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Do magazines help portray a positive message about body image?
January 10, 2015
4:38 pm
Steven
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Often when I see magazines, such as Gay Times and Attitude, it strikes me that the gay magazines are no different than that of woman's magazines, in the subliminal messaging about body size and the associated attitudes towards this.

Throughout the magazines are adverts for clothes, modelled by (often) young slim attractive guys, with muscle definition that I could only dream about. But what message is this portraying to it's readers, what message is it portraying to those who are not confident in their own skin?

Whilst I want to be thought provoking, I don't want people to feel unashamed for being any size.

Conversations should remain respectful to readers but also respectful to the people who write their opinions.

Stevie G { Will Conquers Adversity }
January 16, 2015
1:15 am
Thomas Grainger
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Hey Steven,

Totally agree about this issue, particularly amongst male magazines as these are more likely to fly below the radar (because this issue is not often discussed in relation to men). I think that we have become so desensitised to these images that we expect it as the 'norm', and many people in society find themselves comparing their own bodies to people who make a living off looking a certain and often unobtainable way (not to mention that photos are photoshopped - anyone who denies this is full of rubbish, I work in the industry and its definitely standard!). There needs to be more knowledge and emphasis placed on looking a certain way does not correlate with health and happiness (although it can to an extent). In reality, there is so much more to life AND on a more profound level, we are all unique and look different for a reason. What is attractiveness/beauty anyway. It's entirely a subjective phenomena. Truly.

Cheers for the great topic for discussion.

Thomas

Thomas Grainger thomasgrainger.info Author | Speaker | Coach | Creative Producer
January 16, 2015
10:06 pm
Billy28
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January 11, 2015
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The sad thing is that these types of magazines come down to making money over people's health and well being.
For me January is a month when I have to be even more vigilant and care full because of the many triggers that are around. Such as people going on diets because of Christmas even though they are healthy as they are, magazine and TV adverts bombarding us with fat free, sugar free food choices and how to lose body fat ect (Even though body fat Is very important to a person's health). It's like saying if you want to LOOK good buy this or get like this (by buying this magazine or this product I'm selling).
It annoys me that they don't think more about people who suffer from eating disorders.

I stay clear from them.
I do like comic book hero films but sadly in this they also make the actor look a certain un maintainable way. Which can also lead to comparing the self and taking unhealthy behaviours up.

January 18, 2015
8:27 pm
Thomas Grainger
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Hey Billy28,

Yes, completely agree. I guess for this reason a new strategy needs to be taken toward this, for people with eating disorders, in order to ensure they are not 'triggered' my such media images. I suggest that people try to desensitise themselves to this material through CBT: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It's a matter of stepping back and being mindful of the fact that these images are not reality, they are not the norm and the quest to mimic such looks is a quest for perfection which doesn't exist. Also discussing it online out in the public detracts from its emotional impact

Thomas Grainger thomasgrainger.info Author | Speaker | Coach | Creative Producer
January 19, 2015
11:11 am
Steven
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Thomas Grainger said

"... I think that we have become so desensitised to these images that we expect it as the 'norm', and many people in society find themselves comparing their own bodies to people who make a living off looking a certain and often unobtainable way..."

Thomas

Are we missing out on a bigger picture with magazines and the adverts that they carry. I personally think, and it may be quite divisive, that overweight has become the new norm.

Whenever I walk around my local town or deal with people in my working life, the average person is definitely not the same as those seen in magazines. I feel maybe that as a society we are too careful not to offend people or victimise people, so we skip the issues that really make a difference. Whilst we look at those magazines and see slim and toned people, we see no articles telling us what effects certain foods has on our bodies, so are those articles really trying to subliminally make people feel bad within themselves rather than then addressing more serious issues; such as how food manufacturers produce our food, and more importantly what they put (or don't put) in it which makes it so cheap, especially the fallacy that diet foods are better for you.

Stevie G { Will Conquers Adversity }
January 22, 2015
11:51 am
Thomas Grainger
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Steven said

Thomas Grainger said

"... I think that we have become so desensitised to these images that we expect it as the 'norm', and many people in society find themselves comparing their own bodies to people who make a living off looking a certain and often unobtainable way..."

Thomas

Are we missing out on a bigger picture with magazines and the adverts that they carry. I personally think, and it may be quite divisive, that overweight has become the new norm.

Whenever I walk around my local town or deal with people in my working life, the average person is definitely not the same as those seen in magazines. I feel maybe that as a society we are too careful not to offend people or victimise people, so we skip the issues that really make a difference. Whilst we look at those magazines and see slim and toned people, we see no articles telling us what effects certain foods has on our bodies, so are those articles really trying to subliminally make people feel bad within themselves rather than then addressing more serious issues; such as how food manufacturers produce our food, and more importantly what they put (or don't put) in it which makes it so cheap, especially the fallacy that diet foods are better for you.

Hi Steven

I totally agree that there is a deeper issue related to a lack of nutrition in a lot of the food products available. My mantra is this: eat whole food, which do not come in a packet. If it came from the earth eat it, if it didn't, consume in moderation. Being overweight may be the 'norm' for a lot of people but it certainly isn't normal. However, neither is being underweight or obsessively concerning yourself with the way that you look, or having a body which requires that you work out in the gym 3 hours a day. Many people with an eating disorder are more concerned about what will make them apparently 'look good' (often processed low carb diet snacks and shakes), rather than what will nourish their bodies: foods like nuts and seeds, organic meats, fruits, veggies, complex gluten-free starches, healthy fats like grass fed butter, avocados, olive and coconut oil. They might not make you super lean, but that's because we're not designed to be this way (at least not the majority of us).

So in hindsight, I believe that nutrition and body image are interrelated but often 2 very separate issues. The issue of body image derives from psychological dissatisfaction with the way one looks, based on number of possible internal and external factors. Poor nutrition boils down to a lack of knowledge, a greta deal of apathy/lack of care, and in many cases, a lack of nutrition comes for self-starvation through insufficient food intake.

Thomas

Thomas Grainger thomasgrainger.info Author | Speaker | Coach | Creative Producer
January 23, 2015
7:54 pm
Billy28
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I guess for people like ourselves who have suffered ED and BDD or who are currently working towards and wanting recovery we have to look at what we can do to cope with these issues that can affect us. CBT and Mindfulness are great as Thom mentioned earlier.
For us or at least for me its more helpful to Avoid these such magazines and advertisement as much as I can, Yes I do still come a cross them but remind myself that it is not helpful to me and practice disregarding them.
If need advice or knowledge on health ask or look at a reliable source not something that is asking you to buy it or an internet video you don't know if the person speaking is truly knowledgeable on the subject.

Yes there are people who are naturally heavier but we are also living longer and are taller than we were 60 - 70 years ago.
Being at the higher end or a bit more of the healthy weight range is LESS of a killer then an Eating Disorder.

January 28, 2015
10:57 pm
Thomas Grainger
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Billy28 said

Yes there are people who are naturally heavier but we are also living longer and are taller than we were 60 - 70 years ago.
Being at the higher end or a bit more of the healthy weight range is LESS of a killer then an Eating Disorder.

So so true. Being underweight is the worst thing you can possibly do for your health. Ironically, the more you get caught up in these images of the perfect male body, the more you find yourself moving away from this warped ideal in your head anyway, as you're wasting away (you loos e a LOT of muscle, not just fat). This process is called catabolism: where your body uses your own organ mass to get energy. That's why organs shrink when you are losing weight when you are underweight. Don't forget that the brain is also an organ. Just remember that a measly 0.01% of the population is genetically designed to even come close to a lot of these cover images on 'men's health and fitness' magazines.

Thomas Grainger thomasgrainger.info Author | Speaker | Coach | Creative Producer
January 30, 2015
10:00 pm
Billy28
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And that's what they don't tell you on health magazines when they are asking you to buy their supplements or issues.

I guess that type of cover is also related to attracting the person to feel (subcontiously)they could become something more special or above the general public if they looked like that. Or that people will like them more if they look like that.

February 12, 2015
12:29 am
Thomas Grainger
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Billy28 said

And that's what they don't tell you on health magazines when they are asking you to buy their supplements or issues.

I guess that type of cover is also related to attracting the person to feel (subcontiously)they could become something more special or above the general public if they looked like that. Or that people will like them more if they look like that.

Exactly. You'll also find that comparing issue to issue, the things that were said to be optimal for 'fat blasting', and 'shrining your gut', etc, are in complete contrast to one another. Remember that this is all a business and a very successful one at that. Why do you think the cosmetic and dieting industries are some of the most profitable in the world. The key word out of this is emotion. Magazines are a company. Companies use marketing to generate sales. Marketing 101: play on emotions to create sales and then repeat the process and get the customer hooked for life. Enough said.

Thomas Grainger thomasgrainger.info Author | Speaker | Coach | Creative Producer
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