Monday, February 09, 2009

The Shape of things

I subscribe to Shape. But as each new issue comes, and I look at the cover model in her bikini and read the (often contradictory) stories inside, I'm starting to hate the magazine.

February's issue offers up a story titled "How I learned to love my body." The subhead says, "These nine women share a trait we all should have: positive self-image." That's on page 38. Page 150 gives us a spread of naked women of various shapes and sizes and says, "Banish those body issues. These women have and with these surprising yet simple strategies, you too can feel more confident -- inside and out!" The story offers some good thoughts on being good to yourself.

Then page 157 of this same issue tells us, "Drop 10 pounds this month." Because even though you have a positive self-image and you've banished your body issues, you're still 10 pounds too heavy, fat ass. And if you were starting to feel really good about yourself, there's the fashion section with the super skinny model eating a hot dog (riiiight, she eats food) at the back of the mag to bring you back down to your overweight, flabby, self-loathing earth. Seriously, my skeleton is fatter than that model.

The March issue gives this tip: "If you're feeling truly exhausted, it's more beneficial to ditch your workout." It's better to get the sleep you need and not risk injuring yourself, the story says. Yet, once again, in the same issue, "'Even when she's tired, Jaime (Pressly) comes to the gym motivated,' says trainer Mike Jones." See, Jaime Pressly can make it to the gym and be motivated, even when she's tired, so why can't you? Jaime Pressly also has an Emmy, and you don't.

It's not all bad. I take good things from the magazine from time to time. For instance, in this month's "Weight-loss diary" entry, the writer says:
"I was really having trouble putting an end to my mental trash talk. So I asked my life coach, Lauren Zander, for advice on how to nip it in the bud -- for good. ... She devised a three-part plan to help me change my mind-set. The first step: to give my inner critic a name, which would help me differentiate if from the healthier, more nurturing me. I immediately dubbed mine 'Cindy.'"
I too have decided to name my inner critic, which I think is also the voice that wakes me at 3 a.m. to make me freak out about all the things I have to get done before noon Wednesday (which inexplicably doesn't include writing blog entries or playing solitaire). My inner critic is "Doug." Why Doug? Well, K didn't seem to want the name for her iPhone, and it just feels right to say, "Shut up, Doug! I don't want to hear it."

Thanks, Shape!


Kate said...

I'm glad the name got a use somewhere! I have an uncle named Doug, so it wouldn't have worked for me.

If I was going to name my inner critic, she'd be something snooty and country-clubbish. Patricia, Stacy, Brenda, Courtney. Something like that.

Heather said...

I think I'll name mine Claire. I'm not sure why, but it sounds about right.