Home Beauty Miley Cyrus & her ‘Pilates Arms’: What’s Actually Behind Our Obsession?

Miley Cyrus & her ‘Pilates Arms’: What’s Actually Behind Our Obsession?

Miley Cyrus & her ‘Pilates Arms’: What’s Actually Behind Our Obsession?


Final week, Miley Cyrus gained her first Grammy, and 1000’s of girls booked their first Pilates class.

After the 31-year-old carried out her hit single Flowers on the 2024 Grammy Awards, social media – and notably our associates over on TikTok – have been obsessing over her arms. Particularly, how does she get ‘em so toned? The search time period “Miley Cyrus arms” has exploded over on the app, with health instructors curating specialist exercises similar to “The Miley Cyrus toned arm exercise”, “The Miley Cyrus arms exercise”, and “POV: Miley Cyrus is your muse for right now’s exercise.”

And it is not simply on social media; a number of main information shops have rushed to safe quotes from ‘health consultants’ on the right way to obtain Miley’s actual muscle tone. When you weren’t already rattled, you will have noticed a couple of nutritionists weighing in on the matter, too.

From beginning, we’re socialised to valorise celebrities in any respect prices – even (or particularly) if meaning altering our our bodies to look extra like theirs. Celebrities have all the time performed a significant position in upholding eating regimen tradition: they set the wonder commonplace, we kill ourselves attempting to succeed in it.

Though eating regimen tradition has been round for hundreds of years, it flourished in the course of the ‘90s and ’00s. It was an easier, pre-Ozempic period the place celebrities have been skinny, and the media – particularly girls’s magazines – openly created content material about the right way to shed extra pounds, quick. We have been instructed that celebrities have been “worryingly skinny” after which given the instruction guide to look similar to them.

What’s eating regimen tradition?

Anti-diet nutritionist Christy Harrison defines eating regimen tradition as a “system of beliefs that worships thinness and equate it to well being and ethical advantage […], promotes weight reduction as a method of achieving larger standing […], demonises sure methods of consuming whereas elevating others […], and oppresses individuals who do not match up with its supposed image of ‘well being’.”

Full definition right here.

In 2024, eating regimen tradition is tougher to pin down. Celebrities are nonetheless skinny, however they’re additionally properly. We do not simply need their our bodies; we wish their (obvious) well being. As a toddler, I bear in mind studying a girls’s journal function about what well-known girls ate for breakfast; one girl answered one thing alongside the traces of “lukewarm water” because it made her really feel “fuller for longer”. Might she have provided that reply in right now’s ‘body-positive’ local weather?

On this period, celebrities are (largely) nonetheless skinny, however we’re inspired to practise neutrality – and even, love – with regards to our personal lumpier frames. It feels notably disingenuous, given the elevated accessibility of weight-loss medicine like Ozempic, which has certainly contributed to the rise in celebrities dropping but extra weight beneath the guise of a balanced eating regimen, train, and, above all, wellness.

The frenzied response to Miley Cyrus’ arms is not only a throwback to the unapologetic skinny worship of the early aughts. It is what occurs whenever you’re ate up a cultural eating regimen of ‘Love your self!’ and ‘Doesn’t [insert extremely thin celebrity] look nice?!’ Therefore, we’re being instructed to alter our physique components to appear to be these of disembodied celebrities – and admonished for not loving the sum that each one these components create: ourselves.

In her oft-quoted memoir, Bossypants, Tina Fey summed up the wonder requirements of late ’00s like so:

“Now each woman is predicted to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a basic button nostril, hairless Asian pores and skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance corridor ass, lengthy Swedish legs, small Japanese ft, the abs of a lesbian health club proprietor, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits.”

Each time I come throughout this quote (normally on the depths of Tumblr), I am struck by the psychological picture of a collage girl – maybe created from the pages of these magazines on the hairdressers. To create a collage girl – the perfect girl, the wonder commonplace – you should chop up the photographs of different girls, choosing your favorite components and discarding the scraps.

Is that this how we consider ourselves? As a cut-and-paste model of how stunning we might look in the future? What occurs once we accumulate Miley’s arms? Will we begin engaged on replicating Hailey Bieber’s legs? Worse nonetheless, what occurs once we’re inevitably left with the identical outdated physique that we began with? What can we do with the scraps?

Clearly, there’s nothing inherently flawed with copying a star’s behaviour to emulate their look – you do you! However in a society the place the majority of celebrities adhere to a Western, fatphobic magnificence commonplace, it is value interrogating that want and, on the very least, being trustworthy with ourselves about what we actually wish to obtain. Spoiler alert: you will not discover the solutions inside eating regimen tradition.

For extra from Glamour UK’s Lucy Morgan, comply with her on Instagram @lucyalexxandra.



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