Women’s Health has unveiled its September issue, dedicated to its second annual Global Naked Issue. The Hearst-owned publication surveyed 18,000 readers around the world to understand how women perceive body image, acceptance and confidence.
This year, 14 of its 19 international editions participated in the special issue. It explores what it means to be naked — physically, mentally and emotionally.
“We partnered with international editions to create a survey and ask women how they think about, feel about and talk about their bodies,” Women’s Health editor-in-chief Liz Plosser told Publishers Daily.
For example, one survey question asked readers how happy they are with their body. Those who said they were “accepting” of their body came primarily from Brazil, Latin America, Russia and Poland.
Readers who gave a higher rating of “happy-ish” with their bodies were from the U.S., Germany, Japan, Middle East, Netherlands, Spain, Turkey and the UK.
Over 4,500 survey respondents in the Global Naked Issue were from the U.S.
Another survey question found readers would rather hear the compliment “you look fit” over other compliments, such as “you look skinny.”
“For us [at Women’s Health], we believe your body is so intimately intertwined with your health and wellness,” Plosser said. “Nakedness is such a metaphor for where you are in your life mentally and emotionally.”
Women’s Health revealed a print redesign with its July/August issue. The concept is to have an expanded focus on wellness, more inspirational than aspirational when it comes to health and fitness. Notably, the magazine introduced a new section called “Mind,” devoted to mental health.
The Global Naked Issue asked international editors to recall the first moment they formed opinions about body confidence, Plosser said.
Jenna Dewan, the actor, dancer and TV host formerly married to actor Channing Tatum, graces the cover of the issue. She poses nude — though in countries more sensitive to nudity, she dons a swimsuit in the cover shot.
Other models posing nude in the issue include influencer Chinae Alexander, “Orange is the New Black” actress Sascha Polanco, athlete Alex Silver-Fagan, model and Muay Thai fighter Mia Kang and “Glow” actress Sydelle Noel.
Plosser, who was previously senior vice president of content at Well+Good, became editor of Women’s Healthin January.
Since she took the reins, new advertisers have appeared in the print issues, including Unilever Dove, Allergan Loloestrin, Diagio Ketel One, Kotex and Garnier. L’Oréal’s Maybelline returned to advertising in the magazine for the first time since 2012.
The Global Naked Issue hits newsstands August 8.