This fake front cover nails the underlying problem with most women's magazines

There are not many constants in life, but if there were ever a piece of wisdom that holds true again and again, it's this, via Baz Luhrmann:

Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

A black and white hand-drawn illustration parodying Women's Health magazine has spread like wildfire on social media networks, including Imgur, where it's been viewed millions of times:

Picture: David London

The spoof Women's "Health" image is a pretty blistering pastiche of what can still be seen in newsagents in 2016.

Accompanying text on the cover is searingly honest, and manages to tap into the subtext of 'not being good enough' at... well... everything.)

Weight loss, fitness, money, being desirable to men - every tip and feature is ultimately designed to cause anxiety.

EVEN IF YOU DO THIS ABSURD WORKOUT YOU WON'T LOOK LIKE HER BECAUSE PHOTOSHOP


DIDN'T THINK YOU WERE FAT? YOU ARE!


BUILD A SANDCASTLE AROUND HIS C--K & OTHER WEIRD F--KING SEX TIPS YOU WOULD NEVER SERIOUSLY ATTEMPT, ALL FOR HIS PLEASURE!

Mocked-up women's mags covers are nothing new, of course:

There are many who would argue that gendered magazines should be read as wish fulfillment or escapism (as well as a daily reinforcement of our crushing insecurities, it's true we do all need to know the secret to the sexiest sex to sex after sex.)

Several womens' magazines have made efforts to move away from body-shaming and focussing on how to make men happy in recent years - including Women's Health, which has banned the phrase 'bikini body' from its pages and has pointed out that it never uses Photoshop.

Hearst UK, the publisher of Women's Health, provided the following statement to indy100:

Women’s Health has always been about being the best version of yourself. Whatever your age, your shape, your genetics, it is inclusive and we provide our readers with scientifically-backed, expert-led information to give them the opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle via attainable methods.

We are proud to never use Photoshop to change the size of bodies. The abs that you see on our covers are real, and have taken hard work and dedication. They deserve to be celebrated. And when it comes to our sex content, it’s always about empowering women to be in charge of their own sexual satisfaction.

indy100 has contacted the original uploader of the parody cover to find out more about where it came from.

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)