Look at the fitness section of any magazine rack and you'll find men's publications splashed with words like "get more" and "gain" and "build," while women's magazines feature directives like "fix" and "slim" and "lose" and "tone." Notice the difference?
My interpretation is that, if I don't look like the ultra-thin or impossibly curvy Photoshopped cover model, I am somehow broken, overweight or flabby -- requiring "fixing." This may seem extreme, but countless studies point to the media's impact on body image for women.
In 2008, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Michigan analyzed 77 previous studies. They found that exposure to this type of media significantly increases women's dissatisfaction with their bodies and their likelihood of developing unhealthy behaviors, like eating disorders.
Thankfully, increasing awareness of the media's influence on women has prompted positive campaigns like Always' #LikeAGirl. The success of female athletes like Ronda Rousey and Serena Williams is helping project another view of health and beauty, driven by athletic performance rather than aesthetic goals.
Read the full article "Fixing women's fitness: Strength training for a healthier body image" at CNN.