Psych Central

Minding the Magazines Articles

How To Enjoy Food This Holiday Season

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

dinner 2013

Today, I’m republishing an older piece to remind us to enjoy and savor the foods we’ll be eating this holiday season. Sadly, we’re surrounded by articles and ads that warn us about how many pounds we’ll gain if we eat two helpings of dessert. Ads and articles that perpetuate a vicious cycle of fear, guilt and shame around food.

It isn’t right. And it doesn’t have to be this way, either. Instead, we can focus on enjoyment, nourishment and curiosity this holiday season. One bite at a time. I hope this piece gives you some good ideas to do just that.


What I’ve Learned In Four Years Of Writing Weightless

Friday, November 8th, 2013

you are worthy as you are, image

I mentioned several lessons I’ve learned throughout the four years I’ve been writing Weightless in this giveaway post (you can enter to win a book of your choice). But I wanted to expand on the lessons and share a more thorough list.

So here’s what I’ve learned in four years of being a body image blogger.


The Lure & Loathing Of Women’s Magazines: Part 2 With Author Jennifer Nelson

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Here’s part two of my interview with Jennifer Nelson, author of Airbrushed Nation: The Lure and Loathing of Women’s MagazinesIn her book, Nelson gives readers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the business of women’s magazines. She delves into how articles are made — and just how they affect us.

Below, Nelson explains why she still likes women’s magazines and why they continue to promote damaging ideals. She also offers valuable advice for readers on becoming smarter consumers.

Nelson also explores the world of women’s magazines in her blog.


An Inside Look At Women’s Magazines: Q&A With Author Jennifer Nelson

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

I used to love reading women’s magazines. It was my break from homework and books for school. I’d catch up on the latest fashion trends, read an interesting article and get a few beauty tips.

But then I remember reading an odd tip from a writer on not eating an entire piece of cake: She’d take a bite — maybe two — and then pour salt on it.

And that’s when I started realizing that maybe these magazines weren’t for me (or really for anyone). Maybe these magazines had become a slippery slope into a world of shoulds and damaging thoughts.

And the more I started dissecting their messages, the more I realized that that’s the whole point: to sell us specific standards, so we buy, buy, buy.

That’s why I’m excited to share my interview with Jennifer Nelson, the author of Airbrushed Nation: The Lure and Loathing of Women’s Magazines, a new book about the history of the women’s magazine industry, how articles are made (and manipulated) and their effects on readers.

Below, Nelson shares what inspired her to write Airbrushed Nation, the research that surprised her most and the damaging effects of reading these publications.


The Sly Ways Women’s Magazines Lie To Us

Friday, November 9th, 2012

In her book Airbrushed Nation: The Lure and Loathing of Women’s Magazines, author Jennifer Nelson gives readers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the history of these publications, how they’re run — and the damaging ways they affect us.

Several facts in the book especially surprised me. Facts that I think you should absolutely know whether you love these publications or loathe them.

Specifically, below are tidbits from Nelson’s book on how women’s magazines manipulate their content. Some are little lies while others are downright deceptions.


Ditching Women’s Magazines For Positive Publications

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

Part of building a positive body image is surrounding yourself with positive things and letting go of anything that doesn’t nourish you.

That’s where women’s magazines and so-called health magazines come in. I’m talking about magazines such as Self, Shape, Women’s Health, and even Prevention. The kinds of magazines that glorify thinness, diets and weight loss.

Their advice doesn’t focus on nurturing yourself or building a healthier relationship with food.

It focuses on quick fixes, calorie counts, portion control and losing X inches before bikini season.

And never ever being good enough.

For many of us — me included — these magazines are a slippery slope into a world of comparisons, guilt, shame and misery.


Body Image Booster: Picking Positive Pursuits Over Body Bashing

Monday, June 25th, 2012

journals, shopaholics i met and liked

Every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit that helps boost your body image, whether directly or indirectly — and hopefully kick-starts the week on a positive note!

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. I’d love to hear from you!

A while ago, I wrote this post about what to do instead of reading women’s magazines and worrying about your weight. Because, unfortunately, in our society, it’s all-too easy to focus on our bodies, what they could look like, what they should look like and what they don’t look like.


Why Weight-Loss & Diet Commercials Are Dangerous

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

perfect scale from etsy

{via etsy by HRSG}

I have a big problem with both women’s magazines and health publications  because of their shaming and dangerous messages. But I have an even bigger problem with weight-loss and diet commercials — mainly because there’s no escape.

Yes, you can turn off the channel. But lately, these commercials are everywhere. Clearly, these companies have bought more airtime in the hopes of making big bucks over shaming viewers for the New Year, a time our society likes to equate with deprivation and restriction.

That’s why it’s critical to discuss and dissect them. Because instead of questioning ourselves — whether we’re thin enough, whether we need to go on a diet, whether we need to kick up our workouts for weight loss — we need to question these companies and the manipulative, detrimental messages they send.


The Dangerous Mixed Messages In Women’s Magazines

Friday, December 9th, 2011

{A hilarious and oh-so true illustration from the amazingly talented Elizabeth Patch!}

On Monday I talked about fighting for a better body image and shared five ideas on how to hold on. One of my tips was to make things easier on yourself and get rid of the items that essentially make you feel like crap. One of those items: women’s magazines.

Here on Weightless, sometimes I like to call out these publications for their ridiculousness. These magazines are very much part of our culture. And so many women rely on them for their “healthy” food and fitness advice. Advice that in actuality is misleading, shame-inducing and downright depressing.


Minding The Magazines: Navigating Holiday Eating Advice

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Now is the time when women’s magazines crank out a slew of articles about the horror of overeating during the holidays, the tragedy of high-cal “sinful” foods and the shameful weight gain that will inevitably result.

Reputable health websites also add their two cents, churning out slideshows that offer lists like “Frighteningly Fattening Fall Foods.”

Some of this is hit-you-over-the-head bad advice. But other suggestions may be more subtle. What about articles that share supposedly healthier substitutions that you can make during the holiday season?


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Recent Comments
  • Josefina: the line about giving myself a smile…felt good I felt truly absorbed thanks, I needed this now
  • Margarita Tartakovsky, MS: @ Elizabeth, thank you! :)
  • elizabeth: Margarita, a lovely, lovely reminder to allow compassion for our own body as it moves through whatever...
  • Margarita Tartakovsky, MS: @ Zentastic, yes, I absolutely agree about mindfulness. It’s a powerful practice for...
  • Margarita Tartakovsky, MS: @ Lizzie, you’re welcome! Thank you for reading and leaving your comment. It means a...
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