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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.

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*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.

4 Responses to “Poor Miranda Kerr”

  1. meg Says:

    The other day i saw some interviews maybe E! put together on how to stay fit- they asked molly sims and gweneth who both just groaned and said “lots of sweat” and didnt make it sound easy or even very fun. But if you want to be in their kind of shape, I believe it would be hard work, there’s no easy way and you are lucky to find a fairly intense workout that you love and can do nearly every day for an hour. ANd when you hear the insanely healthy things they eat, you think, well no sh*t, no wonder they look so good. They aren’t having Sonic for lunch or Mazzios for dinner! They eat nuts and berries. and fish. I could do that too, but i think the other 4 people in the house would stage a coup.
    My last thought on this- I wish that the media would just for 6 months take a break reporting on celebrity’s bodies, weight gain/loss, pregnancy body, post-pregnancy body, etc. Just completely leave that topic off the table and instead talk about what they DO- new movie? New album? new philanthropy? I don’t care if Mariah Carey uses body makeup to give herself a 6-pack. I really dont.

    rant over.

  2. Gale Says:

    Meg – You make a great point about the amount of effort that most celebs put into the physiques. I really appreciated the comments in this interview with Bob Harper (Biggest Loser trainer) on Jessica Alba’s body. Basically he says, “You will never look like Jessica Alba, and that’s okay.” I found it refreshing to hear someone admit that for these women it is their job to look like they do and that people who have other jobs will never be able to put in the same time and effort. And frankly, I’m thankful that I don’t have a job that subjects my figure to the scrutiny of the masses. Do I wish I looked like Miranda Kerr? Sure. Would I be willing to sacrifice ever indulging in the odd cheeseburger or plate of pasta to get it? Probably not.

  3. anne Says:

    Agree with this, as well as Meg’s comment. I’ve read similar comments…one from Kate Hudson about how she lost her pregnancy weight, and she said something like all she ate was fish and vegetables. I’d rather take a couple extra months and have a milkshake.

    As for your points, I just can’t take it when celebrities (or the media) try to make them SEEM like they live normal lives. They don’t and they won’t. And do we have any right to complain about that when we also buy magazines and products that keep them on the pedestal they sit? Probably not.

    So in effect…I’m fine with people like Gwyneth or Miranda Kerr or whoever telling me how they eat or work out and sharing their secrets. Just as long as they don’t claim to be “just like me.” It doesn’t sound like that’s what Miranda Kerr is doing, so I agree…leave her to her acai berries and take it or leave it:)

  4. D. A. Wolf Says:

    You make excellent points, and the aspirational frequently leads to the motivational for many, which means they just may take steps – not necessarily the same ingredients – to improve their own lives in some way.

    As for our obsession with the young, the slim, the beautiful, it’s a shame we aren’t quite so concerned with the caring, the substantive, and the smart…

    That said, some of these women hit the genetic lottery as you say, some hit that lottery and still must put in the time/sweat to retain the hand they were dealt as long as possible, some of us will never – under any circumstances or at any age – be able to look anything like these women.

    And we shouldn’t. We should strive to be fit and healthy, and in so far as these “icons” encourage that, I’m in.