Women's Health, a magazine that aims to be a bastion of wellness for its readers, is making a New Year's resolution: to ditch some popular buzzwords. According to a letter by editor-in-chief Amy Keller Laird, the phrases "bikini body" and "drop two sizes" will never again appear on the cover of Women's Health. Instead, and according to the results of a recent poll of its readers, the magazine will instead prioritize words like "toned," "sexy" and "strong."
"You told us you don't love the words 'shrink' and 'diet,' and we're happy to say we kicked those to the cover curb ourselves over the past year," Laird wrote. "But we're still using two other phrases — 'bikini body' and 'drop two sizes' — that you want retired. Since our goal is always to pump you up, and never to make you feel bad, here's our pledge: They're gone. They'll no longer appear on Women's Health covers."
To explain the publication's decision, and perhaps to let the terms down gently, Laird penned two "Dear John" letters to the phrases:
Dear "Bikini Body,"
Dear "Drop Two Sizes,"
The decision to exclude the terms may seem minor to some, however it's a symbolic leap forward for how the media speaks to and portrays women in print, in advertisements and online. As proof of the backlash against terms like "beach body," and the feminist activists behind such protests, consider Protein World's recent controversial "Beach Body" campaign this past summer.
The ad, which featured model Renee Somerfield in a yellow bikini, asked "Are you beach body ready?" The campaign drew fury from residents in London when it debuted, and continued to spark outrage upon its arrival in the United States for "fat shaming" women and upholding a certain standard of health, beauty and wellness.
After the ad campaign's debut, the public was ready to hit back:
Women's Health's decision to banish the phrases was seen as a sign of progress to some: