Two more reminders of the cost of the ideal of the perfectly toned, perfectly thin body:
1. A Daily Mail reporter (I know, I know — they’re a thin-loving nightmare, but that also means that they publish a lot of articles that unintentionally reveal the cultural pressures behind that) works with Madonna’s and Gwyneth Paltrow’s trainer for five weeks and her life becomes a living hell. She nearly passes out, almost vomits on the treadmill, loses the ability to walk up stairs, and — most crucially — loses all desire for any semblance of a social life, because she is so damn tired.
Unexpectedly, this is turning into a booze-free few weeks as well. Working out at this intensity means I cannot drink at all; I simply wouldn’t be able to train properly.
As for dating, it’s completely hopeless. I’ve definitely seen the last of Finance Guy, the man I’d been seeing on and off for a few weeks. Our relationship was already stretched, and my refusal to drink seemed to push him over the edge. Could this be what drove Guy Ritchie away?
At the weekend, I take a much-needed mini-break to Dublin. I am looking forward to three days away, out of town and away from the gym.
I am lazing around in my suite at one of Dublin’s poshest hotels, when I get a text from Jonathan reminding me to do my cardio workout.
I bet Madonna and Gwyneth get text messages like this, too.
Two hours a day, six days a week, with your personal trainer sending you intrusive text messages while you’re on vacation: just the cost of being thin and female, right? As Margaret at Jezebel puts it,
Though you might expect that Pearson would realize after going through this “nightmare” that such a gym routine wasn’t worth it or condemn the society that demands our celebrities obsess about their weight, all Pearson takes from this experience is that we should have more respect for Gwyneth and Madonna. “Their tightly honed bodies were not achieved by swallowing a pill, from cigarettes, or cocaine. These ladies didn’t take the easy way. They are in the gym every day sweating their guts out,” writes Pearson. Apparently having a lower quality of life is worth it, as long as you’re 10 pounds skinnier.
Remember, y’all, things are only worth doing if they improve your life. You don’t have to do this.
(SW warning on comments at both the Daily Mail and Jezebel.)
2. Remember that Campari ad that photoshopped away Jessica Alba’s already astonishing figure? Apparently she got that post-baby figure by torturous workouts and the help of a girdle. (I can’t access the original Elle article on this, so I’m relying on a summary here.) Not really surprising, but it makes it all the more ridiculous that the ads are so incredibly photoshopped.
I know you know this, but it’s always worth a reminder: these images are lying to you. Ads are lying to you. Magazines are lying to you. Posters are lying to you. They will never stop. Nobody looks like Jessica Alba — not even Jessica Alba.