Why Women's Health Magazine is Replacing Fitness Models with Readers in a Popular Feature

January 4, 2018
Updated 1mo ago

Women's Health Magazine is making a move to showcase more diverse body types in its pages. Starting this month, the magazine will permanently replace fitness models with physically fit readers of all types and sizes in its popular "15-Minute Workout" column. Site Director Robin Hilmantel joins us with more on the change.

Hilmantel says the magazine noticed most mainstream workout videos and print layouts are populated by the stereotypical "fit" woman: slender, toned but not too cut, and without a pinch of fat.

Women's Health tapped experts to explain, in technical terms, what makes someone physiologically fit. Included on the list of metabolic metrics are resting heart rate, VO2 max, and body composition. Weight was not on the list.

Hilmantel points to the rise of fitness icons, such as ballerina Misty Copeland and yogi Jessamyn Stanley as examples of healthy diversity.