Women’s magazines beginning to promote healthier body images
Increasingly academics and psychologists conclude that the images from adverts and women’s magazines portraying airbrushed or under-weight models are having damaging effects on people’s self-esteem and body confidence.
Recently, several magazines across Europe have taken steps to more realistically portray women as part of a laudable step to stimulate better confidence and body image for their readers. Reacting to the efforts of one French MP, Valerie Boyer, to legislate to require labels to be placed on airbrushed images Marie Claire magazine produced an airbrush-free edition in April 2010. This edition presented women as they naturally are without the use of computers to artificially manipulate their bodies.
Other magazines are trying to create better healthier images for women by using ordinary women as models, instead of professional models who tend to display a narrow range of body shapes and appearances. Two such magazines are Brigitte magazine in Germany and Essentials magazine in the UK. Vecko Revyn magazine from Sweden has also begun embracing a healthier body image, employing more average-sized models and even establishing its own modelling agency to organise and promote the use of these models in more advertisements and magazines.
These magazines’ actions reflect a growing recognition that there is a market for more realistic and positive images for women, and we applaud their accomplishments thus far. We hope that this trend will spread, and that the best-selling magazines we see on the shelves every day will get the message that readers want to see more reality in the images they consume.