Health

A Popular Women’s Magazine Is Banning “Bikini Body” And “Drop 2 Sizes” From Its Cover

The phrase is “actually a misnomer, not to mention an unintentional insult,” according to the editor-in-chief of Women’s Health.

1. Women’s Health is making a splash after the popular magazine announced it is banning the phrase “bikini body” from its cover.

2. The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Amy Keller Laird, announced in a blog post that the staff would no longer use the phrase as part of its collective New Year’s resolution.

Women’s Health / Via womenshealthmag.com

3. The magazine will also no longer say “drop two sizes,” she said.

4. Laird said that the magazine decided to ban the two phrases after conducting a reader survey, which asked what word or phrase the publication should ban.

5. She elaborated that the magazine’s staff has realized calling one body type a “bikini body” is “actually a misnomer, not to mention an unintentional insult.”

“When one reader said, ‘I hate how women’s magazines emphasize being skinny or wearing bikinis as the reason to be healthy,’ it became so clear: We never want to be that type of women’s magazine,” Laird wrote.

7. As for “drop two sizes,” Laird said that the staff thinks that aiming to drop two sizes in a month is “not super practical, or even all that healthy.”

8. Laird told BuzzFeed News that the magazine is changing its ways because her staff believes there has been a “cultural shift in the way women view health, fitness, and wellness.”

She said modern women are more focused on feeling confident and being healthy, not working out so they can “fit into some preconceived, outdated notion of what’s sexy.”

“When we have used the phrases ‘bikini body’ and ‘drop two sizes’ in the past, our intent was never to shame or make women feel badly,” she said. “But language is important, so we want to make sure we’re speaking to and conversing with our readers in a modern, empowering way.”

10. Many readers reacted to the announcement on the magazine’s social media accounts, with multiple readers praising the magazine as body positive.

11. “At last a magazine is finally telling the truth. Pity it took so long but well done,” one Twitter user wrote.

@WomensHealthMag At last a magazine is finally telling the truth. pity it took so long but well done. 👏

— Suzanne (@LittleSis87)

12. But others were critical, saying that the magazine was actually engaging in body-shaming by demonizing the phrase.

Body-shaming #fitness, @WomensHealthMag?🙀There's nothing wrong with a #bikinibody unless those who think they can't have one make it so.

— Ivy Bliss (@MsiBliss)

13. And accused the website of promoting obesity.

@WomensHealthMag Fucking morons. The diabetes treatment industry loves this move. FUCKING MORONS.

— Steven (@ArlingtonSteve)

14. Some readers also pointed out in the comments of the blog post that although the website may be banning the phrases, they are still getting ads that go against the new philosophy.

“While I appreciate what you’re saying and I do think it’s a step in the right direction, the message loses a lot of it’s meaning when there’s a giant link at the bottom of the ad trying to sell me something that will help me ‘lose weight 3x faster!’ and ‘look better naked!’” one reader wrote. “Oh well, baby steps.”

16. Laird said the response to the decision has been “99.9%” positive and that she hopes her magazine can “inspire more body-positive changes in the media industry.”

She added that the magazine will still contain weight-loss tips, but will be “watching the way we frame stories about butts and abs and losing pounds.”

“I don¹t think there’s anything negative about offering women realistic ways to lose weight if that’s what they want to do for themselves and their health,” she said. “And we know our readers still want to look hot — it’s just about looking hot on their own terms, for their own bodies, not in some cookie cutter way that makes them feel like they’re not enough.”

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