We are all, I assume, aware of the effects social media is having on womens self esteem. Whilst we , appear to, be making some waves with the #bodypositivity movement, society at large continues to place a great emphasis on how women look. The standards of beauty set for women, largely through the media, impact girls and womens body image and expectations of themselves. Being someone born in the, ahem…..’80’s – social media was not prevalent for teenage me, however, magazines had a HUGE impact on my body image and how I viewed myself. My skin was too pimply, I was too short, too hairy ( yes I resembled a hairy monkey -as lovingly declared by mother at birth!), boobs too small, legs not toned enough – the list went on, and on and on. I didn’t look like the girls in the magazines, or the girls in the posters on the boys lockers at school. Back in “my day” actresses, athletes and successful entrepeneurs did not grace the covers of magazines, only models did – and I associated success, worth and desire with my appearance.
I honestly don’t know how I would have survived the social media age, where we are literally bombarded with scantily clad bodies with societies idea of perfect skin and dimensions. But the trouble is – societies idea of “perfection” continually changes! Once upon a time being twig skinny with tiny boobs was the ideal, then came the curve craze thanks to the Kardashians and the BBL and now there’s a massive emphasis on large boobs, large bum, but with an athletic physique and pumped up lips with wings for eyelashes! The images the eyeballs are assaulted with on the daily are, for the most part, heavily edited and posed – I know this…. because I am an adult – but do my daughters know this?
Lets move on from social media and back to magazines. It’s not often I flip through a mag anymore – they’re full of sensationlised rumours, too many advertisments and occasionally an enjoyable crossword puzzle (what? I like them!) so when a friend posted in a group chat how unhappy she was with a magazine inclusion inside a gift bag, I was intrigued and asked to see, said magazine. Now, taking into account everything I’ve said above and the continual move towards a more unfiltered social media world – I was hoping a magazine aimed at adult women would be inspiring, have some good stories, maybe a recipe or two and hopefully some interviews with strong ass women! Well I was instantly disappointed when I saw that the title of the magazine was ‘SLIM Magazine’….. really? Slim? So I already had a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, but lets backtrack a little to where said friend, lets call her Leanne (becasue that’s her actual name) received her magazine. It was at a womens fundraising walk for breast cancer. Yes…. a bunch of empowered, inspirational women walking for a cause were given a magazine called SLIM……. whilst raising funds for women with breast cancer whose weight, I’m certain, is the LAST thing on their mind.
Anyhoo, me being me, I took a deep breath and told myself not to judge and read with an open mind and open heart. that was a bit tricky as within a few pages I was greeted with a full page ad for a surgery centre offering gastric bypass surgery for weight loss, shortly followed by another full page ad for a cosmetic and plastic surgery centre. It will get better I tell myself…..until I am faced with yet another FULL PAGE weight loss surgery advertisement. There was no less than EIGHT full page adverts for plastic or cosmetic surgeries or procedures. Throw in THREE weight loss journey stories, an article ON weight loss surgery, a page dedicated to discussing tummy tucks, oh cant forget the half page on how sleep is giving you wrinkles….yep SLEEP people, and a competiton section giving away 2 separate body slimming procedures and DIET DROPS!! There was a recipe section which I quickly abandoned as I read the title “Eat, Drink and Still Shrink” but it’s okay because, ironically, there was ONE full page advert for MENTAL HEALTH and where to get help (can you hear me rolling my eyes?)
There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose, or gain, weight for your health – and we would all be lying if we said we didn’t care about our appearance. However an entire magazine dedicated to weight loss and surgeries in a time when women really need to be reminded of their worth , regardless of weight, is disappointing – to say the least. I decided to visit the magazines website and the ‘About” section, to try and gain an understanding of the publishers “why”. The following is a direct copy from this site
Slim Magazine is designed for everyone who wants to reach or maintain a healthy body weight. This magazine helps people achieve great results by presenting the latest medical information, the most effective products, exercise routines, and the most appropriate procedures. Slim Magazine is linked with local and international experts who know how to help everyone be the best they can be. Men, women, and children can get fit and healthy with the expert help that has to date been available only to the rich and famous. Discover the facts about looking good and feeling great. Add to this a little help from our beauty and fashion experts. Your personal make over starts with Slim.
So with this is in mind, having now read the magazine AND why it was written, I think SLIM Magazine is a magazine someone who may be interested in weight loss surgery would seek out, or be pointed in the direction of from a professional. I don’t feel this is the type of magazine to be handed out at female empowerment events. Also…..no puzzles!
In case YOU needed to be told today – please know you are amazing, and loved and so much more than your body