With its June 2010 issue, feating Kim Kardashian, Shape, continues to be one of those pseudo-fitness magazines that claims to be all about "women's health" but is, in actuality, all about weight loss. This month's cover is especially frustrating:
Kardashian is posed in the standard generic-Shape bikini, with the quote, "I'll never be one of those skinny girls!" flashed under her name, as if we're supposed to find this admission believable and heroic as it sits next to an airbrushed picture of, uh, a "skinny girl" who is currently a spokeswoman for the Kardashian QuickTrim diet pill system, a program she claims, in commercials for the brand, will help you "create the body you deserve." And by "create the body you deserve," of course, she means "will help you lose weight and look super hot in a bikini."
And if that's not bad enough, Gwen at Sociological Images points out that Shape also offers readers a look at Kardashian's workout routine, so they, too, can "embrace their bodies," by, you know, losing weight and fitting the Shape ideal: "It's another example of articles that pretend to be presenting an alternative to beauty standards/Hollywood ideals (be confident! Even stars have cellulite! So what?!?) but ultimately reinforce them, both by presenting images in which the featured women's bodies differ little from those seen in the rest of the magazine and by making sure you know how to diet and exercise in order to get your body to conform."
In putting Kardashian, a spokesperson for a diet pill/quick cleanse program on the cover, Shape is celebrating that kind of diet mentality: whatever it takes to look good in that bikini, ladies, regardless of the potential health hazards and overall fucked up and potentially dangerous means of attaining weight loss via supplements and cleanses. In celebrating and promoting Kardashian's statement that she'll "never be one of those skinny girls," even though she very clearly already is, the magazine is essentially telling its audience that Kardashian doesn't represent thinness, which is ridiculous. You can't be the spokesmodel for embracing one's curves on the cover of a "health" magazine and a representative of losing those very curves in a national diet pill campaign. But then again, it's Shape, singular. Expecting that magazine to embrace or promote anything but the standard Hollywood ideal is probably asking too much.