I Was Featured in Men's Health Magazine and this is how I feel about it

Posted by Ilya Parker on

I grew up reading Men's Health Magazine. I remember scouring the pages of that magazine on my lunch breaks while working at a grocery store. I was so excited when finally able purchase the magazine once my employee discount kicked in. I also recall turning page after page and seeing nothing but toned, tall, white cis male physiques. I felt both admiration for their bodies and deep hurt that I would never look like that. I would often wonder what was wrong with my body that I wanted to change it to look like them? I used to follow the workouts and fold the pages down of articles so I could come back  and study like the gospel. Everything centered around one specific look. One of the only aesthetics that was and still is validated in mainstream society and I  remember working so hard to try to achieve it. I would pretend I looked like the "fitness experts" in Men's Health. Men's Health stirred up a lot of gender dysphoria and body dysmorphia for me. So being featured in this featured in this magazine is complicated to say the least for me. 

Being featured in Men's Health Magazine is an honor, but it doesn't validate my body or my body of work. Seeing all of my curves on display for the world, the same curves I've tried so desperately to hide for the last 30 years feels surreal. My emotions are complicated. Nonetheless, I am grateful that a body like mine made it into a magazine like Men's Health. A Black trans non binary person from North Carolina has carved a land in the fitness industry that cannot be ignored. 

You can check out a Digital Version of the Feature Here: EVERY BODY IS PERFECT

 While Decolonizing Fitness is gaining more recognition in mainstream spaces (which I have conflicted feelings about) I want to acknowledge that income doesn't reflect my visibility. If you benefit from the work I share and/or you feel moved to support a Black trans person. You can support me HERE




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  • nice magzine thanks

    melon on
  • I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for this insightful blog post on Decolonizing Fitness. This powerful feature in Men’s Health Magazine beautifully highlights the importance of dismantling oppressive systems in the health and fitness industry. By shedding light on the intersectionality of race, gender, and body image, the author brilliantly emphasizes the urgent need for inclusivity and representation. Thank you for fostering a space that challenges the status quo and encourages us all to embrace a more inclusive and equitable approach to wellness.

    Vivian Kent on

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