Archives for Minding the Magazines

Body Image

Your Body Is Not The Enemy

In our culture there is a prevailing belief that if we can't get our bodies to look a certain way, to lose weight, to fit into an old pair of jeans, then they're the enemy.

They're an enemy we have to subdue, manipulate and pound into submission. An enemy we need to insult, yell at and despise.

Today, I wanted to share a reminder that, in fact, our bodies are not the enemy -- despite what you see in ads or read in "health" publications. They never were.
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How To Enjoy Food This Holiday Season

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.
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Body Image

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

Here's part two of my interview with Jennifer Nelson, author of Airbrushed Nation: The Lure and Loathing of Women’s Magazines. In 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.
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Body Image

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

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.
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Body Image

The Sly Ways Women’s Magazines Lie To Us

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.

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Body Image

Ditching Women’s Magazines For Positive Publications

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.

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Body Image Boosters

Body Image Booster: Picking Positive Pursuits Over Body Bashing

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.

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Why Weight-Loss & Diet Commercials Are Dangerous

{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.

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The Dangerous Mixed Messages In Women’s Magazines

{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.

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