Fitness Friday: Oxygen Magazine is Coming Back…and I’m Not Happy About It

Before I even start this post, I just want to say something to all of you who are going to get offended/upset by what I’m about to write: this post isn’t about you, the end user, and your choices. I’m not judging you for the way that you want to look, feel, eat, or perform. Your choices are yours and I respect you for making them and living by them. 

This is a post about the purveryor of information. About a magazine and its writers’ and publishers’ responsibility for shaping and guiding the trajectory of its readers’ choices. About the decision to put information out there without necessarily taking its entire audience–intended or not–into account. 

This is also not about the bodybuilding industry or those who choose to participate in it. I’ll reserve my own thoughts of the industry for another time and place, but if competition or lifting or dieting is something that makes you happy, then please: be happy.

This is about how one magazine conflates bodybuilding/competition with general health and fitness, and about how that conflation is neither transparent nor realistic. This is about creating disorder where there needn’t be. With that, please read, knowing that my message is coming from a place of recovery from disorder, not from a place of trying to judge  your decisions. I am a blogger who writes about eating disorders and recovery, about food and body relationships. And if you have something mean to say, please first consider my frame of reference and then why you’re angry at my opinion in the first place before you leave a comment. 

I can’t believe I even have to write this post, but here we are:

Oxygen Magazine is coming back, and I’m not happy about it.

Now, a little disclaimer and full-disclosure: there was a time when Oxygen Magazine made the first week of every month like a mini-Christmas for me. I read every issue from cover to cover for about 3 years. I cut out articles to put in my workout and nutrition folders when I was training for bikini competitions, and I saved whole issues under my bed. I was even a subscriber when I started this blog.

I honestly believe that Oxygen was one of the best women’s fitness magazines on the market.

But that opinion doesn’t mean much, because these days, I’ve come to realize that most women’s fitness magazines aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.

When Oxygen went bankrupt, I breathed a little sigh of relief. Why? Because even though my subscription had lapsed, that magazine was my guilty pleasure and even seeing it while standing in line at Whole Foods was my little reminder that ED can still get the best of me when he wears the right competition bikini.

Here’s the thing: Oxygen inspired thousands of women across the world to get off their butts and take control of their health. It promoted a “clean” diet, regular exercise, and a love for function and strength over skinniness and weakness. It empowered women to love their bodies and to stop being victims to obesity and disease.

On the surface.

My problem is in how the above messages were marketed. (And before you say anything, yes, I understand that you don’t sell magazines by promising lumps, bumps, and a body that works; people buy weight loss, six packs, and meal plans/supplements that get you a dream body fast.)

It seems to me that the magazine served two populations, and, unfortunately, had the opportunity to breed disorder from the merger:

First, the magazine served the average woman who reads Shape and Fitness and is overweight/out of shape/”average” (whatever that means)/looking to make a drastic change in her diet, lifestyle, and fitness level because she has a wedding to go to next month or it’s almost bathing suit season or she just got an app that will hold her accountable to her diet–this time.

Second, the magazine served fitness competitors/models and fitness competitor/model aspirants, who must eat a highly restrictive diet* and follow a very strict workout regimen while manipulating their bodies for aesthetic purposes–because they are training for a competition or making money from posing in front of the camera.

At the end of the day, Oxygen, like any other fitness magazine, made its money by promising women that they could look like the models on the cover. What makes Oxygen more dangerous than any issue of Women’s Health ever could be is that it actually showed women how to do it.

oxygen-magazine-are-you-next
[source]

If you’re just Jane Doe, an average 20-50-something year old woman with maybe a kid or a mortgage and some student loans and a regular job and maybe a few extra pounds of unwanted belly fat (or maybe imagined belly fat), you don’t need an “eat-clean” meal plan that limits your calories to below 1400 per day and suggests that you eat more than 1 g of lean (read: fat-free) protein per pound of body weight in a single day, doled out in 6 perfectly measured portions. Jane Doe doesn’t need a six-pack to prove that she is strong and healthy–she doesn’t need a low-fat diet or a medicine cabinet full of fat burners.

Jane Doe–and, hell, let’s face it, even I (at one point)–wants to look like one of the cover models on any given fitness magazine. She buys a copy of Health on her way to check out at the grocery story because she honestly believes (or at least earnestly hopes) that, hidden in its glossy pages, she’s going to discover the true secret to burning fat and building muscle, and all it’s going to take is following the instructions in this month’s cover article. But, as in most of those magazines, the instructions are lacking or based on pseudo-science (Spot-toning! Low calorie snacks all day to keep your metabolism burning! Lose weight while you sleep/work/talk on the phone/have sex/pay your taxes!)

oxygen-magazine-oh-yeah-nutrition-ad

An actual ad from the pages of Oxygen

[source]

In Oxygen, however, the instructions are abundant. In Oxygen, they give you the meal plans, the workouts, and the fitspiration photos to put on your vision board. They give you pages and pages of supplements and protein powders (Hydroxycut! Oxylean! NO Explode! MusclePharm!) carefully positioned next to articles on the benefits of eating “whole, unprocessed foods.” They show you how the fitness models do it–and how fitness models do it (especially when unassisted by a coach who knows what they’re doing) can lead to broken metabolisms, thyroid issues, amenorrhea, eating disorders, weight gain, injuries, and a whole host of other problems that I don’t think Jane Doe really wanted when she decided to take her diet to the next level by turning her body into an object to be judged while wearing a sparkly bikini and 5″ inch heels.**

(And I’m sorry if this offends you or if you’re a fitness model or a competitor–this isn’t a judgement of your decision to compete. I’m incensed, because Jane Doe is me. And too many other women who don’t realize that you don’t need to put your body on stage for judgement by a group of strangers in order to be validated as a worthwhile, strong, empowered human being. If you want it, do it. Just know that someone else’s judgement is not the only way to validate your strength. Just my two cents.)

Don’t get me wrong–as far as an industry magazine goes, I think Oxygen is fantastic. It serves its purpose and keeps fitness competitors motivated.

As far as a general women’s fitness and health magazine, however, it’s not okay. It’s not okay, because it tells general women that they should eat and train like a fitness model or else their bodies aren’t going to be sexy or healthy. It’s fitspiration delivered in long form, and I believe it’s damaging as hell.

And please don’t tell me that it’s not a big deal. When Jane loses her 10-15 pounds or starts seeing muscle definition and suddenly realizes that it’s working, setting her mind on doing a show is often the next step. Transformations and challenges and 16 week contest preps keep us engaged with our health–but they judge success on aesthetics.

And now that the Oxygen message is more mainstream (thank you, Pinterest, for bringing fitspiration to the masses and irresponsible personal trainers for saying to their weight loss clients, “You know, you’re looking great–have you thought about doing a show?”…not!), I cringe every time I see a friend or family member start to work out and then suddenly turn their health into a beach-body transformation challenge.

I know there is a whole legion members of the cult of Tosca*** who are going to ream me out for writing this post. Look: I appreciate and am grateful for all of the good things that Oxygen did for my life–it showed me how to lift heavy, got me interested in personal training, and motivated me to go from cardio queen to gym rat, etc. However, I got sucked into the industry of fitness modeling because I trusted Oxygen’s mixed message about where health and aesthetics meet. I take ownership for my part in this (I didn’t have to buy it or buy into it), but at the end of the day, we have to admit that most of us aren’t ready to see through the marketing messages until it’s too late, and it’s up to influential people and publications to be forthcoming about the meaning behind their messages.****

The way I see it is, if you have a platform, then you have a responsibility to understand who might hear your message, how they might interpret it, and to what end, especially if your message could have an effect on your audience’s health and wellbeing.

So here’s my message: Oxygen, be honest about who your audience is and what you think their goals should be. If you’re going to sell fitness competitions, then sell fitness competitions. If you’re going to sell health, then I want to see that you’re telling people that health and fitness competitions can be, but are not always, the same thing. And,  Jane, you don’t need to be a fitness model to be healthy or lift weights. Love your freaking body, ‘cause it’s the only one you get–and you don’t need a magazine to tell you that.

Anyway. Rant over. Buy it or don’t, but make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into when Oxygen magazine hits the shelf again.

Stay hungry,

@MissSkinnyGenes

*And I know that the Eat-Clean diet always talks about how much food you’re allowed to eat and how full you always feel, but if you break it down, even the “off-season” eating plans were under 2000 calories a day, and required you to eat 6 small meals of mostly protein. And if you followed the “fat burning” meal plans…well, you’d have to have been prepared for meal plans around 1400 calories a day and full of egg white omelettes and lean meats and such. And, FYI, I only ever followed the fat-burning plans. What dieter in her quote-unquote “right mind” follows a plan that leave you the potential for ingesting more calories? I rest my case….

**I had to buy my competition shoes from a stripper site online.

***Tosca Reno, wife to Robert Kennedy, who published the magazine. She was a 50-something housewife with a host of health and body issues, and Robert turned her into a fitness model. Now she’s a famous influencer in the world of fitness and figure competitions, as well as the woman at the helm of this resuscitated publication. She’s helped tons of women regain control of their bodies and their lives, and that’s cool and all, but I still feel like the whole “sisters in iron” thing gets a little cult-y. I know, ’cause I was there.

****But I suppose I could say this about every single health and fitness magazine out there with a picture of a ripped model (male OR female) on the cover…

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16 thoughts on “Fitness Friday: Oxygen Magazine is Coming Back…and I’m Not Happy About It

    • Molly Galbraith is great! Thanks for sharing the link 😀

      It’s important that more people write about the consequences of “being healthy” and having an ultra-fit physique. Sometimes, the costs just don’t outweigh the “benefits” of having a six pack…

  1. This is a fantastic post. I’d like to respond a bit more generally though, and tie it into your critique of veganism. I am not a vegan, nor do I wish to be one. I do believe humans are biologically meant to consume meat (of course the ethics of today’s meat farming practices are downright abominable, and it’s nice to try to get as much grass fed, preferably local meat, as possible). I also completely agree with you that the message from Oxygen magazine to non-bikini competitors is ridiculous. It inspires disordered behavior and if nothing else pushes a lifestyle that is not going to make most people happy. There’s nothing wrong with being supportive of cleaner diets and physical activity and emphasizing the goodness of weight lifting, but beyond that it becomes too much.

    I would argue, however, that the ancestral health movement is not immune to this type of practice either. It encourages a very restricted diet in the name of optimal health, but maybe, just maybe, that ideal pinnacle of health, is not the best option when it comes to the average person’s happiness. A 60-70% ancestral health based diet, with more grassfed meat, butter, coconut oil etc, but not completely shunning grains, legumes, etc, is still going to *drastically* increase the health of the average American, while keeping them not feeling so restricted that it could lead them to disordered eating patterns and/or constant feelings of not being good enough. In the end, any pattern of living and eating that is very restrictive in naming things that one should or should not do or consume, can have the effect discussed in this post.

    Lastly, while I completely agree with you that veganism quite often masks disordered eating, so does, I have increasingly noticed in the blogosphere, ancestral health. A very popular fitness/”healthy” eating blog, purelytwins.com is a perfect example of this. Although they proclaim that they don’t follow any diets, they for the most part go along with the ancestral health lines of thinking. Meanwhile, they praise themselves for now eating “beyond 1700 calories a day” while they also do intense daily or near-daily workouts and probably spend more time creating workouts for readers etc etc. They act as if their diet is extremely good (while they make delicious sounding frosting, note the sarcasm, out of protein powder and other not-so-wholesome sounding delicacies), meanwhile complaining about amenorrhea. And not that they shouldn’t be disturbed by lack of menstruation; it’s clearly a huge indicator that something is very wrong inside the body, they don’t seem to be able to accept that maybe, just maybe, eating enough calories to maintain their workout style, and probably having a little more body fat would help them. To me this seems like at least somewhat disordered thinking, yet it is veiled by the guise of their ancestral health-like mantra. Indeed, it is possible to hide behind ANY lifestyle and use it as a great excuse to continue with disordered patterns of living.

    I’m not trying to especially pick on them, as these patterns are seen across the blogosphere, in ancestral health blogs, in vegan blogs, etc etc. But they are extremely open about themselves so it is particularly easy to detect it in their blog.

    All that being said, I think you are wonderful for being so willing to state the obvious and be very blunt about unfortunate things. I don’t think you use ancestral health in this way, but I still think that it’s worth thinking about.

    xoxo,
    Audrey

    • Hey Audrey!

      Thank you so much for your post! I agree with you wholeheartedly–in fact, I’m actually going to be posting my “Why I’m Not a Vegan” epilogue this week or next–specifically about the disordered eating issues that aren’t necessarily addressed by the Paleo/ancestral health movement.

      I know far too many people who still struggle with ED even though they’ve “gone Paleo” or “low carb” or some such variation on the theme–and I know exactly what you’re talking about with the Purely Twins and other fitness bloggers. (They are both recovering from EDs themselves, and have experimented with vegan, raw, and other styles of diets in order to deal with health issues…I think their foray into the ancestral health world is still pretty new, and they’re going to have to keep discovering that diet won’t heal all of the old wounds. And, I do hear ya on the protein powder frosting issue…that’s at the heart of my issue with the “clean-eating” movement. We just end up making quote-unquote “clean substitutions for things that are still not good for us because we’re not ready to give up bad habits…)

      I’ve said it before (and I have a few posts related to this issue queued up), but ancestral health isn’t a complete cure-all. It is, however, a template that has allowed me to be nourished enough to support my recovery. And while I don’t personally believe that grains and legumes are a necessary to support a healthy body, if you don’t have a damaged digestive system, they’re not the end of the world, either.

      It’s all about finding something that works for you–something that supports mental balance and physical health, and doesn’t trigger any sort of obsessive or damaging behaviors…

      Thanks again for raising those points!!

      Have a happy Sunday,

      Kaila

  2. Right, it’s about finding a lifestyle that supports mental and physical health and doesn’t trigger damaging, obsessive behavior. Very well put. I guess my main point is that ancestral health can do just that, as you see in blogs like purelytwins. Yet because it’s so lauded by some people as being an optimal way to live, it’s easy to ignore the disordered behavior while living under the guise that your new diet is actually the best.

    In the end, people with eating disorders, or at least disordered thought patterns all tend to follow some pretty basic patterns: not eating enough and/or over-exercising and/or purging. It’s hard to purge and completely ignore it. But the first two are relatively easy to kind of just under do a little and overdo a little, respectively. And in combination, the latter amplifies the former. It’s wonderful that for you ancestral health has given you a template to truly emerge victorious. For me it’s the deep desire to be able to reproduce that has allowed me to get over myself physically, so to speak, and embrace all the incredible luck I have in the world to have access to amazing food and places to (gently) keep myself strong and fit. But it really pains me to read these fitness bloggers acting like 1700 calories a day + protein powder + crazy amounts of coconut oil (which any of us who are educated in these types of things knows is also supposed to increase metabolism thanks to the medium chain triglycerides and I strongly, strongly suspect is the reason they’re willing to consume just as much of it as they are) and announce to the world that this is optimal health and a truly clear mind. It isn’t rational, and, sadly, it’s manifested clearly in conditions like amenorrhea, a problem that all too many of these “fitness” bloggers have. I’d argue they’re not fit at all. They’re actually quite sick.

    • Amen amen! You’re right–it’s a sickness, and while “orthorexia” isn’t a clinically recognized eating disorder, it might as well be.

      What I’ve realized is that the shift away from obsessively “healthy” eating or intense exercise doesn’t happen (if at all) until the focus shifts away from our own bodies and onto people or circumstances outside of ourselves. For you, and, in part for me, it was the desire to be a fertile human being–to take part in a relationship and to nurture new life. The fact that I ended up without a period for a second time even though I was a “healthy” vegan and not a competitive bodybuilder anymore was evidence that I was no longer on the right track.

      One of my other big shifts was realizing that my anorexia and depression had turned me into a monster–one that my little brother was afraid of, which was absolutely devastating. What’s kept me in recovery is the realization that I now have others depending on me–my family, my friends, my readers–because my strength and my health is what gives them hope too. If I have abs, that’s cool and all, but it doesn’t make much of a difference in anyone else’s life. And life’s too short to spend freaking out about how my reflection looks in a mirror. If someone honestly has a problem with my hips, then they probably don’t need to be in my life anyway…

      I really appreciate your perspective, and I’m glad that you’ve been able to find a balanced, rational mindset that has allowed you to live your optimal life. Keep spreading the good word–we need more people like you out there in the disordered eating trenches!

      • If someone has a problem with my body (the exception being a doctor), I definitely don’t need them in my life. And yes, orthorexia really should be a clinically diagnosed thing, especially since it tends to be used as a mask for stil-restricted-calorically-wise-but-not-incredibly-so eating and therefore clearly needs to be addressed.

        More power to you sister!

        By the way, you went to Columbia…?

      • Yes! Columbia College c/o 2009 (although I left early & finished at UF…$$ issues!) and School of the Arts, Theatre from 2009-2010. I spent nearly the entire time writing at the Hungarian Pastry Shop…

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  4. I came across this post purely by accident, but I was fascinated by your argument. As a fellow Jane Doe who started reading Oxygen, then suddenly decided to try a fitness competition, I can certainly relate. (I, too, found it strange that I had to purchase the shoes at a sex shop.) And don’t get me started on the sub-2000 diets. As a tall girl (5 10″) those plans didn’t cut it, and at one point I was as low as 138lbs, and I kept wondering why I was getting weaker, not stronger. Another thing: while preparing for the competition, I was constantly looking in the mirror, looking for imperfections. It wasn’t until I started training for performance instead of aesthetics, and eating for building, that I really started to make progress… and get myself back. I’m still a fan of Oxygen, and I do enjoy the inspiration and recipes, but I’m more cautious of the information, and I recognize that some of these diets can cause some serious metabolic damage. There are quite a few pros (Shelsea Montes, for example) who are coming out with horrific stories. Some are still dealing with the consequences of high cardio, low caloric diets. I definitely experienced a metabolic bounce when I competed, as well. (For me, I wanted to do it for fun, to prove to myself that I had to the guts to do it… but it took me some time afterward to get my love of fitness back.)

    Thanks again for this post. It was very insightful.

    • Thank you so much for your comment–and for sharing your story! I’m so glad that you’re at least going into each issue with an understanding of the consequences of the Oxygen lifestyle. The healthiest thing you can do is take what fits into and supports your healthy lifestyle, and leave all of the other stuff (the body image talk and such) behind.

  5. Hi Miss Skinny Genes,

    I came across your blog while trying to figure out what happened to Oxygen Magazine as I had not seen it in the stores for a few months. I had a subscription a few years back as I was getting into shape and loved the different recipes and work outs. I must say though that I agree with you when you express your concern about the diets and mentality that come along with the fitness competitions. When I was younger I tried to enter the world of modelling. I am 6 feet tall and was 130 pounds in high school. I preceded to gain a whole 5 pounds after high school. All I wanted to do was be in a magazine. I had interest from a large agency in New York as well as a prominent scout here in Canada but I was always told the same thing, your hips are too big and your skin is not clear enough. The skin could be corrected by pills but the hips, my very large (said very sarcastically) 36 inch hips, were too big. Could I loose another 10 pounds so that my hips and perhaps my “largish” 26 inch waist could be a bit smaller. It never happened. I would exercise and barely eat for a few days but alas I loved to eat so I would binge. Bulimia was something I could not bring myself to do so I spent my teens on the endless cycle of wishing I was thinner and the wonderful habit of binge eating and starving. Until I had a wake up call one day. I was backpacking around Australia at the age of 21 and decided to stop by the most prestigious agency in the country to see if maybe I could give it a go there as Australia has a healthy body image than other places in the world. I was now down to 126 pounds and my waist was at 25 inches and my hips a nice 35.5 inches. I found in the humid hot weather of their summer it was easier to loose weight as you would just sweat everything off and you never craved fatty food just salad and smoothies.due to the heat. On the bus on my way to the agency there was a very beautiful girl seated not far from me. She was striking but she was also extremely thin. I thought to myself “That girl must have an eating disorder.” I could see the bones in her shoulders, her stick thin arms and legs and most notably her collar bones and the faint lines of her rib cage bones just beneath them. The beautiful girl got off at the stop before I got off. I managed to find my way to the agency and met with agency owner. She looked at me and my pictures. She made a positive comment about my photos then mentioned my weight. I mentioned that the photos were taken when I was 10 pounds heavier. She seemed shocked at that fact as she thought I was thinner in the photos so it was a good thing as it meant I did not shoot big. But alas she said “We prefer girls with more of an international look like so and so (I can’t remember the girls name).” and pointed to the girl from the bus. It was her polite way of telling me that I was not thin enough and it was at that point that I knew the only way I would have a career in the world of modelling was to develop a full blown eating disorder. It was not an easy choice as I had dreamed of a career in modelling for several years but I realized it was time to put the dream to rest. For years part of me wished that I was thinner and I resented the body I had as I considered myself fat. Then I got into weight lifting by reading the Body for Life book. My body got stronger and I loved the muscle tone that I gained. I graduated to Oxygen magazine after finishing the challenge. I thought about competing. I loved the stories and pictures of the success stories. But then life got in the way and I stopped working out. A few years later I picked up the magazine again as my weight had ballooned up from 140 to 230 pounds. I was unhappy and needed some motivation. This time I saw the contents with different eyes. Almost all the girls in the magazine that I looked up to because they had strong athletic physiques and small busts like me were now sporting a healthy set of breast implants. I thought what about the original message of being a strong beautiful athletic woman no matter what you look like? I started to research more into healthy living and lifting. I sat back and seriously looked at the competitions. Then it hit me this is the modelling world all over again just presented in a different light. Yes it is nice to have a fitness goal to work towards but at the end of the day but is the goal of physical perfection something that we should be working towards? What makes the judges (or fashion designers and magazine editors) qualified to decide that someone’s body is considered more perfect than another? The fact is those who succeed in the fitness industry do because they not only have a great body that they have so diligently dieted and sculpted but they also have a very attractive face thus making them aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The reality is that if 7 girls were to step on stage with identical bodies there still would be a placing of 1st to last. What matters just as much as the body is the face. I guess my very long winded point is. The fitness industry seems to pride itself on promoting health body images for both men and women and readily promote competitions. But at the same time sets up an unrealistic ideal. Just as less than 10% of the population will ever have the chance to be a fashion model the same can be said of fitness models as only the girls with perfect physical proportions, implants included, and an aesthetically pleasing face will ever get to the coveted trophy at a show, magazine covers and photo shoots. While there are many women who are healthier for taking up fitness competitions there are many who unfortunately will be/are unhealthier because of it. Not just physically but emotionally. Any industry that uses physical perfection as the mark to reach for will inevitably cause insecurity in those who can not or feel they can not reach that goal. This is especially true with teens and preteens. So tonight when I saw the magazine in question with the fitness model who dieted down for the cover shoot, cause most admit they start to diet down for covers weeks in advance, I paused flipped through it and put it back on the shelf. Am I in peak condition at this moment? No. But I have decided, like I did many years ago when I stopped buying fashion magazines, that I just don’t need to be motivated by what someone else thinks my body should look like. If I exercise and fuel my body with what it likes and needs, (for me that is no sugar, no gluten and limited dairy (hello plain yogurt and ricotta cheese occasionally) and the occasional treat *grin*), my body will be happy and find it’s own healthy weight and size. Life is not about what you look like it is about what you can do and that is the legacy I hope to pass on to my nieces.

    • Nadine, I don’t know you, but I love you so much for sharing your story. Thank you for being vulnerable and for being willing to go on this crazy journey toward self-acceptance. You are beautiful, and I am sure that your nieces will use your example to grow into beautiful, strong women as well!

  6. While I completely empathize with your battle with an eating disorder, calling out Oxygen is akin to a recovering alcoholic calling out the alcohol industry. Kudos for getting well and for understanding your triggers. Your recovery is your journey. Oxygen magazine is on its own journey which is equally independent of your issues. Everything in the free world is a choice. When we fix ourselves we reshape our choices. When we are truly fixed we no longer need to lay blame. We just accept that our journeys are different.

    • Thanks so much for your comment. On the surface, I think you’re absolutely right: I’m an addict, and it’s my responsibility, as someone who is aware of my addiction, to stay away from the bar or ignore the cigarette ad.

      On the flip side, however, there’s a reason why cigarette ads, for example, are required to have a disclaimer/warning label: once upon a time, impressionable people saw the lifestyle/advertisement and assumed that smoking made them look cool (which was good for their self-esteem and overall health…right?)

      It’s the same thing with Oxygen. There are TWO messages in the magazine: 1. We should lift weights, eat well, and live a balanced healthy life. 2. We should strive to look like fitness models.

      I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but bodybuilding competitions are NOT healthy. At all. A woman with enough body fat to, say, have a baby or a period, is healthy. A woman who hasn’t eaten carbs in 2 weeks because she wants to have the perfect six pack for a competition is not. She may look “healthy,” because we’ve started equating six packs with health, but she’s not. And my problem is that Oxygen doesn’t have a disclaimer in between the articles on why we need fish oil and how to squat and the updates on competition prep and ads for creatine and protein powders.

      So I’m blaming Oxygen the same way that people blame cigarette ads for smoking. It’s my responsibility to make healthy choices when I have the knowledge with which to make them, but it’s the publisher’s responsibility not to obfuscate the message or dupe me in the first place.

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