Women’s Mags: Stop Pitting Women Against Each Other!


In the December issue of Glamour, a health & body piece on page 160 pits two celebrities against each other, comparing their bodies, no less.

Under the guise of “Design your Best Body Here” (as if we’re all just designing our own body shapes anyway), the piece tells us we have a choice to either model our body type after Gwyneth or Cameron!

Yup, that’s right; the article tells women to “pick their look.” Again, as if we’re all just walking around deciding which celeb’s body we’d most like to model ourselves after in the gym.

Worse, the story pits Gwyneth Paltrow’s “mini muscles” or toned look against Cameron Diaz’s  “maxi muscles,” AKA majorly buff bod. It then goes on to tell us which two moves to do in the gym whether we want to look slim and toned like Gwyn or super buff like Cameron.

Come on, Glamour, honestly? In the first place, most women work out with intentions of looking and feeling great, whether it’s toning, maintaining weight, losing weight or feeling healthy and relieving stress.

We are not, however, gauging which of these celebs to model our body after, nor is that likely even possible. Sure, heavier weights with fewer reps will give definition, and more reps with less weight will prevent the muscle-bound look.

But FYI, we aren’t trying to appear like either of these ladies, nor do we have to. Not to mention, it’s not a competition on which of their bodies is better.

How about advocating a healthy workout or a fit body instead of pretending any of us are going to actually get Cameron’s arms or Gwyneth’s lean lines? Gimme a break.


About stilettonation

Jennifer Nelson is a writer working on Stiletto Nation: Inside the Perfumed Pages of the Women's Magazine Industry to be published Fall of 2012 by Seal Press. Stop in and read about the great, the awful and the insane in the fragrant pages of the women's glossies.

6 responses »

  1. Pingback: Friday Links & Loves

  2. Especially intriguing since not so very long ago Gwyneth wrote about being diagnosed with osteopenia–which might have been avoided had she been lifting heavier weights.

    This is a good grief article.

  3. interesting point, barb. paltrow indeed was diagnosed with osteopenia–the precursor to osteoporosis. speculation at the time blamed her mostly macrobiotic diet variations over the years. since 1999, she’s admittedly eaten zero dairy and meat and was not getting vitamin D or calcium. but perhaps the type of exercise she favors plays a role as well–something the magazines won’t mention as they tout her envious body type!

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