That’s Not So Vogue

April 27, 2008 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This will be my tenth post and my last required post for my PR Online class. Blogging has been a great learning tool, and I really hope to jump back into it–if not on this blog then on another. But for now, how about Teen Vogue?

Starting Monday, the Teen Vogue fitness messageboard will be removed from the magazine’s site. The decision was made when the editors saw “the alarming number of posts regarding eating disorders over the past few months.”

Rachel Richardson (The F-Word) called the site a “psueudo pro-ana.” Richardson’s definition of a pro-ana/mia:

“These sites promote eating disorders as a ‘lifestyle choice,’ not diseases, and do not encourage recovery from these conditions.”

The issue of pro-ana/mia sites has been floating around the news(particularly in France)and blogoshpere for a while.  Richardson and Jezebel criticized Teen Vogue last fall for its similarity to the weight-obsessed pro-ana/mia sites.

From a PR standpoint:

Good call ending this. This type of community could damage the image of the publication. But just pulling it is not enough. Vogue is sweeping the problem under the rug. These girls need help.

“I also love the feeling of hunger. I feel so clean and light and empty.”

See what I mean?

After Vogue announced it was shutting down the forum, one of the users, Chloe9, commented:

“perhaps the next step is to reform your magazine, which is CAUSING all this body anxiety…teenvogue doesn’t want to be held accountable for the state of the fitness forum, but removing it isn’t the best solution.  this is a magazine geare toward teens, and their mission should be to HELP them.  not pretend eating disorders don’t exist so as to shirk all responsibility.”

Well said, Chloe9.

Perhaps an image overhaul is needed at Teen Vogue. Obviously its audience is interested in the subject, and theses young girls need somewhere to turn to with professional advice on living healthy.

I see Vogue as the premier publication for high-fashion and beauty, not a health and fitness publication. But with the controversey surrounding super-skinny supermodels, a fitness push would set this magazine above the rest on a whole new level.

Dieting and the Web

March 9, 2008 at 8:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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In public relations classes at Kent State University, we learn a lot about social media (obviously)—how to use it, how other people have used it, where it works and why it works. I’ve found using social media in a campaign really depends on who you are working for and what you’re trying to accomplish. With some clients (for example, ma and pa places), social media is probably useless, and in others it is absolutely critical. One area where I found that social media is working is in the dieting world.  

With the demise of dieting slogans and jingles such as “1-800-94-JENNY,” “TrimSpa Baby!,” and “Eat what you want and still lose weight—without exercising!” came the rise of a healthier dieting—Web 2.0 style. images.jpg Where did those “eat all you want and still look great” ads go?  Did people just catch on that yo-yo dieting was no solution to a healthy life—or did the industry realize that healthy lifestyles aren’t about getting skinny by unhealthy means? Whichever it is, companies are using this new lifestyle mentality to their advantage.  

The best example of an effective web dieting use is the National Body Challenge hosted by Discovery Health.

The National Body Challenge goes beyond offering tips for flat abs. It offers a community. (Ahhh–the blogging health-nut’s dream!) After signing up, visitors can: 

  • Customize their plan (to lose weight, maintain weight or lose weight)
  • Join the conversation
  • Read popular items
  • Write a blog
  • Set up a profile
  • Take surveys

  • Watch fitness shows
  • Get healthy recipes

People share their stories of success and frustration, and others in the community leave comments of support.

I am so impressed by Discovery Health’s community.

bodychallenge1.jpgLike the popular Facebook and MySpace, the National Body Challenge is all about the user. The community user creates a profile and customize a plan to fit his/her lifestyle. Being healthy isn’t about getting four weeks worth of over-priced, reduced calorie meals shipped to your house, or chugging Hollywood’s latest liquid diet. 

It’s about creating a plan that works for you. The National Body Challenge is all about the user, and that’s the way it should be.  Check out my classmate, Bill Burgess’ post on You Bar–another example of how the industry is making it all about YOU. Successful dieting includes customizing your plan to what fits your lifestyle. And the support of others makes it all that much easier…even if it’s someone you don’t even know.

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