Poor Miranda Kerr July 9th, 2013
It’s true. I’m feeling sorry for Miranda Kerr these days. Not because I think her life is especially hard. But because she’s out there doing the best she can – just like all the rest of us – and she’s getting dumped on left and right these days. She’s a short blog post away from Gwyneth Paltrow-level hatred, and I think that’s too bad.
The backdrop is this: Kerr (a Victoria’s Secret lingerie and swimsuit model) was recently signed by Net-a-Porter to star in a series of web videos titled The Body Beautiful discussing her diet and exercise regimen. The first video was just released and in it she gives the recipe for her morning smoothie. And I will level with you on this one – it’s a little over the top. The recipe includes the following: water from a fresh coconut, cold pressed coconut milk, acai powder, goji berries, spirulina, cacao powder, maca powder, chia seeds, and vegan rice protein powder. Not exactly things most of us have lying around the kitchen. Actually, they’re not exactly things that many of us could track down if we wanted to. So of course the media have jumped all over Kerr for being out of touch.
I have to cry foul, though. Miranda Kerr is supposed to be aspirational. Her whole job is to look like most of us will never look so that we will buy the products she models/endorses in the hopes of inching our way closer to that ideal. She won the genetic lottery, and she’s making the most of it. I don’t blame her a bit.
Further, and more importantly, it wasn’t that long ago that supermodels were more likely to be known for their drug habits than their health habits. As someone who clearly remembers idolizing the figure of Kate Moss, I would much rather today’s young women follow the example set by Miranda Kerr. Perhaps her example is an unattainable one for most people, but it is still a good one. Smoothies and yoga are far from the worst advice she could give.
It’s easy poking fun at people like Kerr and Paltrow. And I will be the first to admit that they bring it on themselves a bit. It wouldn’t kill their aspirational vibe to throw in a few mainstream recommendations. (“And if you don’t have access to acai powder, blueberries are also a great source of antioxidants.”) Nevertheless, I’m here to take up for them. There are far worse ways to leverage your celebrity than by sharing your (freakishly healthy) smoothie recipe, or writing a blog with your favorite lifestyle tips.
We have to remember that these people live in a bubble of privilege.* We can’t expect them to share such personal details of their lives as their diet and exercise habits and come across as relatable. Of course Miranda Kerr isn’t going to spill the secrets of her amazing physique and disclose a freezer full of Lean Cuisines and a punch card for the spin class at the Y. And that’s okay! I’m thrilled to know what Kerr eats for breakfast every day. Perhaps she has some ideas that will help me up my own game, even if I don’t have the time, money, or inclination to adopt her regimen in its entirety.
I applaud anyone who has a public and aspirational life and is willing to be candid about what she does to achieve her health, beauty, or life balance. Many of her suggestions may be out of my grasp, but if I take that personally then it’s on me. If her best is better than my best I have to accept that. And besides, of course Miranda Kerr and Gwyneth Paltrow have set a bar that is higher than I can reach – they’ve both got at least four inches on me.
*That is their own doing to a certain extent – there are certainly ways to remain more connected to the mainstream. But I also understand the desire to stay in that bubble. We live in a celebrity-obsessed culture and if I lived a life that required a body guard for me to step out the door with my son I might limit myself to the upper echelons as well.