The Depiction of Women in Fitness Magazines Essay

The Depiction of Women in Fitness Magazines Essay

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Conventional women’s magazines including fitness magazines have traditionally fallen short of providing empowering images of women in articles and advertisements. In the 1980s, fitness magazines catering to females were launched for fitness oriented women (Hardin et al 105). Magazines that were targeted at women’s fitness were analyzed regarding how they portray women in not only articles but advertisements as well. Oxygen, Self and Shape are all fitness magazines that provide articles and images of women regarding fitness and health. All three mainly depicted Caucasian women as having the perfect body consisting of being fit, muscular and healthy. However, in achieving these characteristics the magazines are depicting these individuals as sexual objects making them wear minimal clothing and are proving unrealistic goals that are unattainable by majority of the women. According to Flegal et al the prevalence of obesity amongst women in 2007-2008 was 35.5% compared to men who were at 32.2% (235). This indicates that there is a need for women to become more active in order to sustain healthy weight maintenance, however in doing so they are portraying women in a more negative than positive manner. Women in fitness magazines are depicted as having a healthy weight and being the perfect individual but, their images in articles and advertisements are depicting them as being sexual objects mainly to the benefit of men.
Fitness magazines portray healthy weight maintenance by containing healthy meal plans and fitness regimens to help one achieve their goals. Oxygen, Self and Shape contain healthy recipes to encourage healthy eating. Majority of the recipes and articles appeared to be a source of encouragement for women enabling them to b...

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... magazine advertisements. It relates to my paper in that it provides me with a better understanding as to what races of women magazines usually portray.
Thomsen, Steven R., Bower, Danny W., and Barnes, Michael D. “Photographic Images in Women’s Health, Fitness, and Sports Magazines and the Physical self-concept of a Group of Adolescent Female Volleyball Players.” 28. (2004): 265-283. Academic Search Premier. Web. 30 March 2011. This article uses volleyball players to examine how they construct their own body image while looking at photographs of athletes in fitness and sports magazines. They look at physical ability and body image as two characteristics that are crucial to how women view themselves. This helps my project since it gives me more information on what effects magazines have on women and how women use the magazines to construct their own perfect body.

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