Yesterday Rock and I rode the train down into the city to visit the Christkrindlmarket. It was a fun afternoon of rain, warmish weather, and wandering fun little shops. I love the holiday season and this was a perfect way to celebrate all of the fun with ornaments, handmade treasures, baked goods, and hot chocolate. I even picked up some hard to find incense for a German smoker given to me by my grandmother when I was a little girl.
On the train ride home I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and came across a Women’s Health tweet about Britney Spears on their new cover. The tweet read “.
@britneyspears‘s #abs are hotter than ever on this @WomensHealthMag cover http://www.whosay.com/l/Nsu9QXa ” I usually ignore these tweets but I had a long train ride so I clicked on it and started reading through the comments. During a quick train ride this became one HOT topic.
Years ago Britney went down a bit of a rough patch. In fact I thought she had lost it so much that I told my husband her career was over. She had shaved her head and had Dr. Phil counseling her. None of it looked good. With all that had gone on in her life she put on weight and kind of let herself go.
But she proved me and a ton of other people wrong. Really wrong! Britney came back and she came back big. She cleaned herself up, became a great mom, and took back control over her career. In a short period of time she rebuilt herself into a beautiful, fit and strong woman.
So what is the problem with her cover? Nothing and everything. First of all, no one can deny that she is a beautiful woman. But the girl on that cover looks nothing like her. Everyone was commenting that it looked like Heidi Klum had been photoshopped onto her face. I showed the picture to my husband and asked him who it was. He too said Heidi Klum.
So here, in my opinion, is the problem. I absolutely understand that magazines must do some airbrushing. Heck, if I were in a magazine I would hope someone would airbrush a few parts of me. I have acne and scars and lumps in places I wouldn’t want people to see. But Britney is a beautiful girl. I think most of us can look at her and recognize the progress she has made.
Her progress is something we can admire and realize that we too can improve upon ourselves. Yesterday I was watching the Today Show and they were discussing how the average woman not only doesn’t lose her baby weight but in fact tends to put on weight after having children. Here on the cover of Women’s Health is an example of a lady who isn’t just a mom but a single mom. She rose up from some rough times and got her act together. She clearly has worked out and it shows (of course I realize she has time and money for trainers that most of us don’t have but even so it is great). Isn’t that what a fitness magazine should want to highlight?
Of course everyone needs some touch ups here and there. But what I would like to see is a real Britney on the cover of a magazine. I would like to see her work in progress and be able to celebrate her and all of us who work so darn hard to balance life, workouts, and our diets. It isn’t easy and we all slip up. And the truth is, we all have a flaw (or two, or three, or four).
We live in a society these days of all or nothing. Obesity is an epidemic in our country and at the same time our models are sickeningly skinny. Wouldn’t it be nice to highlight the balance? Wouldn’t it be great for people to pick up a magazine and see a fit, athletic person on the cover and think, “Hey I would like that and I can strive for it.” I don’t want to look like a stick. But I sure do want to have some lean and muscular runner’s legs. I want to work those abs and be proud of the progress I see. When someone feels like they are at their worst, seeing what looks like impossible perfection on a magazine doesn’t give much hope.
Obviously I am not calling out just Women’s Health. There are dozens of magazines out there and I almost exclusively see super skinny models on the covers, even on fitness magazines. But I would love it if we could all take a moment and realize what is real and what is achievable. I want us to recognize how hard it is for so many people to get in shape or to find the time to dedicate to achieving a healthier lifestyle. It isn’t easy but progress is progress. And curves? Well those are beautiful.
Nice work Britney!