March appears rather similar. The focus is on Abs first, and then either aging or having more and better sex, wherever your eye goes first. There's another undisclosed health issue that will be revealed inside the magazine. Notice how Heidi Klum is promoted on her cover, whereas Shakira isn't, or at least not in the same way. I would argue that Shakira is objectified more than Heidi. Each month, it seems that the cover model is meant to embody or exemplify some theme within the magazine. With Heidi, it's about looking great as you get older, playing off the cliche phrase, "40 is the new 20." With Shakira, the cover seems to be implying that Shakira is both Fit and Sexy and likely looks great naked (probably she does). Both women are showing their abs, but Shakira's hot pants are, well, saying something about being sexy that Heidi's skirt isn't.
If you're not convinced that there's something troubling here, the cover of the 2014 January/February issue of the magazine featured Evangeline Lilly and the promise of the "Best. Butt. Ever." along with a host of other similar themes using sex appeal to get the reader's attention.
And more than that, what if I don't want getting into shape to be quick and easy? What if I want it to be hard? In the early days of January, a handful of friends and I decided to take part in a 30-day workout challenge. I've addressed this in a previous post, but I bring it up again because I've tried to extend that 30-day challenge. I've just passed the 60-day mark at this point. No, I haven't worked out every day for 60+ days, but I'd say I probably work out about six days a week. More than ever, building healthy habits seems vital. And building them is what I want to do. I want to sweat through this process and challenge myself. I want to fail and try again. I don't want a quick fix that will get me all set for bikini season. I don't want "getting in shape" to have a deadline.
Disclaimer: I know I'm picking exclusively on Women's Health, but I believe most magazines aimed at women employ a similar rhetoric on their covers. I pick on Women's Health because I know it the best. I even like them on Facebook and click on their teasers in my news feed most of the time.