All you have to do is pick up a copy of the latest gossip, fashion or lifestyle magazine and you are sure to find a piece on celebrity fitness or weight loss. You can read all the details of how so-and-so lost all the baby weight (plus more!) in six weeks or how this hot young leading man manages to stay in shape while being on set 14 hours a day. The claim is that stars are ‘just like us,’ so if you follow their regimens you will: A) have the same results and B) look and feel like a celebrity too. How exciting is that?! Sign me up!
What we may fail to recognize is that looking good is part of the job description of most actors and performers. Just like knowing how to drive a bus is the job of a bus driver. Generally speaking, if you don’t fulfill the duties of your job, your employer will find someone else who can. The same goes for actors and entertainment personalities. If they don’t live up to their job description, the public (and you know we can be really cruel) will find someone else to obsess over. The culture of celebrity worship, especially when it comes to diet and exercise, is a slippery slope. Don’t get me wrong, I applaud the promotion of healthy living and healthy eating and agree it can seem more appealing to take the advice of someone who is a hot 20-something rather than your middle-aged general physician. However, it’s an unrealistic view of what is really healthy and really possible for us mere mortals. No one knows exactly what goes into the end results of how someone looks. Maybe they work out with a trainer four hours a day, six days a week, maybe they have a naturally-fast metabolism, perhaps they have a smaller bone structure. It could be any number of those things or a combination of many. Logically, we know this, yet we can still get sucked in.
We run into trouble when we emulate people who are actually paid to look good for a living and who have the ultimate incentive to work out — job security. This sets us up for failure because it is nearly impossible to maintain the amount of exercise and the level of intensity that this can take, while dealing with things like actual jobs and families and responsibilities. We also don’t take into consideration that this is such a small percentage of people who already won the gene pool lottery so, genetically speaking, they are one step ahead of the game. Our sense of what looks good is determined by who the hottest young star is. It doesn’t necessarily matter that how they look may not be attainable in our regular day-to-day lifestyles.
What is ultimately important is to use the very best YOU as your role model. Maybe that isn’t waif-thin or super muscular, but whatever it is, it is healthy for you specifically. Check with your doctor to find out what a healthy weight and BMI is for your age and height and work with that as your goal. Healthy people who strive to be the best they can regardless of what the latest celebrity is doing are the REAL stars. Shine bright!