A story popped up in my “Trending” column on Facebook this morning about Kate Hudson. Apparently, US Magazine asked the actress how she manages to maintain such a “flawless” physique. Her answer? “Working my ass off!” Hudson, a Pilates devotee and avid runner, says the key to her bod is consistency – that is, she works out nearly every day. Later in the article, she also mentions that she enjoys doing cleanses “twice a year for five to seven days, or food elimination cleanses where [she eats] super clean.” Ugh.
Can we just stop with this already? We get it – Kate Hudson and the like are held up as body role models due to their leanness and seeming perfection. What these types of articles fail to mention is that genetics play a huge role in body shape and weight. Now, am I saying that if Kate Hudson did nothing but sit around and eat bon-bons all day she would look the same? Maybe not. But I highly doubt she would morph into a zaftig lady if she backed off the exercise a bit. These types of articles perpetuate the idea that if we all worked hard enough, we could look like Kate Hudson one day, which, of course, is complete and utter B.S.
As for the cleanses? Well, I’ve already written about cleanses, so I won’t belabor the point, but they provide nothing for the body. In fact, most cleanses do more harm than good as you lose fluid, break down muscle and miss out on numerous nutrients, all while feeling like complete junk. Not to mention, your body is perfectly capable of cleansing itself without any help from you, thank you very much.
More than anything, I am concerned about the message that this article sends to young girls and women, many of whom I end up seeing in my office. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a patient tell me she wants to look just like Gwyneth or Gisele or Jennifer Aniston. It’s an unhealthy obsession with celebrity bodies, and it has to stop. We aren’t meant to look like these specimens of “perfection;” we are meant to look like ourselves. And constantly striving to look like someone else will only backfire in the long run.
All we can do is take the best care of our bodies as they are by eating intuitively, moving our bodies in ways that feel good, getting enough sleep and managing stress. And most importantly, we need to appreciate our bodies for what they give us every day, not punish them for not looking like Kate Hudson’s.