Thanks to Belinda, who forwarded me this article written by Tracy Anderson, Gwyneth Paltrow’s trainer and business partner. It’s a long piece, and I’m not sure what it’s about, because I skipped directly to the part where she talks about G. And, frankly, this is what I’d recommend you do too.

Anderson is describing how she and G came to work together. Here’s the excerpt:

I met Gwyneth Paltrow through a friend of hers who was really changing with the method. Gwyneth was like, ‘What are you doing? Are you having surgery?’ And she was like, ‘No, it’s this girl.’ I agreed to meet with Gwyneth, and she said, ‘I’ve got this movie coming up where I have to be a superhero.’ It was the very first Iron Man. She said, ‘I know you have a son—I just had Moses—and I can’t get this weight off. I’ve never had a problem like this in my life.’ She had 35 extra pounds on her. Her butt was long and she had outer thigh problems. Gwyneth is lucky because she’s really tall, so she can hide it really well in clothes, but she had significant problem areas. I felt so badly for her, and thought I could really help. So, I agreed, and she did everything that I asked. Now, seven years later, she looks younger every year; she’s totally transformed. And she really does the work. She and I became business partners, too, because she said, ‘Every woman has to have this. It’s not fair. I’ve tried everything and nothing works like this. You’re a real gift.’ It wasn’t a business decision for her at all.

If Gwyneth wasn’t feeling great about her body, fine. She has every right to work towards getting it to a point where she’s satisfied. My problem here is the language, and phrases like this:

“significant problem areas”

“outer thigh problems”

“I felt so badly for her”

Moses Martin was born April 2006. Here are some shots of Gwyneth taken September 2006. She’s breastfeeding and she may not be as tight and toned as she is now…but would you use the words “significant problem areas” and “outer thigh problems” to describe this? Would you FEEL BAD FOR HER???

I’ve never had a child, never mind two, and I can tell you I still don’t look like this. So you can imagine how bad my “significant problem areas” are. And how sh-t my “outer thigh problems” are. You should feel bad for me. Should you feel bad for me?

I don’t want you to feel bad for me.

Because it’s nothing to feel bad about.

Language like this though, to describe a woman’s body, and HER body at that, is ridiculous. And it’s destructive. Because if Gwyneth Paltrow has “significant problem areas”, what hope is there for everyone else?

It’s also a damaging message to send because it reinforces that the ideal body type is long and lean and not curvy. We’ve been through this with Tracy Anderson. Genetically we were not all created to look just one way. Creating the expectation that we should and that we can…

How is this moving us forward?

How is this setting us back?

Click here to read the full Tracy Anderson piece. Thanks again Belinda!