MEDIA: SHAPE - AN EXPERT’S VIEW. The title promises to cater for real women but fails to deliver. By Eleanor Trickett

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 corner.

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

corner.



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

market.



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

chocolate.



Eleanor Trickett is a Campaign media reporter and a real woman.



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