Sportette Editor Sam Squiers. Photo: Dale Travers from Full Frame Photographics
Tell me what you hate about your body.
If you could have plastic surgery what area of your body would you change?
Have you lost weight?
Dieted this year?
Which Hollywood celebrity has the best body?
Feeling insecure yet? Are you starting to look at areas of your body and want to cover them up? Hide? Hate them? Hate you?
Sick of being made to feel this way? Yeah us too.
A recent article in a women’s magazine absolutely made our blood boil. It was a survey. Of women. On their bodies. But instead of asking women the areas of their bodies they love, it focussed on areas they hated, would change and felt the most insecure about. Even the title “Body Wish List” has unrealistic connotations.
Even the title “Body Wish List” has unrealistic connotations.
It wasn’t about what you have, but what you don’t.
Language is a powerful tool and it made us think how different the article could have been had they simply turned the focus around to something positive.
For example instead of saying “35% of respondents say they would like to lose more than 10kg and 27% want to shed 5-10kg” how about saying “38% of women are happy with their bodies and don’t feel they need to lose any weight” ?
Instead of saying “42% believe slimmer women are more successful with the opposite sex” how about saying “58% of women believe size doesn’t have anything to do with making you attractive to the opposite sex”?
Instead of saying “12% of women say they have lied about their weight” how about saying “88% of women are proud of their weight”?
Then how about this, under the title “My Dream Body” the article claims 29% of women want an “athletic” body. They then show a photo of Kate Hudson as an example of that body type. When I think “athletic”, I think Women in Sport, our athletes, not a Hollywood star. Using Hudson as an example of an athletic body perpetuates an unrealistic image of what is healthy and attractive.
The article was actually brought to our attention by Leah Gilbert. Leah wrote one of the most popular and powerful articles published by Sportette. Leah is an athlete; she competes in triathlons, marathons, is a fitness instructor and running coach. She’s a mother of two and is Plus size. There are tens of thousands of athletes just like Leah, you probably pass them out on your runs, rides and swims everyday. You may not realise they’re athletes for the same reason they probably don’t tell you they are, as they don’t fit the mould of what society says should be an athlete. Apparently like Kate Hudson.
Leah is strong, healthy, fit and friendly. She’s powerful both physically and mentally and that makes her one hell of a woman.
Athletes come in all shapes and sizes. Women come in all shapes and sizes. If your nose, thigh, bottom, breasts or stomach isn’t represented in these glossy pages, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong, unattractive or should be an area that goes under the surgeon’s knife. You certainly shouldn’t be made to feel this way by an article in a magazine.
Scrap this magazine’s “Body Wish List”
we’re making a “Body Love List”
That’s why Sportette is constructing its own list. Scrap this magazine’s “Body Wish List”, we’re making a “Body Love List”. As part of our Strong is the New Pretty campaign, we’re asking you to send us (either on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) a powerful image of you exercising and tell us what part of your body you love the most and why along with the hashtag #BodyLoveList. Each week we’ll reward the best image with a gift from our friends at New Balance, with the best images to form part of our Strong is the New Pretty gallery.