Body Role Models… Looking in the Wrong Places

Body Role Models... Looking in the Wrong Places

Celebrities with first names only are rarely famous for their body, so why are we deluged with articles begging us to look like Cheryl or Kate?

Perusing various website articles aimed at women on various websites, I’ve started to notice a strange trend. I’m constantly being assaulted by huge titles claiming that I can get Cheryl Cole’s body, or the Duchess of Cambridge’s body, or… Well. You get the picture.

It’s been done for years, we’re used to it. Most people who already know and love Mookychick probably don’t pay much attention to these articles. But I wonder, what on earth makes advice on getting Kate’s body so different from the advice given on getting Cheryl’s?

We all know how to get a healthy body (even if we don’t always do it). Eat the right foods, exercise and all that jazz. Most of us will know the basics of body shapes: no amount of exercise will reduce your hip size if your pelvis is wide and no diet or exercise regime can give you bigger bubbies AND a slender waist if you naturally retain your extra padding on your stomach. Cheryl and Kate are both lovely slim women. They probably stay that way with the same basic advice that we’re told, though they’ve probably also got their personal trainers and dieticians to remind them of it. It’s worth bearing in mind that those in the public eye with money to burn may well be availing themselves of surgery procedures as well.

E. Miller is a Professional Person. To achieve her specific body sculpting you will need to dedicate yourself to a strict regime of whimsy and prancing about in parkland with a big handkerchief. Start now.

If you’re naturally big-boobed, no diet on earth will shift that and stick it somewhere else to match the body shape of your celeb of choice. Surely all these articles can do is give you YOUR optimal body? Well… yes. You can’t steal Beyoncé’s body, even if you eat everything she eats and follow her exercise diary to the letter. Why, then, are we being offered advice with her name and photos splashed across it? I’d rather see back-to-basics advice which gets to the point and avoids a lot of the self-esteem issues women have. Don’t try and get HER body, focus on getting your own!

Physical role models still have their place

There’s nothing wrong with aspirations, or with looking at a photo for a motivation boost and thinking ‘if I just eat this apple instead of my cream cake, I could look like her…’? I’ve nothing against physical role models – I’d just like to see more appropriate ones.

Musicians are good at music. Actresses are good at acting. The Duchess of Cambridge married a member of the royal family and was thrust into the spotlight. If you share any of their passions, desires and talents, why shouldn’t you have them as a role model? But would you follow the financial advice of an artist you admire, when you can go to an accountant?

If I’m being offered a celebrity body, I want to see sports stars. I want dancers, athletes, people whose bodies are their fame because their bodies are their main passion and talent. I want to look at a famous female cyclist and decide that I want to get similar muscle tone in the same places. Give me her diet and her exercise regime, tailored to her sport. Give a girl who wants to look like a lovely slender ballerina what she wants, give her the knowledge of what kind of protein she really needs and where she can get it. Give a girl who wants to improve her swimming abilities the exercises that will target what matters. Britney Spears does 1000 sit-ups a day? I don’t care.

Irrational celeb worship aside, it’s good to have role models. But only if they’re the right ones. It’s silly to expect a woman with a beautiful voice to wear size eight because ‘otherwise her fans won’t admire her and look up to her’. I don’t care if some celeb has put on weight; it’s not going to ruin my life. And I’d hope that if I ever got thrust into fame someday, people wouldn’t be looking at my body and berating themselves because theirs is different. It makes sense to look for the optimal healthy body and a role model for that goal in a person who wants to keep it that way already.

So, diet and beauty writers, give me athletes and not singers; and use those role models to promote advice that actually means something.

Yes, we would quite like a body like Vivian Cheruiyot, please.