We'll be doing some site maintenance at F-Bomb Café today, which might result in light posting. We'll be back this afternoon, so, you know, don't panic or anything. And in case you just can't live without us, here's a column from last year's holiday season. I know, I know; we're recycling. But as I read blogs and mags this morning, I realized that it's once again the beautiful time of year when the media tries to stress you out about holiday weight gain so that a bunch of quack assholes can sell you diets. Nothing says celebrate like socialized bulimia! Yippee! So, with no further ado, let's talk Tracy Anderson, shall we? She's Gwyneth Paltrow's trainer. Enough said, right? Well, Imma say a little more, if I may...
(originally published January 2010)
If you live in this country, you know the media beats the New Year’s horse into the ground. Television and magazines love the easy sell of “The Year’s Best” whatever – moments, innovations, triumphs, celebrity feuds, makeovers. In my ongoing fight to keep print media alive (this is my weak and pathetic rationalization for continuing to read weak and pathetic publications), I bought my weekly Us Weekly this morning, the headline of which is “2010’s Diets That Work.” Yawn. I am not looking for a diet that works, incidentally, nor do I really believe that stars follow the diets associated with or attributed to them in print. But I rarely buy Us for the cover stories. I buy it for…well, don’t you worry about that. I buy it. It bothers me that magazines target people’s well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions by printing a bunch of nonsense about unrealistic and unhealthy approaches to weight loss, but clearly it doesn’t bother me enough to preclude my consumption of said magazines. But don’t worry: my hypocrisy was punished. I just read the most infuriating line of drivel ever to come from a resident of Los Angeles. Consider the weight of that superlative.
Inside this issue of Us is a 24-page assault of celebrity weight loss “secrets” (sshhhhh!), celebrity diets, and celebrity workout tips. One 2-page spread focuses on the approaches used and clients serviced by trainer Tracy Anderson. And the first statement in the article from Ms. Anderson is this one: “I can take any woman and turn her into this tiny ideal of perfection.”
I’m not sure where to begin.
“…tiny ideal of perfection.”
Did you read that? Honestly, I am beyond words with this one. Literally. I need to move on for now to the first part of her statement: “I can take any woman and turn her into…” I can’t even type the second part again. But – “any woman”? Really? Wow. Tracy Anderson has evidently stumbled onto the secret of reversing genetics. Strange that she chooses to use this knowledge for weight loss and not curing diseases, but I digress. Any woman! Did you hear that? No matter what your height, weight, or body type, Ms. Anderson can transform you into the ideal – and the ideal is apparently the same for everyone. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but apparently it is tiny and perfect. Sign me up! I guess if your ideal is not tiny and perfect, you need to find yourself another trainer.
Of course I had to read on and find out how Ms. Anderson accomplishes this amazing feat. Obviously, clients do a lot of working out. And, not surprisingly, the maintenance diet plan includes no pasta or bread or white carbs. But Anderson’s signature diet technique is the super-strict, 14-day regime she prescribes for trainees. Claims Anderson, “You’ll lose 5 pounds in a week and you won’t be tortured.” Hmm. I am pretty sure that losing more than 2 pounds a week is unsafe for most, but, hey, this woman can reverse genetics, so what do I know? What is this 2-week, not torture plan? It is “14 daily servings of foods pureed into the consistency of pudding.” It’s called the “Baby Food Cleanse.” Baby. Food. Cleanse.
I don’t know why Anderson thinks pureeing food will aid weight loss efforts, and I am not going to find out. I don’t care. I care that this woman gets a 2-page spread in a magazine to tell women to eat baby food for 2 weeks. Because feeling bad about your body is not soul-crushing enough. Oh no. Now you will eat baby food for 2 weeks. Perfect! Ideal! I hate Tracy Anderson. I hate her for making claims that will cause people without the resources to hire her to feel as if they have failed when their own efforts do not result in the “tiny ideal of perfection,” because I assure you only Tracy Anderson can completely alter someone’s body structure. I hate her because I don’t think she believes her own claims. I hate her because she is telling women to eat baby food. Why don’t we just wire our jaws shut? Yippee! It’s a new year! Here’s to broken jaws and meals through straws! It’s 2010!
Tracy Anderson, you are a bad person. Also, you lie. Grrrrrr.