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A cover of Shape, featuring Ashley Tisdale, January 2009.
|Frequency||Bi-Monthly (6 issues per year)|
|Based in||Woodland Hills, California|
Shape Magazine (or Shape) is a monthly English language fitness magazine started by Weider Publications in 1981, founded by Christine MacIntyre (a pioneer in women's free weight fitness) and became the #1 women's fitness magazine. At that time, Weider Enterprises consisted primarily of the bodybuilding magazine Muscle & Fitness. Joe Weider and Christine MacIntyre had differing views of how to present Shape magazine, Weider endorsing a less journalistic and more commercial approach to articles, MacIntyre endorsing a more academic, doctor-based magazine. Weider also endorsed a sexier approach to editorial while MacIntyre endorsed a healthier look for women, eschewing sexiness in the models and the copy. MacIntyre largely won that battle, editing a magazine that required that every byline have an advanced medical degree, that cover models should look healthy rather than sexy, and that sexist language be avoided. Christine MacIntyre was the editor-in-chief until her death in 1988. Tara Kraft is the current editor-in-chief. Shape found a readership based on that formula.
Shape magazine is a women’s guidebook to a happy and healthy life. It contains fitness, healthy diet, weight loss, diet tips and fashion for women of all ages. Their team of nutrition, fitness, healthy, beauty and psychology experts strive to provide females with confidence and tips to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Sections within the magazine include Features & Cover Stories, Shape Your Life, Look Great, Live Healthy, Get Fit, Eat Right, You In Shape, and In Every Issue, which includes From the Editor’s Desk, Contributors, Readers Speak Out, The Hot List, and Fit & Famous. Every issue of Shape magazine includes the latest health, exercise, and nutrition news. Shape provides nutrition advice, as well as recipes. They provide new exercise routines and tips monthly.
Shape embraces a healthy lifestyle, which is represented through their cover models. Previous cover models include Ellen DeGeneres, Kelly Osbourne and Jillian Michaels. The “Up Close With” section provides an interview with the cover model and they provide their advice on how to live a healthy lifestyle. At the back of the magazine there is the “Fit & Famous” section where Shape interviews a celebrity who provides more tips on how to lead a more long, happy and confident life.
The “Readers Speak Out” and “You Asked” sections allow for Shape readers to make comments about previous issues and ask the contributors questions regarding fitness, nutrition and health. Shape contributors include medical doctors, registered dieticians, personal trainers, and other professional (PhD). Cynthia Sass, M.P.H., R.D. is a contributing editor who provides Shape’s nutritional advice. Doctor Oz, M.D. has previously provided contributions to the magazine as well. There are various other contributors depending on the topic/specialty.
The “Success Stories” section provides diet and exercise tips that have worked for other readers during their weight loss experience. Furthermore, the “Weight Loss Diary” section follows an average woman on her weight loss journey. In combination, these two sections provide real life tips that work for different body and lifestyle types to readers who are also on their weight loss journey.
Other topics include sex, mind/spirit, beauty, travel, fashion, work, home and style.
Shape magazine believes in being green. As a supporter of the environment, they are the primary user of recycled paper among all major North American women’s lifestyle magazines. An issue of Shape on average consists of 305,000 pounds of post-consumer waste, primarily used magazine and newspapers. It is estimated that Shape saves 17,723 trees annually by printing on recycled paper.
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