Though much has been made over the years of the effect glossy women's magazines can have on our body image, the magazines themselves haven't changed that much. Some may be advocating for more body-positivity, but some also still, for the most part, promote thin bodies and dole out weight loss tips.
That's why one nutritionist decided to "fix" the headlines you see on a typical women's magazine.
Laura Thomas, PhD, a registered nutritionist in the UK, wrote in an Instagram post earlier this week that she was "stunned" when she came across a copy of Women's Health Magazine UK, which she wrote was "the EPITOME of diet culture."
With that in mind, she took to her Instagram to change the headlines to be more body-positive and food-positive, changing things like "Get Lean" to "Don't go on a diet," and "Sculpt Killer Abs" to "Don't kill yourself just to get visible abs."
"Remember, going on a diet may transform your body (temporarily, diets don’t work long-term), but it’s not a cure for low self-esteem, it doesn’t help you cultivate body acceptance or good body image, and it can lead you down the path of disordered eating," she wrote.
Dr. Thomas, who for the month of December is posting non-diet advent calendar tips on her Instagram, says that the magazine's tips don't cure low-self-esteem, nor do they help you cultivate body acceptance.
"What this message is REALLY saying is 'restrict your energy intake through disordered and restrictive eating & kill yourself in the gym, and don’t even think about having a social life,'" she added. "You don’t owe it to anyone to conform to unrealistic aesthetics that someone else decided for you. If working out and eating nutritious food are your jam then that’s awesome, but it should never be at the expense of your mental or physical health."
If you are struggling with an eating disorder and are in need of support, please call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. For a 24-hour crisis line, text “NEDA” to 741741.
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