Cameron Diaz stirred up some buzz this week when paparazzi snapped shots of her newly-toned arms while leaving a Venice Beach gym. The Superficial compared her to Madonna, who has faced criticism for her own muscular arms; Just Jared was kinder, calling her toned physique “amazing.”
When it comes to public opinion of famous female bodies, the line between “enviably toned” and “yikes” is a thin one that only gets thinner as women age. (Arms are especially vulnerable to criticism, since balmy Los Angeles climes encourage lots of sleeveless looks.) Work out just enough and you get called “ripped” like Kelly Ripa and “toned” like Michelle Obama. Go a little further and suddenly you’re “scary” like Anna Wintour and “sinewy” like Madonna.
To be sure, there are plenty of health concerns associated with working out too much. Leslie Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, told ABC News that a physique like Madonna’s is “often the result of pretty restrictive eating and dehydration.” But it still seems like the blogosphere is constantly looking for a reason to body snark on actresses for either working out too much or not enough.
In other words, you can’t win either way, so pump however much iron is right for you (hell, at least you’re getting some exercise, unlike a lot of Americans).