The Hypocrisy Of Women’s Fitness: Introducing A New Fitness Magazine

I don’t think it’s a shocker that the media says one thing but does another.

I think we all know that at the end of a long day, all the media really wants us to do is get our panties in a wod and to open our wallets.

When it comes to the female body, “they” promote this ridiculously over processed, unrealistic images of beauty.

Of course they do, because men love looking at women and so do women. We eye them, we idolize them and we beat ourselves up because we don’t….


We can’t…

Look like them.

Take a look at these images from my personal stash of fitness magazines and tell me what you see:

The Female Body


Like the Victoria Secret photo, I think it’s safe to say the photoshop job on her legs is a bit over done. I am sure they are long, but really?



What do all of these ladies have in common?

None of them look like “real” women.

They’re far too thin. Far to “made up”… I mean who looks like that when they sweat?

Clearly, not me… Freckles, sun spots and wet hair. That’s me when I workout.


Can we please discuss my sweating issues? Anyone else a heavy sweater?

Now, check out these headlines in these same magazines and tell me what you see…

The Female Body


Trainer harder? Why are the battling ropes thicker than she is? Don’t confuse this as saying she’s not beautiful she is, however is she the right person to tell us to train harder?


Seems battling ropes are in this year with the fitness magazines:



Fitness Magazine is also on board with them as a way to increase strength, muscle and tone.

Moving on…


I would love to train like an athlete, however if I starved myself to look like a model, I would pass out after the first ball rotation.

Unlike the first set of pictures which seem to promote severe dieting and excessive amounts of cardio (at least for most of us to ever even dream of having a body like those gorgeous ladies)…

The magazine articles are promoting something else.

  • They promote health.
  • They promote strength.
  • They promote muscle.
  • They promote “woman-hood”

Do you think they read their own magazines?

Shouldn’t They Make What They Write & What They Depict Match?

I sure as hell think so.

If they did, more pictures would look like this…


Real women… Being…


Wait for it…


Wait for it…



Media SAYS to get strong, toned and increase muscle…


They have declared “Strong The New Skinny”…

Then why do they continue to show images of unachievable bodies?

Studies show that after reading fitness magazines we tend to have a decreased confidence in ourselves. Suddenly, we aren’t good enough, fit enough, thin enough. We want to try harder, workout longer, and eat less.

We read magazines to pass time, which in my eyes in a hobby! Hobbies are suppose to help us feel better.

I would love for a publication to make just 1 issue where every image was of an actual reader. Not a model with a portfolio or a stock image that was purchased.

Real women, doing real fitness.

There Is A Fitness Revolution

I truly believe that over the past few years, women’s fitness has changed for the best.


There are so many more fitness opportunities for us and I feel as if the glass ceiling is breaking in the fitness world.

From finding an inviting door to the weight room, to experimenting with more intense programs that promote strength, encourage growth, and deliver results that allow us to keep our feminine curves while sporting defined, toned muscles.

I might not be a Crossfit fan, however, I do love the fact that they have had a great impact on showing women that we can be strong, we can have muscle, we can have curves, be fit in all difference sizes and shapes, and we can still look like ladies.

Magazines Are Trying To Keep Us Thinking Old School

While studios and gyms are promoting strong, independent women, is it safe to say that magazines are still stuck in the 80s?

Stuck promoting aerobics and “Twiggy” like goals.

We have gyms (like mine) telling women to do one thing, while big publications are telling them something different.

They are stifling growth and change.

Making us still seem frail. And simultaneously still making women nervous about being stronger.

Just the other day I had a client tell me she didn’t want to do push-ups because she was scared of getting her upper body too bulky.

I’m sorry but that’s old school thought. We don’t get bulky unless we train to get bulky and eat to get bulky.

But I can see when looking at the publications every day at the grocery store check out, how this fear would still be alive.

So let’s end this conniption with a survey…

Which magazine cover would you prefer to see? Why?






I might not be as good as Dan, but I’m impressed with my photoshop skills! 🙂


  • Sheena

    I totally vote for magazine B 🙂

    My mom tells me the exact same thing about pushups. She commented on how defined my shoulders were the other day and asked what I was doing and when I told her pushups she said “oh no, I’m not doing that. My shoulders and arms are big enough already.” She also told me in high school not to join the rowing team because my arms would get big like hers!!! These backwards notions are mind boggling to me :S

    • That’s too funny. And a bit sad 🙁 But gotta love the old school thinking. My dad is actually the same. He refuses to lift weights until he drops some pounds because he says doing weight lifting while losing weight makes it impossible to shed fat??

  • Michele

    The positive societal impact that the cover of magazine B would have is truly unimaginable!

    Side note… I really love the new format of rotating shorter and longer posts throughout the week. I appreciate the incorporation of research. The time you take to do that makes your blog stand apart from the rest.

    • Thank you so much Michele!

  • Melissa

    Absolutely, hands-down, magazine “B”. In fact, one of the most inspiring things I have seen/read as of late was the interview with and photos of the beautiful Andrea of http://www.i‘ Now she is inspiring!! Far more so than the models in fitness magazines. She is a real woman who is a hell of a lot stronger than I, who celebrates her body for what it can do. That is the kind of role model that resonates with me, and we could all take a lesson from her on how to love our bodies.

    • I’m glad you liked the interview! She is amazing and I agree 100%!

  • I believe that the most effective way to put pressure on these magazines to change is to STOP buying them. It’s economics, pure and simple. The only fitness ‘magazine’ I buy is IDEAfit journal 😉

    • You are right! What a sight that would be if everyone went on a magazine strike! I think a lot of it has to do though with the stock photographers. Many of the graphics in magazines aren’t theirs but images they buy. I always laugh when I see the same model/picture in several different publications!

      • Yes! You’re so right! And when I go on Dreamstime to find stock images for my blog, I see the very same photos there…

        • Yes, us too. Even on billboards, we always laugh at the big gyms that use stock images. My husband always points out… “hey we know her!”. lol

  • Christina

    Love this! Totally agree! Why are you also only suppose to exercise to lose weight??? I exercise because it makes me feel great and no other reason!

  • steph

    B. I have a long distance “thing” and often send pics — nothing racy but, dude, it’s hot in Charleston — and I kept trying to hide my weird tan lines, bug bites, scrapes, bruises, etc. I finally just told him I am not a sunbathing type and owned all of my “imperfections.” But he actually finds them cute…they are part of me. Yes, he’s fantastic…holding on to this one 🙂

    • Yes Charleston is super hot and I commend you on your selfies! 😉 Trust me, he isn’t paying attention to your imperfections!

  • I always roll my eyes when reading fitness magazines! It’s amazing how you’ll read one article that’s all about getting skinny, and the VERY next article is about getting strong. Maybe the magazines don’t have a defined theme and so their writers just write whatever they feel, but it sure makes the magazine disjointed.

    • Yes, I always find it quite hilarious! It’s such a hodge podge of info

  • Ha! I love how you totally call them out but are still so positive about it. You’re not moping about it; you’re offering another approach and being your own role model. <3

  • Great post! I, too, get frustrated and bored with fitness magazines. I’ve learned to look past the models and focus on the content. But even then, I hardly pull much usable content…except for when I read Oxygen magazine. I really like Oxygen. While the women within are still “perfect,” they’re at least showing off some serious muscle which leads me to believe in them a bit more than the models in such publications like Shape and Self. I agree with you, though. Would love to see more “real” women on and in between the covers.

    • I used to read Oxygen all the time. I agree, they do have some helpful articles and actually try to educate women on working out more than others!

  • I think most people know deep down inside that the models are airbrushed and that it is unattainable, but I still wish the magazines would feature more real people. Personally, I would rather read about someone who overcame something in life, whether it’s an addiction, weight loss, etc, and became successful and fit… than to see someone with an unattainable body do exercises with little pink dumbbells (for the record, I use the 5lbers and they are BLUE!).

    I also think summer makes it harder bc living here we have to run in very little clothing, just how it is… you can hide a lot more in the winter underneath under armor and tights… so the racy pictures somehow phase everyone more this time of year :(.

    I bet if magazines featured real women on the cover, they’d sell magazines. Maybe more. It would appeal to ordinary people who just work out and have fun being healthy.

  • I don’t get any fitness magazines, but I would totally go for B over A for that very reason!

  • Kim

    I think that the blog world is full of real women athletes and much prefer the tips, workouts, recipes…..I find in blogs to the magazines that are full of photoshopped pictures!!!

    • I agree! Love blog reading!

  • real women fitness—-> IN THE RAW!!

  • Love the pics of you and your real friends. I used to work in an eating disorders clinic and this issue was always a topic among clients. Young women get this “skinny” message at such a young age and it is reinforced everyday in every media. We should boycott all the magazines huh? Great post enjoyed reading it.

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  • I don’t read women’s “fitness” magazines because they seem very “fluffy” to me, if that makes sense.

  • I love this and you for writing this. Like someone else said, I love the way you framed this and how you remain positive throughout while calling their bluff. It’s all so contradictory and I feel torn sometimes because yes, I will admit that I want to write for print mags yet they are all these kinds of magazines out there and it’s hard to think about pitching these kinds of stories!

    • Thank you ma’am! I am the same way, one part of me wants to see my name in the big articles, while the other side doesn’t want to support their overall idea. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, huh?

  • I would LOVE to start seeing more covers like that of option B! What a great post. I truly feel like it’s making moves toward the better, but it’s not completely great yet. With posts like this, awareness will be raised, and more people will realize it’s not right. Thanks for this post.

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