‘Women’s Health’ Magazine Bans Body-Shaming Phrases From Its Covers

by Angel Chang
Angel is a writer on the Original Content team at LittleThings. Check out her articles about crucial tips on female and doggie health. She loves to take long walks, volunteer with kids, try new food, browse through burger recipes, and code in her spare time. Feel free to let her know what you'd like to see her write up next.

For years, lifestyle publications — in particular, women’s magazines — have dominated the media landscape.

Several of these periodicals encourage us to become healthier and happier with the help of new fitness routines — like taking frequent strolls outdoors for optimum health benefits.

However, many of these magazines have recently fallen under sharp criticism for what opponents call “body-shaming” language.

In fact, upon closer examination, you’ll find that many women’s magazines do display pretty intimidating phrases on their covers: “How to get the perfect bikini body” and “How to lose 10 pounds in one month,” just to name a few.

Luckily, one well-known magazine is banning these phrases entirely — potentially changing the face of women’s magazines forever!

In an amazing open letter, Women’s Health editor-in-chief Amy Keller Laird explains the reason behind the initiative.

Scroll further to read how the magazine is changing its message to readers. Let us know your own opinions on this issue in the comments below!

Women's Health banning body-shaming words

In our everyday lives, there are countless things that we tend to overlook.

One thing that we tend not to notice? The many disheartening — and sometimes offensive — phrases on the covers of women’s magazines.

Women's Health banning body-shaming words

Phrases like, “How to get the bikini body you want,” “How to drop the next 10 pounds — fast,” and “The diet you’re really looking for” routinely circulate on the most iconic women’s magazine covers.

But with so many of these magazines now turning their focus on topics such as health, nutrition, lifestyle, and well-being, these phrases can often seem a little daunting, and even sound a little harsh.

Women's Health banning body-shaming words

“I hate how women’s magazines emphasize being skinny or wearing bikinis as the reason to be healthy,” said a reader of Women’s Health.

And that’s why Women’s Health, a magazine known for featuring healthy methods for a productive and happy life, decided to ban these words entirely.

Women's Health banning body-shaming words

In its new January/February issue, editor-in-chief Amy Keller Laird has vowed to draw readers in with more body-positive tag lines.

“Dear ‘Bikini Body,’” she begins her open letter. “You imply that a body must be a certain size in order to wear a two-piece. Any body — every body — is a bikini body.”

Women's Health banning body-shaming words

“We’d rather focus on the greater benefits of getting a strong-as-hell core: running, surfing, dancing, climbing, being able to carry a 2-year-old up and down the stairs 10 times a day,” she continues.

Women's Health banning body-shaming words

You’ll never see the phrase “Drop Two Sizes” again on the mag’s cover, either.

To many women, dropping two sizes in a month appears to be an unrealistic and unhealthy goal.

In its place, there will be taglines that promote all-around wellness.

Readers reportedly do love many other phrases and words, including “Toned,” “Strong,” and “Sexy.”

This vision is what the magazine truly stands for, says Amy.

Its only priority is to help readers strive to feel their best, and to become the best version of themselves.

Women's Health banning body-shaming words

The initiative has gained tremendous support from women all over social media, with many leaving comments in positive response to Amy’s message.

Still, others maintain that more has to be done.

Some critics say that despite banning a few phrases, magazines won’t ever fully eliminate all existing body-shaming words and attitudes.

Women's Health banning body-shaming words

We can only hope that other women’s magazines will follow suit, encouraging women everywhere to value their health more than any unattainable beauty standards.

To read the full open letter from Women’s Health, click here.

Please SHARE if you think health and happiness are more important than bikini bodies!