Open Letter To Arthritis Today

RA Guy Adventures of RA Guy 7 Comments

Dear Editors of Arthritis Today,

I was just looking at all of the archive issues of your magazine that are available for purchase on the Arthritis Foundation website, when something stood out to me – there were no men gracing the covers! So I decided to write and say that it would be nice if your publication could provide more visibility of men.

Arthritis Today Collage

But wait! I took a look at the current September/October 2009 issue, and was happy to see a man on the cover. At last, a man with arthritis is on the cover of your magazine! (Bottom right image.)

I soon found out, though, this was not to be the case. The person on the cover is Bob Harper, a personal trainer who appears on the television show “The Biggest Loser”.

According to statistics that are available at the Arthritis Foundation’s Arthritis Facts, overall arthritis affects 24.3 million women and 17.1 million men in the United States. This works out to a distribution of 59% women and 41% men amongst the overall arthritis population in the United States.

So I would like to modify my initial request, and kindly ask that your publication please provide more visibility of men living with arthritis.

Along the lines of the recent survey on your website – in which you ask readers which cover they prefer of beauty pageant queen Meredith Boyd – I would also like to host my own survey here, so that the readers of my blog can provide their feedback as well.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy

[poll id=”2″]

Comments 7

  1. Helly

    Well done! I remember a time when only older people were featured on the covers and I thought how is this going to raise awareness that arthritis affects any age… Its only through people being honest that things change..

    I look forward to maybe your good self being on the cover 😉

  2. MissDazey

    Of course there should be more men..and kids.

    Boy, do all those cover photos people look young and healthy. Maybe they are all taking the very expensive medicine that advertises inside the magazines. I don’t read the magazine to much anymore, get tired of all the ads and fluff articles.

    However, speaking of ads..

    New blog post I am proud to be part of Elders For Health Care Reform Day on August 20” on

  3. Helen

    Great letter! There absolutely should be more men, and, as MissDazey says, kids too! I find that although organizations like the Arthritis Foundation (and the Arthritis Society here in Canada) want to raise awareness about childhood arthritis, they rarely feature kids in any publications.

    Let’s hope you’ve gotten the ball rolling and we’ll start seeing a much more diverse group of cover models.

  4. tharr

    I believe that RA Guy would be an excellent cover guy for Arthritis Today. I do agree with MissDazey, the first thing I do when I receive a new issue is tear out all of the return cards and advertisements stuck into the magazine. It quickly becomes half it’s size!

  5. Hazel

    Yes, I vote RA Guy for the cover and feature article. I’m serious. Arthritis Today are you listening???

  6. Rebecca

    Thank you for addressing this issue! Long ago, I stopped reading “Arthritis Today” because I’m tired of reading about people who are pro golfers with RA or Tae Kwon Do champs with PA. Let’s see the real faces of arthritis sufferers, including men! Let’s see people who aren’t athletes or on TV. I wonder if “Arthritis Today” would put me on the cover, with my face swollen from prednisone and my hands deformed from 30 years of RA? Hopefully one day, the AF will listen and start showing some reality in their magazine. Thanks, RA Guy!

  7. Marcy

    As the ed-in-chief of Arthritis Today, can I say you are so right? Be sure to check out the cover of our next issue (available mid- to late October). I think you’ll like it. We’ve been trying some new things this past year, and welcome feedback. Really! Send a note any time with comments and ideas. We love to hear from people. You can use the “contact the editors” link on BTW, RA Guy, you do a great job with your blog!

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