Written by Emily
Yesterday, while I was in the check-out line trying to organize my items by category on the belt, I was distracted by the garish cover of Star magazine’s Best and Worst Beach Bodies issue. Yes! Just in time for swimsuit season! It stared at me from the shelf like a judgmental, nosy neighbor eyeing me up and down and sucking its teeth. While I walked away, my groceries a mountain in my cart, it occurred to me: Star magazine has not gone far enough to thoroughly objectify the entire human race.
The Best and Worst Beach Bodies issue comes very close to offending and humiliating everyone, but with a little creative thinking, I think Star could reach a larger audience. The truth is, although the cover of the magazine appears in front of my eyes again and again like an obnoxious camera flash, I’m sure there are people who didn’t notice.
Right now, not every single person stands in front of his or her mirror and pokes and prods and pinches and sucks in. There are still a few people left who don’t absolutely loathe swimsuit season and themselves.
Think, Star, how can you berate and belittle human beings until they are completely consumed by measuring themselves against an arbitrary ruler? There are already music videos, advertisements, print and digital media doing the job for you. Hmmmm…how can you extend the reach of your physical copy of a hazing nightmare that so brilliantly includes arrows and commentary?
Scales are a natural first step. Forget numbers, though; that’s been done, and while your magazine doesn’t suggest it, I think there’s a desire in you to step into uncharted territory. Think in terms of messages. Your writing staff could really get creative. Practicing with Twitter’s 140 character limit might help. Twitter in general might help. Something like this could work:
The scales should reflect your commitment to diminishing people on both ends of the spectrum and much of the middle of the spectrum as well, which has been the target of the Best and Worst Beach Bodies Issue. You discriminate equally. It’s very forward-thinking.
Calipers are another option, but who really uses calipers.
Since print media is a natural fit for you, but words aren’t the focus, picture books are a reasonable option. You could reach a whole new demographic. My girls can’t read everything yet, and only the bravest parents take their kids to the grocery store where their littles might catch a glimpse of the colorful images on your beach body issue. Enter Star for Kids! There are plenty of opportunities for lessons in compare and contrast, same and different, positive and negative. A Best and Worst Body series could be revolutionary, Star, because there are some elementary schoolers who haven’t started second-guessing themselves, yet.
Think about it.