Women’s Health is supposed to be about, well, women’s health. So former Lost actress and star of the new The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Evangeline Lilly was shocked when the cover image the magazine chose to use of her for its January issue included a giant arrow pointing to her toned derriere declaring it the “Best. Butt. Ever.” And she’s actually speaking out about it.
“Do you think I would have done the shoot if they said, ‘Oh, by the way, we’re gonna say ‘Best Butt Ever!’ and put a big arrow to your behind?’” she asked Conan O’Brien last week. “You know, every woman is after a kind of classy image, I didn’t want T&A on my cover. It’s a women’s magazine, not Maxim.” She commented on it again on ET Canada a few days later.
Lilly’s decision to speak out about her own objectification in a magazine that’s supposed to be helping women get healthy and happy—not idealize other women’s body parts—is a rare one. And her comments bring into focus for both editors and readers that the line between fitness inspiration and unrealistic body expectations, while often blurry, can be all to easy to cross. —Lisa Elaine Held
What do you think? Was the Women’s Health cover objectifying? Is Evangeline Lilly breaking barriers by speaking out? Tell us, in the Comments, below.