Gwen Stefani is on the cover of the September issue of Bazaar, and the 42-year-old mom is asked about how she keeps in shape. She explains:
There is no secret: You just have to eat healthy, work out, and torture yourself!
Torture. It's a joke, right? She's joking. But these are messages women can't escape: Beauty is pain. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. Torture yourself.
It's possible that Gwen — who was a swimmer in high school — hasn't found a form of exercise she likes, but slogs through. She says working out is "more for my brain than it is for my body," and also admits: "I like to wear clothes too much, so I try to keep focused." Sure. Maybe she's being, as the Daily Mail calls it, "refreshingly honest" about her regimen. It just seems unfortunate that suffering has to be part of it. Both anorexics and athletes like the inspirational motto, "pain is weakness leaving the body." And maybe that's true. Perhaps a positive spin — it feels great to work up a sweat/running is fun/I love feeling strong/I do it for my heart — would be disingenuous. And certainly some celebs like to pretend that they just roll out of bed with flat abs and clear skin and shiny hair, glossing over the hard work and team of experts employed. It's just telling that from foot binding to corsets to weaves and waxing, women endure "torture" in order to meet some ever-changing standard of beauty, one that keeps moving, and is always just slightly out of reach.