Nice Curves!

Yesterday Rock and I rode the train down into the city to visit the Christkrindlmarket.  It was a fun afternoon of rain, warmish weather, and wandering fun little shops.  I love the holiday season and this was a perfect way to celebrate all of the fun with ornaments, handmade treasures, baked goods, and hot chocolate.  I even picked up some hard to find incense for a German smoker given to me by my grandmother when I was a little girl.

On the train ride home I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and came across a Women’s Health tweet about Britney Spears on their new cover.  The tweet read “.‘s are hotter than ever on this cover ” I usually ignore these tweets but I had a long train ride so I clicked on it and started reading through the comments.  During a quick train ride this became one HOT topic.


Years ago Britney went down a bit of a rough patch.  In fact I thought she had lost it so much that I told my husband her career was over.  She had shaved her head and had Dr. Phil counseling her.  None of it looked good.  With all that had gone on in her life she put on weight and kind of let herself go.

But she proved me and a ton of other people wrong.  Really wrong!  Britney came back and she came back big.  She cleaned herself up, became a great mom, and took back control over her career.  In a short period of time she rebuilt herself into a beautiful, fit and strong woman.

So what is the problem with her cover?  Nothing and everything.  First of all, no one can deny that she is a beautiful woman.  But the girl on that cover looks nothing like her.  Everyone was commenting that it looked like Heidi Klum had been photoshopped onto her face.  I showed the picture to my husband and asked him who it was.  He too said Heidi Klum.

So here, in my opinion, is the problem.  I absolutely understand that magazines must do some airbrushing.  Heck, if I were in a magazine I would hope someone would airbrush a few parts of me.  I have acne and scars and lumps in places I wouldn’t want people to see.  But Britney is a beautiful girl.  I think most of us can look at her and recognize the progress she has made.

Her progress is something we can admire and realize that we too can improve upon ourselves.  Yesterday I was watching the Today Show and they were discussing how the average woman not only doesn’t lose her baby weight but in fact tends to put on weight after having children.  Here on the cover of Women’s Health is an example of a lady who isn’t just a mom but a single mom.  She rose up from some rough times and got her act together.  She clearly has worked out and it shows (of course I realize she has time and money for trainers that most of us don’t have but even so it is great).  Isn’t that what a fitness magazine should want to highlight?

Of course everyone needs some touch ups here and there.  But what I would like to see is a real Britney on the cover of a magazine.  I would like to see her work in progress and be able to celebrate her and all of us who work so darn hard to balance life, workouts, and our diets.  It isn’t easy and we all slip up.  And the truth is, we all have a flaw (or two, or three, or four).

We live in a society these days of all or nothing.  Obesity is an epidemic in our country and at the same time our models are sickeningly skinny.  Wouldn’t it be nice to highlight the balance?  Wouldn’t it be great for people to pick up a magazine and see a fit, athletic person on the cover and think, “Hey I would like that and I can strive for it.”  I don’t want to look like a stick.  But I sure do want to have some lean and muscular runner’s legs.  I want to work those abs and be proud of the progress I see.  When someone feels like they are at their worst, seeing what looks like impossible perfection on a magazine doesn’t give much hope.

Obviously I am not calling out just Women’s Health.  There are dozens of magazines out there and I almost exclusively see super skinny models on the covers, even on fitness magazines.  But I would love it if we could all take a moment and realize what is real and what is achievable.  I want us to recognize how hard it is for so many people to get in shape or to find the time to dedicate to achieving a healthier lifestyle.  It isn’t easy but progress is progress.  And curves?  Well those are beautiful.


Look at those legs!

Look at those legs!

Nice work Britney!

30 thoughts on “Nice Curves!

  1. In a country where obesity is an epidemic, I feel like airbrushing is too. We all have our flaws–I am right there with you on wanting a few things dealt with! But I think that we should celebrate just as much the fact that we can work hard for real results. I just wish that it was more obvious the amount of help that these celebrities got to look the way they do. Props on being a single mom, but she does have a lot of help!

  2. I understand your point of view about airbrushing but I’m not sure I want to see normal plastered all over the front of magazines; well, certainly not in that state of undress. Normal with clothes=fine. Perhaps they could just admit to it, stick the faces onto Barbie and Ken dolls, and be done with it. 😉

    • Ha! I completelt understand. All I really carr about is airbrushing someone to the point where they no longer look like themself. And of course touch her up but don’t photoshop a normal fit person to look like a model.

  3. It is unfortunate that a fitness magazine can’t emphasis peoples true beauty on the cover. You sometimes expect it from a fashion magazine but a magazine that is all about womens health should praise a women’s ‘natural’ body.

  4. I completely agree with you. I see this on think on Facebook and I immediately thought, how much did they airbrush this thing.? No wonder women have body issues. I do actually like women’s health magazine a lot. M my one major problem with it is that some articles use, what is in my opinion, dumb abbreviations or slang instead of just intelligently getting the information across. Like writing things like “veg” and “brekkie”. When did those become words? Or words that should be published in a magazine?

    • Yeah those abbreviations make it seem like women who are looking to get in shape are less than intelligent. Actually I think we are a pretty smart bunch who are usually looking to become even more educated.

  5. always a hot topic to debate. i think we struggle with this tension both individually and collectively, as a society: the desire to see perfection and beauty (aka, an amazing woman’s body) and know that ideal exists and admire it and recognize the hard work behind it, but it’s offset by the equal-and-opposing desire to want to celebrate realness and the beauty of imperfection-but-genuine, which is how most of us probably see our own bodies. yes, we want those glossy, perfect, airbrushed girls to still be on the magazines — but we don’t want that, at the same time. and so goes life. 🙂

  6. Hey!! Great topic!! Love your passion behind your words!! I agree with you!! All of the airbrushing begins to seem a bit silly and extreme when in my opinion, society needs to be celebrating women and how they really look (imperfections and all). Imperfections are beautiful to me. Very interesting to see a celebrity on a magazine cover and then to see pictures of that same person at the beach (non airbrushed). I love their natural look so much better- I wish society would celebrate it!!

  7. Oh my goodness she DOES look like Heidi Klum in that pic!
    I totally agree with you. She looks fantastic and I’m so happy that she has turned her life around!
    As far as photos on a magazine cover? You have NO IDEA how much that irks me. I’m a graphic designer and for about a year I worked in the fashion industry. Several times during that year I spent a lot of time photoshopping models that would appear in our catalogs. It was always my goal to leave the girls looking as natural as possible because I feel strongly about that, but my boss (who was male and a total psychopath) would often have me change these girls until they were unrecognizable from the ones that showed up for a shoot. I hated it. That boss was ultimately the reason I left and having to do that really changed the way that I look at models and actresses in print.

  8. Here is my problem with airbrushing… Fashion magazine – I think it’s perfectly acceptable. Fashion is all about aesthetics and how clothing and lighting and the human figure can be artistically featured. I think it’s justified in an artistic setting. Even if the models are extremely thin, it is what it is in that arena. It’s design and art and all that.
    Fitness magazine – NOPE. Like come on. Most people who read fitness magazines are REAL people who have some journey of their own. Making someone feel inferior even after they’ve worked their asses off to lose weight, get healthy, and change their lives, by throwing a photoshopped model in their face is ridiculous. It drives disordered thinking/eating. It might even drive people to obesity and becoming unhealthy, because even if they put in all the work they will never look like a photoshopped fitness magazine cover.
    I’m glad you wrote about this, and although Britt looks great, I don’t think she looks like herself at all. I definitely didn’t recognize her just from the picture until I read a little bit!

    • Bingo! That’s exactly how I feel. Go ahead and air brush the heck out of those skinny super models. But if you are a fitness magazine you owe it to your readers and everyone who is trying to follow their example. To me it really changes my opinion of a so called “fitness” magazine.

  9. There are some great comments that cover my thoughts pretty well … and this is something I have talked about before as someone who will never have a ‘perfect’ body (whatever that is) due to my past.
    – Britney Spears looks awesome, has been working her tail off in every area and deserves praise. She has suffered for her past actions – her voice has never been the best but is worse now, and due to injuries she can’t dance like she used to (even though she is still really young!). But she has had an amazing turn-around.
    – BUT, the conversation is essentially guided by what is being displayed. In this case I don’t think anyone would be able to win the game of ‘name that cover model’ if you just showed the picture. I would just assume that it was one of those girls from some reality or CW show that I am supposed to know but don’t.
    – In other words – no one recognizes her … and THAT is the conversation. Not about how awesome she looks.
    – Suddenly her accomplishments are thrown into doubt, she looks too good, no longer real. People start to say that there are 3 stars on the cover – Britney, cosmetic surgery, and photoshop.

    And as was said before, if we’re talking a fashion magazine, that is one thing (I still disagree, but whatever). But on a fitness magazine there should be no photoshopping or airbrushing. That would show integrity … but we also know that integrity isn’t what sells magazines – that picture is what sells magazines.

  10. Oh you hit a nerve with this one. A BIG one. I refuse to buy any kind of “heath and fitness” magazines until they start putting real women, with real bodies, on their covers. Isn’t it ironic the more magazines come out with these unrealistic looking women, the more the nation’s obesity problem goes up? I think people look at those pictures, think, “I can never look like that”, which kills any confidence they may have in themself, and then end up with some kind of eating issue. And I can’t think of any magazine that doesn’t do this, even the holy grail of Runner’s World. Put a picture of the amazing people you find running in a Disney race, and you will see what the new, beautiful faces of fitness look like!

  11. You know what buys me (and maybe this is a different conversation) but if you look at Men’s Health magazine, the celebrities always look like themselves and sometimes even wear shirts (!) and pants (!). It’s not enough for a woman to BE fit, she has to look perfect (have tight abs, toned but not “muscly” or “manly”). Ugh! Britney has a trainer and works her butt off, is a beautiful woman but that is still not enough! Gah! I can understand how a little photo-shopping might be necessary but creating images of people who don’t even exist to sell your crappy one-move fitness routine, or weird and non-sustainable diet seems totally disingenuous.

  12. Pingback: Smoke, mirrors, and photoshop magic. | Run Salt Run

  13. Pingback: Magazine Advertisements: Wrong Place, Wrong Time | Running On Healthy

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