"We retouch to make the models look bigger, healthier," says Self‘s art director.
I read fitness magazines. My personal favorite is Women’s Health, but I pick up Shape or Self on occasion. They inspire me to work out (sometimes), and they have tasty recipes that are low in fat and calories. I’ve always been surprised at how just plain skinny some of the models are in these reads, even as they are promoting bigger muscles and healthy meals in the copy alongside them. "Why not choose a model with a form like Jessica Biel’s," I would wonder, since she looks more like someone who is active and eats, as opposed to someone who starves themselves and smokes. Little did I know that these spindly models are actually skinnier than they appear, which makes no sense.
As the blogger at Jezebel notes, there are attractive women out there who move around a lot and eat a well balanced diet who would be optimal for the pages of fitness magazines. Instead they hire impossibly rail-thin women who haven’t seen a gym in a month of Sundays because they haven’t eaten in nearly as long. Girls look to the pages of glossies for tips on fashion, weight and beauty–we owe them better role models.