I have a place on my bookshelf for a large collection of Women’s Health, Fashion and Fitness magazines. As far as I can recall I never subscribed to the current batch of magazines I receive monthly in the mail. But my frequent purchases from online shoe or clothing clubs have resulted in a never-ending onslaught of periodicals. When the stack gets too high, I haul them off to recycling.
Let me take you back a few years
I used to read Women’s Fitness, Muscle Hers, Fitness, Women’s Health, and any other fitness magazine that could potentially hold the key to my body’s ultimate perfection. I would sit at my table turning page after page while enjoying a giant green salad, baked chicken, and calorie restricted dressing. These magazines provided the fuel I needed to keep that fire stoked to achieve that perfect body. Similar to the meal, these magazines left my mind temporarily full, but definitely not satiated.
Back to the Present
For some reason, today, I chose to thumb through the latest magazine that was waiting in my mail box. The genre was Women’s Health. It was pretty obvious by the cover that there was only one aspect of health that this magazine was trying to sell to their readers. The cover girl was a very fit half naked beauty and the cover headlines were all about losing weight or toning up with one exception, a token headline on how to get fabulous beachy hair. While beachy hair is definitely (not) at the top of my health concern list, I was interested in viewing what other healthful tidbits this magazine might have to offer.
After navigating through all the articles on how to drop 5 pounds in 5 days or how to sculpt the perfect abs, and the always present article about how to achieve the best orgasm, I finally found a blurp about seasonal affective disorder and a longer article about using hypnosis to cure various female ailments. Of course, they were careful to hide any substantive health articles at the end of the magazine.
What about the Dog Food?
Shockingly there were a lot of ads for dog and cat food. There was even an article on how to keep your goldfish alive – I’m not kidding. I couldn’t even dream that up. I counted 9 full page ads that advertised pet food and one ad that went as far as to offer pet insurance.
While, I didn’t actually pay for this women’s health magazine, I can’t be too picky about the content. These magazines are about sales and building readers. Especially in today’s market of free online content, magazines must be increasingly specific about how to keep loyal readers. I was left with the conclusion that the target audience for this magazine under the guise of women’s health only cares about dieting and dog food.
Maybe I am being harsh, but I have the right to be harsh, because I was that readership. I ate their supposed “health” advice up with a spoon. Actually, I ate it with a fork, and it tasted like bland chicken and lettuce.
Is this magazine just a reflection of our culture?
Of course it is. This magazine is only printing what readers want to read. The publishers are trying to out compete the other magazines that are printing the same egocentric crap.
I have to tell you, I found the goldfish article to be the most interesting piece in the entire magazine. Obviously, women are very interested in their pets. Maybe that’s why there are so many pet ads. But pet health is not exactly a topic for women’s health, unless women are also considered pets by the publishers.
What do you think about the content of Women’s Health Magazines. I’m interested to know. Comment below.