Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Black Women Workout Too !! : Why aren't there magaiznes that address our needs?

Google "Black Women's Fitness Magazines" and see what you come up with. You will probably find that their is only one magazine that addresses fitness and health issues for us. Heart & Soul magazine has a section on health and from time to time Ebony and Essence may have an article that address fitness and nutrition issues.

I noticed the lack of Black Women Fitness publications after going to the gym for 3 months and seeing all these white girls on the treadmill with their fitness magazines. Women's Health, Shape, Fitness and ton of others address women's fitness issues. Now, I am not saying that these magazines do not provide tips that are useful to us, they do. They do not however address issues that are specific to us; like how to deal with cardio and our hair, fitness routines specific for us, healthier soul food recipes, the diseases affecting our community and how we can decrease our risk, addressing the "Thick" issue, etc.

It would be nice if one day I could go to the gym with a magazine that catered specifically to women like me. A magazine that had faces of women that I can I identify with and addressed issues I cared about.

Let me know your feedback. I could not find any information online as to why no publications have decided to address our issues. Do people think that we are less interested in exercising and nutrition? Are there not enough of us that would be benefit from magazines?

I collected a few resources of online publications that address our issues since there are no magazines.

http://www.blackdoctor.org/
http://www.blackwomenshealth.com/2006/articles.php?id=15
www.heartandsoul.com

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I find it absurd that you can't read women's health, shape magazine or whatever. I don't know what these specific needs that aren't being met. Isn't the whole essence of soul food is that its not necessarily the most healthy? Wouldn't it change the whole meaning? What is so specific about your body that you need a magazine to address? How many times do you need to bring up the question of how to take care of your hair during exercise? What's the worse that can happen? It ain't silky smooth? At the end of the day exercise is exercise and health is health. If you have to get all specific about it, start your own magazine.

t.s. johnson said...

Ahh spoken like a person who knows nothing about Black women.

Evia said...

Hey, I love what you're doing here!!

When I go to the gym, I see the same rack of magazines--none with our faces on them. The psychology of this is that people who are not seen or heard from are often considered "not important" or regarded as not worthwile. In other words, people who are deemed 'important'and worthwhile are seen and heard from--doing worthwhile things.

So yeah, it would motivate many more bw to become fitter if they saw themselves on the covers of magazines there because it would make them feel that their fitness is considered just as important as any other woman's and that their health, their lives are just as important to maintain and save.

People will say, "it's not important whose face is reflected, but here's the key: IF it's not important whether a bw or ww is on the cover of various magazines, then why not put a lot more black faces on those covers? LOL! Ahh, so it DOES matter--a lot.


However, this is why it's so important for bw to tune out a lot of the garbage in their environment and self-define. Bw cannot wait for their general environment to nourish them; they must nourish themselves and surround themselves ONLY with people who will do that.

I have a membership at "Planet Fitness," and I try to work out on the elliptical machine and treadmill for about 35 minutes 4 times a week. Whew! The elliptical is a whipping, sho nuff!! At first, I could only do 3 minutes on there at a moderate speed and that just wore me out. Now I'm up to 10 minutes and that's a major workout. I also do the 15 min mile, so I usually walk about 1-1/2miles. I also love to go inline skating and that's great for thigh and hip muscles, endurance, and low impact on knees. And it's fun. You get to wear all kinds of cute outfits. LOL!!

There's a need for bw to represent our own image on many platforms in so many ways. So yes, there's a great need for publications and other sources to constantly remind bw of our beauty and worth too, just like other women. I try to do that with my blog because I know how important that is. Just imagine if everywhere bw went in this country, we saw ourselves reflected in positive ways, as ww do. What a BIG difference that would make--almost overnight!! I don't know why some people think that bw don't have the same needs and desires that other women have.

TMarie1908 said...

It is evident that body fat distribution varies greatly in black women as opposed to white women. I would love a fitness magazine that specifically caters to black women and our “concerns” - with respect to beauty and health.

"Anonymous", I'm sincerely sickened with your habitual pessimistic attitude. I'm a supporter of positive black blogs and related reading. You would assume that if the viewer is that disturbed with the "absurd" content of the blog/reading that he/she would simply stop reading the material. You, "Anonymous" never miss a beat the negative blog comments. You MUST have a subscription…in fact you seem to have somewhat of a decent opinion – provide constructive criticism vs. being a heckler. I’m convinced that chastising is your primarily purpose for commenting on the blog…otherwise you wouldn’t have demoted yourself to “Anonymous.”

Vainglorious1908@yahoo.com - in case you want to chastise me.

determinedtobefit said...

I would love to see more black faces on fitness magazines but I can sort of see where anonymous is coming from. In certain respects, weight loss is weight loss and fitness is fitness. Black women may tend to have different body fat distribution, but you can't spot reduce (oh if only we could!) so it doesn't really matter. Anyway, I tend to prefer magazines like Oxygen and Muscle & Fitness hers that leave out all the beauty stuff and focus completely on exercise and nutrition. That information is universal.

Elle Boog said...

Funny how you mention Heart & Soul. I used to subscribe to them a long time ago, because they focused primarily on Black health and fitness. Then they changed their focus. Maybe write to them at tell them to change their magazine back to how it was will do the trick.

-L

Erin said...

I used to read Heart and Soul when it first came out too, and then not so much. I would love to see a positive magazine that is fitness and health based and has healthy recipes. A magazine that addresses the health concerns and needs of women of color and stays up to date on them. I don't mind a little beauty, but that's what other magazines are for.

Anonymous said...

Heart & Soul IS health and fitness. It returned in 2005 under new ownership, and the focus is the health and well-being of black women.

mekare said...

Hey,

Any of the ladies have tips on how to take care of your extensions when you work out daily? I'm sure the sweat can't be too good for the braids.

Fitness Goddess said...

Mekare,
I found some info about how sweat effects our hair. I'm putting together a post.

Nicholle said...

There aren't magazines to address black womens fitness needs because, unfortunately, we do not support them. I was a Heart and Soul subscriber back in 97 when they actually were a health and fitness magazine for Black women- oh how I wish I'd saved those issues- They ended up having to change the format because of low subscriber rates and sales. I was deeply saddened that it became a lifestyle magazine, because I really did need guidance in beginning my journey to health.

Taking the advice of that angry anonymous person- I would start my own magazine, if I knew we would support it!

Anonymous said...

Great Minds think alike! I was just thinking of the very same thing and did and search on the internet when I came across this blog. I am a Black Female Personal Trainer and I'm getting tired of seeing ONLY white people of the covers of these magazines. Yes it's true we can get pertinent tips and information for "our" bodies and health. However, these publications do not care enought about our concerns and issues within Health and Fitness. And yes, there are some differences. People are people of the Human Race but our cultures makes us different and unique. This doesn't just go to African American women but all minorities. Not all issues are the exact same and not everyone is going to treat an issue the exact or eat the same type of foods. There is a way to make anyone lifestyle healthier and fitter. One lifestyle is not the ABSOLUTE of health and fitness and these magazines really should take notice. But we can't leave it all in their hands. It's time for us as Black Women to take action and create a magazine for our community. We have to let it be known that we are important and there is a need and a market to focus on our issues.

Yazzie & Co. said...

I agree with the author of this blog. I really wish Heart & Soul remained a "Black Fitness magazine". I would subscribe in a heart beat. I am looking for a fitness publication now and it has mental boost when you see someone who looks like you on the cover.

Clinton Walker III said...

I am a personal trainer from Birmingham, Alabama. I love thick women so I addressed this issue the best I could with my fitness book for women with curves.

Sharon said...

Yes, I'm tired of seeing white women on fitness mags. But, I'm also tired of only seeing white girls in the gym. I like to workout. I like to lift. So, for me it's like walking into the lion's den...only men. : ) I was looking for a black female instructors fitness dvd's and I found this. Wow...happy!!

Anonymous said...

I read many different health magazines...sure, I don't see enough black women in those publications...but we as black women have to take some responsibility as well....I see LOTS Of black men when I go to the gym...not so many black women...so maybe instead of simply keeping MYSELF physically fit..I will resolve to drag a few friends out to the track with me....let this year be the year we push our girlfriends and family members towards better physical fitness...

T O said...

In response to Anonymous on 6/10/2008. The issue at hand is not that Black women are so special we need a magazine dedicated to our health and fitness, rather that the magazines dedicated to women's health and fitness are so focused on white women it is as if the needs of other women are irrelevant.

It is more than hair . . . if the anonymous writer can not see beyond that, then the anonymous writer has indeed highlighted the problem, their own myopia is in their way.

Pretty Girl said...

I only found one magazine and i just found it today...it's called Heart and Soul but I've never ever seen it on a magazine stand anywhere.