrap-Up! (late, again)

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Not a lot to summarise this week. The focus has been largely on skinny bodies – just in time to make us guilty about eating Easter eggs I guess (well, those of you who can eat dairy and gluten… people like me will simply look on and ask for a detailed report on how that Gold Lindt Bunny tastes…). And there was loads about My Kitchen Rules, and Celebrity Pregnancy/ post pregnancy. enjoy! sorry about the lateness… We will do it all again on Sunday!!

A – Magazine cover has no mention of Beauty, weight, or appearance.

Both New idea and TV week received A’s this week. TV week for sticking with its regular content, and not focusing on weight loss stories, and New Idea which seems to be all about My Kitchen Rules (thanks to my sister for making me watch an episode of that, so NOW I know what this MKR is about).

B – Magazine cover makes mention of Beauty Routines, and Fashion articles for maximising ones appearance – No shaming or promises of results.

Madison features Kate Winslet this month, with the tagline The Bombshell with Substance. I keep hearing about this phenomenon of smart women who are also beautiful… or vice versa. I didn’t realise it was such a weird thing – that you can be smart AND beautiful. The magazine also runs the taglines Phoney Fitness. Is that health app doing you harm?  and Olive, Asian, Dark, Fair. Best buys for your skin type.

C – Magazine cover prominently mentions Diet/ Health with no hard promises or time frames, Features weight loss stories, Features stories about Beauty Routines which promise results, Features stories on Slimming/ Sexy clothing, Focus on obtaining a particular type of desirable body. Magazine cover focuses on dressing for the male gaze.

Cleo has their Bachelors contest on again, and features 2010 Miss Universe Australia Jesinta Campbell on the cover with the tagline naughty but nice. Beauty Queen AND hot guys??? I see what you did there Cleo.  But to make sure the message was really driven home, they also feature the taglines  Found! The exercise routine you’ll actually stick to and Get the sex you’ve always wanted. I’ve been doing this a while now. Anyone want to take a stab at the link this is creating? NO? OK. so, by putting two attractive men in their underwear on a cover, with an ex beauty queen sandwiched between, all hands/ legs touching,  both gents clearly looking toward her breasts, with taglines featuring words like naughty, nice, sex, and the assertion that working out is not a choice but a requirement, Cleo are basically stating Hot People Get Laid (I may have over simplified it this time.. ) You need to look like this, be like this blah blah blah… urgh. Cleo goes for a win with Skin so good, you’ll look photoshopped, it’s all yours – just to drive that beauty point home. Good Job Cleo. Well done. Again.

Woman’s Day. For something different, French Chef Manu is on the cover  losing weight for love. Awww, now we are putting these horrible judgements on men too? I read a great article this week (later discussed in the wrap-up) that stated dangerously,  we have now reduced women to their size, but I think we neglect the fact that we have also done this to men – though not to the same extent. And, it wouldn’t be right to have a weight loss story without Chocoholics rejoice. Easter baking special – Worlds Best cake!. Is it wrong that I wonder how many women will nag their partners to lose weight after seeing Manu do it?

Grazia – I am not going to say much about this because, it makes me bite my lip painfully just looking at it. The tagline is do less exercise and drop a dress size. The chosen cover girl is an Olsen. Sure, it is not the Olsen that went into recovery… But how many people will differentiate between the two?

OK! Well, this is awesome– Kate Hudson – Better Body after baby. Diet Plan inside. It’s great that Kate has worked hard to reclaim her body. It isn’t that easy to do after baby. Skin does things and it doesn’t stretch back for everyone, and it’s really really really hard to get rid of ( I know from experience). However, this article – which is probably a tabloid beat up – does nothing but put this continued pressure on Mothers who feel they are REQUIRED to reclaim their pre-baby shape. Because, you know… there aren’t more important things to worry about. I really hate that this is also on the same cover as a Kourtney Kardashian split assertion – where she is holding her baby – gosh knows there haven’t been enough covers claiming that relationship is over due to her size (Disclaimer – I don’t think there is anything wrong with her SIZE, and I don’t believe women should be reduced to a body shape or number).

Women’s Health – There isn’t really much that Women’s Health can ever do as they ARE a magazine devoted to fitness and helping you look your best. Actually, I find they are cheaper motivation than a gym membership! This month however they promise fast results with fight fat and win: Your Fast Shape-up Plan. Not really the kind of motivation I am looking for in Women’s Health. They also ask Do diet pills really work? (I hope the answer is no). There is also the tagline Toxic Choc  Syndrome! Easy Tricks to Beat an Easter Egg Binge.  I guess that means hardcore shaming in the next couple of weeks for our magazines. I hope the story is something about moderation, and I am really not a fan of this whole AVOID on the cover, as it does suggest that this is something to feel guilty about. While I don’t condone binging – especially as it can lead to disordered eating behaviours, it’s important to understand that binges occasionally happen, and it is nothing to feel guilty about. One binge won’t kill your healthy eating plan – or your diet (though, if you are a clean eater you probably won’t feel so great!). While I hope that AWHs article says something along those lines, I question the problematic wording on their cover.

Famous – $150m to lose weight. Beyonces diet deal. SO, I googled this. I wondered if perhaps she was the new Jenny Craig spokesperson following the birth of her baby – call me cynical. And I got nothing. Considering that Beyonces post baby body is pretty fierce, I have to wonder if this is Tabloid BS put on a cover which features two pregnancy stories (Nicole Ritchie and Rihanna – neither confirmed) to continue the link between pregnancy and post baby weight loss

D – Magazine cover actively promotes diets which promise fast results. Actively promotes Exercise for specific results. Actively assumes worth is determined by Male Gaze. Actively promotes youth for an audience over the age of 21. Actively promotes drastic beauty routines. Slight shaming tendencies.


E – Magazine cover actively shames celebrity/ media personalities’ appearance. Actively promotes unhealthy diets/ unhealthy weight loss/celebrity diet tips. Actively engages in fat/ thin/ age shaming. Shaming dominates the page.

NW is keeping up its tradition of celebrity shaming with Shock New Bikini Secrets – Who’s got cellulite. Who’s a junk food junkie. Who’s desperate to drop 9 kilos. Body policing to the extreme. There are photos of celebrities on the cover but I don’t know who any of them are. Nicole Ritchie is also on the cover allegedly stating I’ll never starve again. Ms. Ritchie has never admitted to having an Eating Disorder or having starved herself (that I can find), and has vehemently denied all accusations. That said, Ms. Ritchie owes the public absolutely no explanation, and has no reason to disclose personal information if she does not want to. NW doesn’t stop there though. Now they have a competition between Posh Beckham and Katie .. Holmes? Katie Criuse? Um… anyway, with the tagline Battle of the Bones. How Novel NW… asserting that women compete with each other in the looks ranks? Did you come up with that one on your own? NW also hit us with a fantastic investigative piece – which I am sure is a photo journalist essay – Revealed: Worst  celebrity haircuts ever! Riveting.

Who is back to their shaming A game with Wasting Away!, New fears emerge as too-thin stars keep losing weight. Melanie Griffith – Suddenly Frail. Rachel Zoe – Back To Bones. Angelina Jolie ‘she’s starving‘. The story also features Aussie soap actress Jodi Gordon, and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong. The assertion that Ms. Jolie is starving is not new, and is just as damaging now as it was weeks ago.  Instead of critiquing this, I am going to offer this excerpt from Are Thin Women the Enemy? Because I really think that it sums up everything I want to say with wonderful eloquence.

“We have reduced women to their size,” says Dr Maine, author of The Body Myth.”By targeting women who are thin, whether they have an eating disorder or are naturally thin, we are focusing on the individual instead of challenging the culture that buys into it.”

Thin women may have an easier go of it than fat women, but they’re still subject to attacks about their size… Angelina Jolie’s Oscar appearance last month set Twitter alight with criticisms of her thin frame. “Angelina Jolie looks like her arms are ready to snap in half at any moment. Gross,” wrote one user.

Speaking out against very thin star celebrities can feel like a satisfying blow against unrealistic body standards, says Raegan Chastain. As an advocate for fat acceptance she has often heard people criticise women for being too thin. Still, she warns those trying to come to terms with their own size to leave other people out of it. “If you want to push against standards, you don’t do that by bashing people,” she says.

“You can’t look at someone and tell how healthy they are. Weight and health are two separate things.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. What may be even worse (though not surprising) is that Who is running this story with a cover which features one heavily pregnant celebrity (Jessica Simpson), and another celebrity (Reese Witherspoon) who is currently under a Bump watch. As Melanie Klein states over at Adios Barbie “the tabloids ridiculous and utterly disturbing obsession with the celebrity baby-bump … is just another way to make a woman feel fat.” Sarah Menkedick adds

“the “bump watch” illustrates society’s sick fascination with observing, critiquing, and placing demands and ultimatums on women’s bodies. The bump is singled out because it departs from the expected standard of straight up-and-down thinness, and while it’s celebrated until a woman’s due date, it’s expected to be gone soon thereafter, or the woman will become the object of ridicule. This fetishisation of baby bumps is complimentary to the fetishisation of women’s bodies and their thinness, but more dangerous because it turns a baby, a pregnancy, into another body image focus and concern”.


Best – New Idea…. I guess?

Worst – Congratulations Who!

Honourable Mention – Madison. At least they are showing that smart women are Hot as well…

Did I get it Right? What do you think? Any other Magazines you would like me to discuss? =)


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