Earlier today I read an article on Blisstree that delineates BeyoncÃ©’s post-baby weight-loss routine. It’s centered around 4-hour workouts, involves living with her personal trainer, and represents how far our culture has taken its obsession with being thin. Apparently, B’s got 40 pounds to lose and she’s looking to meet her goal before April rolls around.
I consider myself a fit, healthy person. I’ve trained for and run marathons, and every one of them has taken me between four and four and a half hours. Those hours are grueling and leave my body depleted. BeyoncÃ© is, essentially, committing to a full marathon’s worth of exercising every day. And while that appeals to the eating-disordered, exercise overload side of me (a side that I work very hard to keep in check), the healthy side of me (the one that has limits and understands what my body is capable of) can’t ignore all the red flags that this whole thing raises.
As Blisstree points out, BeyoncÃ©’s schedule does nothing to stop the perpetuation of unrealistic standards that new mothers (and women of all ages) have to endure on a regular basis when it comes to what their bodies should look like. It goes without saying that BeyoncÃ© has access to resources that the vast majority of us can only dream of – personally, I wish I had two to four free hours in a day to devote entirely to any one thing (other than work), and I don’t even have children. But that doesn’t change the fact that once she loses the “baby weight” and gets her “body back” (a phrase I loathe), her picture is going to be splashed all over magazine covers alongside a headline that says something like, “How to get BeyoncÃ©’s sexy curves!” Pay attention, moms: all you need is four hours a day and a live-in trainer to work off that disgusting weight you gained while pregnant.
Unlike Blisstree, though, I don’t blame BeyoncÃ©. She’s subject to higher scrutiny than the rest of us, and while I honestly don’t think her career will be too hurt if she doesn’t get hit her goal weight, I can’t help but feel like I would be doing the same thing if I were in her situation. The public is fickle, and the media and tabloids don’t care how much talent you have – in some cases, one unflattering picture is all it takes for you to become the object of ridicule. Why would anyone want to take that risk?
It’s shameful that things have gone this far. Celebrities and the rest of us “normals” should have the freedom to hang on to our baby weight, or break-up weight, or marriage weight, or life weight, or just plain old fucking weight for however long we like and not have to go to ridiculous lengths to 1) guarantee we lose it and 2) guarantee that we don’t end up being ostracized or rejected. The fact that we can’t stand up against these pressures and apply some pressure in return is disturbing. The ideal against which we’re all being measured is breaking new grounds when it comes to how perfect and unachievable it is. If BeyoncÃ©, who’s naturally gorgeous, has to work for four hours a day to get there, what hope do the rest of us have?
Now that BeyoncÃ© is buckling down for four-hour workouts, do we have to accept that this degree of extremism is going to become some kind of norm? Is this just another manifestation of societal ED rearing its ugly head? How far is this going to go before the whistle is somehow blown?