Women’s Health Announces the End of the Bikini Body

Pink Argyle Bikini
Picture by Jodee Rose jodee.deviantart.com

Earlier this year Women’s Health Magazine conducted a survey and asked their readers what words or phrases they would like to see less of in their magazine. Now editor-in-chief Amy Keller Laird has announced that we will no longer see the phrases “bikini body” or “drop two sizes” gracing the cover of their magazine.

In a letter to the editor she wrote:

“Dear ‘Bikini Body, You’re actually a misnomer, not to mention an unintentional insult. 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.”

I couldn’t agree more! Laird also said that they had already eliminated “shrink” and “diet.”

This is a step in the right direction to be sure, but there’s a lot more work to be done here.  First of all, I’m waiting to see if this just becomes euphemism-palooza with words that mean shrink and diet replacing shrink and diet. Because it’s not just about the words, it about the concepts – as you can see in this look at Self Magazine’s cover promises.

I’m not encouraged to find that the January issue (the issue that features the Laird’s letter to the editor I just quoted) features noted fatphobe Jillian Michaels on the cover with “BURN FAT FAST’ in huge block letters.  I’d like to see them put their photos where their mouths are.  If they truly believe that “Any body — every body — is a bikini body” then let’s see some body diversity on the cover.

What about moving completely to a focus on health – with no weight loss or negative body talk at all?  The truth is that, just like everyone else, they have no reason to believe that anything they are touting will actually help people change their body size for the long term so why continue to make promises they can’t keep? A magazine about women’s health that was actually about health is something that I would be interested in reading!

Speaking of surveys, I’m hoping you can help me out. I’m super excited to tell you that Jeanette DePatie and I are really close to wrapping up our long-awaited Body Love Obstacle Course.  We will be releasing it in mid-February, but before we do we want to make sure that we have everything covered, so I wanted to see if you can help us out by answering a couple quick questions?  You’ll find the questions (and get a little more information on the Obstacle Course) at this link:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/P6LRG2Q  Thanks!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Like my work?  Want to help me keep doing it? Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support size diversity activism, help keep the blog ad free, and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

One thought on “Women’s Health Announces the End of the Bikini Body

  1. Wonderful post! I think the Body Love Obstacle Course is terrific and very much needed! I answered the survey. Thank you for asking us to participate! Your articles have helped me very much over the past few years and I always look forward to reading your posts!
    Happy New Year!

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