This essay was an school assignment and is entitled Men and Womens Health Magazines.
Men and Womens Health Magazines
Inside the White House Kitchen or Exclusive! Michelle Obama talks with Women’s Health, “Get back in shape at any age or the better sex diet?” Well, depending on whether you’re a man or a woman, there is a message that is directed towards you. At least men and women have one thing in common; everybody wants a flat belly, at least according to the covers of the October 2009 editions of Men’s and Women’s Health magazines.
Since I am a fitness professional, I have to keep an eye out for what’s going on in the fitness industry, and what better way to keep an eye out than through two of the top health and fitness magazines in America today, Men’s and Women’s Health? If you were to turn to the inside covers of these magazines, you will be convinced that you either want some sort of “New mineral treatment that measurably reduces redness on contact” by makeup marketers Clinique, or “You just can’t live without the ALL NEW CAMARO.” I can see where makeup may fit into health, but certainly not fitness, unless you are talking about face fitness. What I really don’t get is how the ALL NEW CAMARO has anything to do with men’s health; I would think it is actually a detriment to men’s health.
The underlying issue here is that men and women are targeted differently by magazine publishers and their advertisers. In a thorough look at both of these magazines, men are target by an informational crack cocaine type of marketing where each article or advertisement is presented in a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am sort of a way. Conversely, each article or advertisement presented to women has some long drawn out PBS Masterpiece Theater type of theme written that is woven throughout the magazine.
I cannot flip through three pages of the women’s magazine without seeing some sort of advertisement for shampoo, moisturizer, makeup or something, anything with the color pink. I guess women won’t buy anything, under any circumstance, unless it is pink or unless they have to pay a hefty premium for something specifically designed and “Made for Women.” Maybe the publishers forget that women make up half the world’s population, or maybe some women think there is some sort of third human species?
Since food, appearance, relationships, and makeup take up at least 75 percent of women’s health magazines, what better way to reinforce this campaign than to combine the two? On page 103 of the October edition of Women’s Health, you can choose “Mr. Right” by the flavor of ice cream that he eats. According to the writer of the article, Bridget Doherty, if your man eats Butter Pecan, his personality is “Plays by the rules, high standards.” If he eats Double Chocolate Chunk, his personality is “Center of attention, flirtatious.” Astonishingly, she gets even more in-depth when she states that Double Chocolate Chips are most compatible with other Butter Pecans or Chocolate Chips, and Butter Pecans are most compatible with other Butter Pecans. As a man, my first thoughts were, “What if the girl is dating a black man and he likes butter pecan, what does that make her?”
Even more interesting is just three pages later there is what is called The Ultimate Wine List on one side of the page and Ten Tasty Wines for $10 or Less on the other side of the page. Do women really think that alcohol has anything to do with health or fitness? Major non-sequitur, and they say men are simple minded.
What is the deal with women and jeans? There had to be at least ten pages dedicated to how to look good in jeans, how to drop two jean sizes, or how to burn butt-busting calories in a 60-minute step-class, just so you can look hot in jeans! Oh, and let’s not forget what Michelle Obama is doing in the White House! It even has a “Mrs. Presidents arm workout.” My guess is that women need to know her arm workout so they can look drop-dead gorgeous in jeans.
However, the Men’s Health magazine is not much better. There are enough cologne advertisement pull-outs for me to feed a small Chinese village selling these samples on EBay. The ads and actual writing seem better for the women. There is no particular theme for men’s health, it is a free-for all, the non sequitur that Women’s Health magazine could only dream of. Think of Men’s Health magazine as the equivalent of your kitchen’s miscellaneous drawer; you just don’t know what you will find.
Men and Womens Health Magazines
On page 40 of the October 2009 edition of Men’s Health, there is an image section containing a short blurb about different types of skin: oily, combination, normal and dry. That in itself is fine; however, right next to that section it talks about how “Women are most attracted to men who keep their chest hair in check,” which is oh so conveniently located right above the lactose intolerant rant at the bottom of the page. So, what advertisement do you think is directly on the right side? If you said a high priced boutique wrist watch you would be correct. Although it does not make sense in any way, shape, or form, as a man, I can attest that this is the exact kind of information I like to see.
This brings me to my favorite section of this particular issue: “Guy Wisdom. Life’s Biggest Mysteries – Solved!” Under NO circumstances would such an article even be considered to grace the pages of Women’s Health. Men want answers – women want to talk about problems. In this section, the article discusses what men really think about: Defragging my computer every three months, If I should get back together with an ex, and Fog Lights. Admittedly, these have absolutely nothing to do with Men’s Health, but I think the articles are ten times better than reading about how to squeeze into jeans that are clearly too small for me.
This concludes my post entitled Men and Womens Health Magazines.
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