Parade Magazine Does It Again

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I don’t know why the Sunday newspaper insert Parade keeps on making a monthly editorial blunder, but they have done it again. I have sort of an interesting history of taking issue with Parade. You can read about a couple of these here and here. In addition, there have been others that I have passed on.   Parade is not a shoestring budget periodical. It is the most widely read magazine in America, with a circulation of 32 million and 71 million readers.  They need to be thinking more clearly than this.

The trouble this time is caused by a short article on feeling “better about your body”, written by Michael O’Shea. It is not the content of the article itself that trips up. In fact, OShea’s article is quite good. He discusses our societal obsession with unrealistic and unobtainable quests to look like the models in the Victoria’s Secret catalog or GQ magazine.

The article has sections titled “Don’t tie your self-worth to the number on the scale”, “Ease up on the pressure”, and “Accept yourself and you will have more energy”. He quotes Judith Beck, the author of “The Beck Diet Solution”, as saying “Remind yourself every single day that your outward appearance is irrelevant to who you are inside”. The article consistent message is that you should be realistic and accept yourself for who your are. There are tips on making positive changes, but no words that even imply our advertising industry’s horrible message that, unless you look like a cover girl or boy, you are less of a person.

The mistake is the photo chosen to accompany the story. Probably picked by an editor rather than O’Shea, it is of a young woman dressed only in her underwear. She looks to be 18 – 20 years old and does indeed look like she could model for Victoria’s Secret. I have used this description before in reference to Parade Magazine, but it really does seem like their left hand does not know what the right hand is typing.

It is unfortunate that the positive message written by O’Shea, and read by millions of people, is torpedoed by a bone-headed photo choice. Worse still is that the photo is large and placed dead center of the article. Come on Parade!

Parade magazine chooses good topics that get written well by the columnists. They seem to have an editing problem they have needed to address for a while, but have chosen to ignore.  You can read the original article and leave a comment of your own for Parade at this link.  Interestingly, the article online does not include the photo of the scantily clad girl.



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Will Sig
1 Bob

That’s so crazy. doesn’t anybody proof read this stuff? Sending mixed messages, the words say one thing yet they say the opposite with the one thing people will not forget, the picture.

Bobs last blog post..The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory

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2 Will

I don’t know, Bob. I am guessing that someone other than the writer chooses the photo and they don’t read the article first. They may just get an idea of the article’s content from reading the title and a quick skim.

The thing is that Parade makes these kinds of editorial mistakes, but does not acknowledge them. A few people comment on the Parade web site, but nobody from Parade responds. The magazine does not seem to get better at avoiding mistakes like this either. I guess they feel they are so successful, in the number one spot for circulation and advertising dollars, that they don’t need to change anything.

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