Women’s Health or Maxim?– My Favorite Health Magazine Looks More Like a Playboy (UGH.)

Women's Health or MaximI recently glanced at our pile of mail and gracing the top of the stack was a magazine with a half-naked woman on top. I automatically assumed my husband decided to subscribe to Maxim (I was thrilled since it’s a great magazine to have lying around the house when I’m trying to raise my son not to objectify women.) To my utter astonishment I was staring at my own subscription! I love Women’s Health, it’s the only subscription I keep since it’s a great resource on healthy living. So why does a magazine geared toward women suddenly look like its target audience is men? Historically the magazine has always featured women in bathing suits, let’s face it society’s biggest motivation to be healthy is to look good and they capitalize on that fact. Nothing wrong with that–I am not some prude suggesting they plaster the cover of their health magazine with women in parkas! However, do I need the only thing between me and an actress’s nipple to be her own hand?

Overanalyzing a couple magazine covers is not the purpose of today’s post. It’s the societal trend of constantly objectifying women that bothers me. When talented women (actresses, songwriters, etc) feel the need to pose half-naked to get a magazine cover it shifts the focus away from their talents to their body. I want my daughter (if I have one) to know that she is more than a body and my son to know a woman’s worth is not external. As a mom you are definitely more hypersensitive because you want to raise your children with the right values but even pre-Nate I was frustrated when I saw half-naked women advertising a fast food hamburger because it’s unnecessary. Anyone else hoping to sip coffee this morning and read about healthy living without looking at softcore porn?

4 thoughts on “Women’s Health or Maxim?– My Favorite Health Magazine Looks More Like a Playboy (UGH.)

  1. I think that you would find Laura Mulvey’s theories about the male gaze very interesting! I couldn’t agree with you more and, in fact, I had this debate with my friend a couple of weeks ago (another woman). She sees no problem with it, which just goes to show how deeply the problem has permeated. We are so desensitized to it and have come to expect it…imagine if we objectified men in the same way! Even watching a movie, there are often naked women casually throughout. The same cannot be said about the male form. Why is it that our bodies are taken for granted whereas male bodies are protected?

    I’m sure we can’t change society, but we can hopefully influence a few viewpoints (such as our children’s).


    1. I googled “Laura Mulvey’s theories about the male gaze” since I was unfamiliar. So interesting & I plan to read more about it!! I know many women that are fine with it & we all have a right to our opinion. As I said in the post, I have no problem with women being proud of their beauty, wearing flattering clothing, or feeling comfortable with their sexuality. That is often the defense other women use when disagreeing with my viewpoint. The fact that I don’t agree with being topless on a magazine doesn’t translate to me shaming women’s bodies or thinking they shouldn’t be sexual. For me the issue is the recurrent and extreme (fully naked or topless) objectification that has become commonplace in our society.

      I totally agree with what you’re saying about the male form and how men are not held to the same nudity standards. I can think of a handful of movies that objectify men versus thousands for women. As you said people are very steadfast in their opinions but introducing an alternative view is always a good thing (especially to guide of children). Thanks for reading & the thoughtful comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely agree! I feel like I am being a bit prude since having a child but I just view things completely different now. I get so frustrated seeing females without a lot of clothes on or magazines that have near naked women on it. We as women need to respect our bodies and not dress so…..undressed.

    Liked by 1 person

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