Ronda Rousey on cover of Aus. Men's Fitness magazine

Found this article this morning and instantly thought Belle would be interested to hear about it... may as well make a discussion.

The Article

To summarise, Ronda Rousey has been put on the cover of a men's fitness magazine in Australia. Personally, I don't think she has any business on the cover of a magazine dedicated to men's fitness. Usually, the models used are fairly buff looking, fit, men. i.e. inspiring role models for men looking to get into fitness or read up on the latest stuff. Ronda, while deserving of her fame, just doesn't fit the normal model for this magazine.

It's worth noting; Australia also has a Women's Fitness magazine. Ronda would be a perfect candidate for the cover.

So the topic of discussion is this: Is putting a woman on the cover of a men's fitness magazine a good idea?

P.S. posted to Art category as that sounds most appropriate. Mods please feel free to move it elsewhere if desired.

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I am a HUGE Ronda Rousey fan!!! But she is fighting my Holmgirl....She may as well enjoy her last few weeks as the Champion....let it go dude. People are seriously underestimating Holly in this fight. We're about to witness the fight of the Century! GO HOLLY!!!!!!!

There is no reason she shouldn't be on the cover. The magazine has many diverse readers including women and no small shortage of gay readers (and gay models). The magazine isn't strictly about straight men getting toned and young men looking for sex advice. What's wrong with seeing a different side of something you love doing? Perhaps some women read that magazine because it has a higher readership and better quality articles. How nice to see a woman once in a blue moon.

Women are still not taken seriously in countless environments including many hobbies like team sports, role playing and computer games (dominated by sexist boys), chess and musscle building. Maybe some men will learn a thing or two from a well written article like how tiring it is for women to be gawked at or even groped in gyms) leading to some not going back.

Putting one woman once on the cover of the most prominent fitness magazine is (regardless of it's title) a great gesture and there is nothing outrageous about it...the only outrageous thing is continuing the get out of our club...zero women or fags are ever allowed. Just google the first openly gay model or the transgender models for the main editions and you'll find broad support (though certainly not everyone) for these moves.

Davis, I don't understand. Why are you bringing sexual orientation into this? It's a men's (i.e. gay, straight, and everything inbetween) magazine. Call me crazy but I think even gay men would rather have men for their fitness heros and role models.

The magazine isn't strictly about straight men getting toned and young men looking for sex advice

No it's about men's fitness. i.e. advice on how men can get fit, maintain fitness, build muscle, and that sort of thing. I still don't see how Ronda fits on the cover.

Perhaps some women read that magazine because it has a higher readership and better quality articles.

There's a very similar magazine targeted towards women. With articles on pretty much all the same stuff.

Women are still not taken seriously in countless environments including... ...role playing and computer games (dominated by sexist boys)

If you believe that, you obviously have no idea, and I am quite frankly insulted. Do you subscribe to the Anita Sarkeesian school of feminism or something?

Maybe some men will learn a thing or two from a well written article like how tiring it is for women to be gawked at or even groped in gyms

If that is an issue then yes, men would probably benefit from reading such an article... but it would only questionably belong in a men's fitness magazine, and is totally irrelevant to the point that a women is being used as a role model or fitness hero on a men's fitness magazine. Talk about an unattainable body image...

get out of our club...zero women or fags are ever allowed

Again, what on earth are you talking about? You do know that gay men are actually men too? And in a magazine titled "Men's Fitness", I'd say zero to very few women would be an appropriate number, at least as far as the models go (sports scientists giving advice is another kettle of fish).

I'm curious what you would think if it was a male UFC fighter on the cover of Women's Fitness? You don't think women deserve a female role model, with a comparatively more achievable body than a male role model, would be more appropriate for a women's fitness magazine?

Davis, I don't understand. Why are you bringing sexual orientation into this? It's a men's (i.e. gay, straight, and everything inbetween) magazine. Call me crazy but I think even gay men would rather have men for their fitness heros and role models.

I'm bringing it up because there is a misconception that men's health magazine is about readers who want to build muscle and check out men's fashion and hetero-sexual dating advice. In reality...this misconception is wrong as it is treated as gay porn by many readers and is read by women as well. It is absolutely not the case that every article in the magazine, including major stories...follow this assumed title. Tons of magazines stray from their "topic" all the time.

If you believe that, you obviously have no idea, and I am quite frankly insulted.

If you believe the opposite then your head is stuck deep in the sand. I don't need a pseudo intellectual like Sarkesian to back this up.  Just ask and I'll give you academic sources.

There's a very similar magazine targeted towards women. With articles on pretty much all the same stuff.

Have you actually flipped through both magazines and compared the quality of the articles?

it would only questionably belong in a men's fitness magazine

Again the misconception...the title is Men's health so it must be only for men right...cause that's the title you know. Just like National Geographic must be strictly about geography or how Scientific America is written for and read by scientists.

Again, what on earth are you talking about? You do know that gay men are actually men too? And in a magazine titled "Men's Fitness", I'd say zero to very few women would be an appropriate number, at least as far as the models go (sports scientists giving advice is another kettle of fish).

You're hung up on the title rather than the content and it's readership. If you leaf through the magazine it has a very clear hetero-narrative in the far majority of their articles despite the fact that they have a notable gay readership. Introducing openly gay models (only recently) was easily misconstrued as "gasp...a gay model...this is a magazine not a political rag". Life goes on and behold there are more openly gay models in the magazine. Throw in the fact that the magazine has women readers and "gasp...the title is Men's health...so why on earth would we have a woman on the cover...it's titled Men's Health...not Women poking their faces into places they don't belong magazine. Life will go on and she certainly will not be the last woman.

I'm curious what you would think if it was a male UFC fighter on the cover of Women's Fitness? You don't think women deserve a female role model, with a comparatively more achievable body than a male role model, would be more appropriate for a women's fitness magazine?

I have no doubt that Women's fitness would be capable of making an issue worthy of featuring a man on the cover. Why not? The title of a magazine strictly limits the editorial content of a magazine? Have you actually looked at magazine covers Matt? Magazines do cross-thematic articles all the time. Just open up a random magazine Matt and you don't have to read long until you see an article (and cover) that strays from the title of the magazine. If you'd like examples...just ask. I'll show you them.

If you believe the opposite then your head is stuck deep in the sand.

Stuck in the sand of actually being a gamer... I see first hand that women are taken just as seriously as men in gaming.

Just ask and I'll give you academic sources.

Are they from the social sciences? Do they come to concrete conclusions or wishy washy crap that people like Sarkeesian then assert as fact because it's an academic source? If it's the former, then by all means, I'd be very interested to read how I've somehow totally missed all this inequality during my many years of gaming.

Have you actually flipped through both magazines and compared the quality of the articles?

No, but I'm even less likely to now.

the title is Men's health so it must be only for men right...cause that's the title you know

Yes. To a consumer who has never seen it before, finding a magazine titled Men's <blank> will generally indicate it is a magazine dedicated to Men's <blank>. If it's full of other stuff then that's a terrible name for the magazine. Or are you suggesting the title of things doesn't matter? We can call everything Nazi Weekly but maintain the same content?

Just like National Geographic must be strictly about geography

Touche Davis. Although, in National Geographic's case, they have spent a very long time building up their reputation as a documentary magazine (I actually can't think of what to call it).

Scientific America is written for and read by scientists

It's a magazine about science, written from an American perspective. Is it not?

Life goes on and behold there are more openly gay models in the magazine

Because it's a magazine about men's fitness... they were doubtlessly fitness models demonstrating the pinnacle of men's fitness.

Why not?

The same reason I listed earlier... having an appropriate role model.

The title of a magazine strictly limits the editorial content of a magazine?

Evidently, it would if I were the editor. If it doesn't, why not call all magazines irrelevant titles?

you don't have to read long until you see an article (and cover) that strays from the title of the magazine

And that doesn't strike you as an issue? Is it really just me that expects a magazine titled Men's Fitness to actually have content related to Men's Fitness? Otherwise why not just call it fizzwhalloping?

Call me crazy but I think even gay men would rather have men for their fitness heros and role models.

Even if the fitness model was Judy Garland? ;)

You guys are all missing the point. What's on the cover is a BUSINESS decision. In other words, what will drive sales. That's all. Period.

The cover doesn't have to be consistent with any concept or be logical or properly categorized. It just has to bring in revenue, and I'm sure that's why they did it.

Zheesh. That is so exaggerated and cynical we've suddenly floated away to la-la-land. I've worked with editorial teams in several major magazines (including Vogue-Spain, Traveller, GQ and AD). By the way...sales could not be the ultimate decision even if there was a team of hacks. Sponsors and advertising is just as important (if not more). No editorial team of a major magazine that wasn't outright trashy would let sales be the ultimate decider. It is not a business decision. It is a prime factor...and at times editorial teams have to make painful compromises, but money? No...that is not all...and there is no period.

I've even worked with a major film distribution company (which is as business-like as you get) and even they strive to make editorial decisions as editors and not as film-pushers...sales be damned.

Inside the board-room:

"hmm...how can we get the most magazines sold"

"Well...I am totally out of ideas"

"..I know...let's put a woman on the cover".

"Yeah...that sounds good...which woman will get us the most money".

"well duh...it's obviously Ronda".

"Of course...how could I be so stupid...great...Ronda...now the money will start rolling in".

"Yeahhhhhhhh....money!"

"So yeah...go spit out an article and then we'll go and party with drinks and do a line or two."

p.s. the last sentence is often not far from the truth

Sponsors and advertising is just as important (if not more).

Guess what? I've worked in marketing and advertising, and what do sponsors and advertisers always ask about your publication? Isn't it "What's the circulation?"

So next month they should just feature a picture of a large cat or something? Start tying to appeal to the cat lovers?

Consistency to the theme of a magazine is what gives the magazine its theme. They may as well just merge Men's and Women's Fitness and just call it Fitness if they aren't going to follow their own themes.

So next month they should just feature a picture of a large cat or something? Start tying to appeal to the cat lovers?

Yes Matt...that's totally the same thing.

Consistency to the theme of a magazine is what gives the magazine its theme. They may as well just merge Men's and Women's Fitness and just call it Fitness if they aren't going to follow their own themes.

So then why do magazines stray from their topic and do cross-thematic articles all the time? Why are you hung-up on a Men's magazine cover having a woman on it...rather than the dozens of other magazines that stray from what the title of the magazine implies? You don't see outrage when National Geographic has an article on Motorcycle Enthusiast or on Eathing disorder. You don't see outrage when Scientific America does an article on product design and packaging. Where is the outrage when Vogue does an article on Russian politlcs? A woman is on a Men' health magazine and OH MY GAWD. THAT CANNOT BE ALLOWED. ARRRRRRRG!

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