In 2017, it's pretty ridiculous that we're still trying to figure out how body positivity works. Alas, here we are, still perusing magazine covers that low-key objectify women while pretending to empower them. In the latest "why is this the world we live in" news, a Women's Health UK magazine cover was essentially "rewritten" using UK-based nutritionist Laura Thomas' magazine cover headlines, which totally transformed the original cover into something better and more body-positive than we could have ever imagined.
Laura Thomas is a registered nutrition based in the UK who recently shared an Instagram post after coming across a Women's Health UK magazine cover that she felt could use, well, a few changes, as far as the headlines go.
Thomas called out the magazine for perpetuating the "lies" of "diet culture" via her Instagram post:
Going on a diet may transform your body (temporarily, diets don’t work long-term), but it’s not a cure for low self-esteem, it doesn’t help you cultivate body acceptance or good body image, and it can lead you down the path of disordered eating.
Thomas' point is a much-needed reminder to pay attention to how brands and publications treat and acknowledge women's health and well-being.
At first glance, the Women's Health UK magazine cover looks pretty body-positive: Cover model Gemma Atkinson looks healthy and fit, and the issue's theme is "transform," which could be viewed as a form of personal and mental growth.
But then you start to pay attention to Thomas' critiques of the headlines splayed across the cover, and it becomes extremely apparent what Thomas is trying to say.
Directly beneath the "transform issue" announcement, you learn what type of transformation they're talking about: getting lean in 2018.
Other headlines on the original cover include "outsmarting your inner quitter," (although not losing weight shouldn't make you feel like a "quitter"), the "best weight loss advice," and tips to "strip fat."
Elite Daily has reached out to Women's Health UK for comment, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Thomas' frustrations with this magazine cover hits home because it's representative of many of our own personal frustrations with this issue: It's time for brands and publications to stop BS'ing about empowerment while simultaneously perpetuating and encouraging unhealthy practices like "stripping fat" and "shedding kilos."
In her Instagram post, Thomas did us the favor of interpreting the mumbo-jumbo of this cover:
What this message is REALLY saying is “restrict your energy intake through disordered and restrictive eating & kill yourself in the gym, and don’t even think about having a social life”.
You get the point, right? This magazine has nothing to do with health and everything to do with tearing down your self confidence and preying on your insecurities in order to sell you something, either the magazine itself or their strategically placed partnerships.
A magazine about women's health, if truly intent on empowering women to be their healthiest selves from the inside out, could focus on countless other things besides how to lose weight.
For example, it could give us a list of all of the U.S. senators who are working to curb our reproductive freedom so that we are better informed on who to re-elect and who to kick out.
Instead of giving us countless ideas on how to "strip fat," these magazines could provide us with advice on how to work though workplace discrimination and sexual harassment issues in the office. Instead of publishing an issue specifically themed on transformation and focusing only on losing weight, a magazine could profile key women across several industries and catalog their various "transformations" to get into their current roles.
There are so many ways to talk about and visualize women's health, and Thomas' point is a powerful one: In 2017, we as women can, and should, find more positive, and more productive ways to talk about and improve our well-being. Can we maybe make that a priority heading into 2018, guys?