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“Psychology Today” pulls a “Maxim” move with its current cover

Your daily dose of grocery-checkout-line female objectification is brought to you by Psychology Today.

Wait, what?

While you’re probably used to magazines like Maxim visually assaulting you with half-naked models, you might not have expected the same breast-baring on the cover of PT.

Avid About-Face reader Patricia Greenwell sent us the image above and voiced her disappointment over the magazine featuring “a half decapitated woman” rocking an itty-bitty bikini.

“A magazine called Psychology Today should realize that images such as the one on their cover are psychologically harmful to women!” our reader wrote. Exactly.

Besides the ridiculous breasts/bikini/boxing glove trifecta, the magazine’s headline is pretty lame too: “The Battle Over Beauty: What Matters Most to Men — And to Women.”

First of all, can we all officially agree that there are plenty of other representations of “beauty” out there besides the thin, blonde, half-naked, (faceless) prototype?

Second of all (and this is admittedly nitpicky, but I don’t care), that headline’s structure seriously irks me. It’s as though what matters to women is so unimportant, it’s mentioned as a mere afterthought, distinguished by a dash.

Let’s leave the desperate, attention-seeking covers to the lads’ mags, shall we?

— Michelle Konstantinovsky is a student at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and an avid admirer of shiny objects and preteen entertainment. It would be nice if you visited her website: www.michellekmedia.com. Also, she may learn to use Twitter more effectively if you follow her @michelley415.

10 thoughts on ““Psychology Today” pulls a “Maxim” move with its current cover

  1. One thing I will give Psychology Today is they did give her boxing gloves and the appearance of underarm hair (though I think that might just be the long flowing hair from her head).

    And I agree that the subtext of mattering to men/women is problematic.

  2. Accusing Psychology Today of objectifying women in the same way a Maxim cover may is just ridiculous. PT is a magazine directed towards people that are interested in the study of human behavior, not manly lifestyle tips. And seriously, how is this any different from a Cosmo cover, stating how it’ll reveal the “50 ways to really turn a man on” or something along those lines? Why are you not attacking those magazines? We’re supposed to be brainwashed by ad-laden women’s fashion/lifestyle magazines, but we can’t enjoy reading about HUMAN NATURE? PT is not intending to be persuasive, and it’s not selling anything either. Come on, do you really expect the readers of Psychology Today to pick up the November issue simply because of the cover? No – because that’s not the point. You call out Tracy Anderson for being contradictory in one of your other blog posts, but I think that’s a tad hypocritical! Who are you to judge what is “good” and “bad” media? Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

  3. Also, you can’t find Psychology Today at a “grocery-checkout-line.” You can however, buy Glamour, which for some reason you have put on a pedestal for apparently having women’s self-esteem and body confidence in their best interest (and it’s got NOTHING to do with making money!). Right…

  4. The thing about comparing this sort of cover of PT, compared to Maxim, or Cosmo is that you expect the degrading photos from Maxim, and the trashy articles from Cosmo. It was just a surprise to suddenly find that Psychology Today have lost all of their integrity. Tell me, how do barely covered breasts sell an interest in human behaviour, hmm?

  5. Did you even bother reading the article “The truth about beauty” by Amy Alkon or did you just base your comments off the cover? I am guessing the later. Like the masses things can be explained to you but obviously not understood for you.

  6. Honestly, I’m not surprised at all by Psychology Today. I used to read it a lot and the evolutionary psychology stuff can get pretty bad, often in ways that aren’t even scientifically sound.

    For example, they ran an article back giving the “evolutionary explanation” for why men were more attracted to the ideal blonde, blue-eyed, thin, large-busted women…not only kinda racist, but BS that can be disproven by the most cursory examination of Western art history!

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