It’s my own fault. I was the one who insisted that I review Shape,
as I didn’t want to paint myself too concertedly into the rock chick
Matters of health and fitness occur to me from time to time, and I
appear to be slap-bang in the middle of this offering’s target
My first problem is the (pretty) cover. I’m a bit wary of magazines
which have hectoring instructions in the sub-title. ’Shape your life,’ I
am told. Yes ma’am.
But the editor’s letter says it’s ’for real women who want the best out
of life’, and that’s me all over. I am especially encouraged by the
promise that I won’t feel inadequate if I don’t rush straight out to the
rice cake shop.
The news pages impress me straightaway by rubbishing a faddy diet each
month, although this is offset by the unblinking praise for
infuriatingly priced must-haves. Thirty-two quid for a body lotion?
Pshaw - nowt wrong with some Vaseline.
Disappointingly, the fashion pages fail to transcend the norm: the
models are all thin and lovely and, furthermore, the feature on ’real
women’s bodies’ puts us in our place.
How I wish that these women, shown nude, were modelling the clothes in a
fashion story rather than blithely claiming total happiness through
their inner struggles.
In the magazine’s defence, there is a reassuring smattering of articles
by women who, like me, feel honour-bound to attempt good health and
spanking fitness, then fall by the wayside at the first hint of ...
well ... anything at all, really.
There probably is a market for this magazine - women who want to try
harder but aren’t strong-willed enough to buy Zest.
Shape your life? I have - it’s soft and round and, I confess, involves
Eleanor Trickett is a Campaign media reporter and a real woman.