Updated: Nov 28, 2022
You’re at the grocery store check-out line - the impulse buy area - surrounded by chips, candy, 14 different types of MONSTER energy drinks and magazines. You are immediately drawn to the chaos that is the above magazine cover.
Yes, your guilty pleasure, woman’s magazine! Just reading the cover while you’re in line is a perfect way to tune out beeping scanners, unhappy children in the next line over and the person who is standing way too close to you (even by pre-COVID standards).
It’s easy to get caught up in the magazine’s messages and just buy it, but please take a second before you toss the magazine on the belt! What may be an impulse purchase for you is a well-researched and calculated creation of the multi-billion dollar diet and fitness industries.
First, the design of this cover: it is intentionally chaotic to get your attention. There's the main headline in larger font size and against a brightly colored background, plus the eight other headlines - SOME IN CAPS, some in different colors. Images of desserts float all around.
Many of the headlines and graphics dig at women’s body insecurities and health concerns. They may trigger feelings of inadequacy, shame and stress. Then they promise quick-fixes. This is intentional! No wonder the main headline is “She Lost Her Belly at Age 61.”
A few words about this particular headline . . .
[SARCASTIC RANT ALERT]
So, she LOST her belly? Has anyone seen it? Was it last seen driving a Jeep Cherokee on the Turnpike? Ohhhh okay, she lost weight . . . and a potato secret is the reason? It’s not just any potato secret, it's a "so-easy" potato secret. It ends your hunger AND burns fat?! This so-easy potato secret is "better than a diet pill!" By following this potato secret, you'll lose 53 pounds by Halloween! WHAT A POTATO SECRET!
This magazine is literally telling women that it is ideal for them to NOT have any belly fat AND that a drastic and gimmicky diet is the way to achieve that. If weight loss is your goal - and it’s not for everyone - it is the result of healthy food intake and eating habits, plus consistent, enjoyable exercise.
Please do yourself a favor and leave that magazine - and any others with promises that are too good to be true - on the rack. None of what is offered is guaranteed safe or effective in the long-term. It's a set-up for you to fail with your health goals so you can keep spending your money on the next diet or exercise plan.
Be aware of the messaging around you, starting with the check-out line. Check-in with yourself. If it doesn't make you feel positive and confident, walk-on by. You'll save more than just money!