When it comes to being rational, the Daily Mail does not have an excellent track record. It’s bad to get plastic surgery, but also bad to show signs of aging; losing weight is important, and it’s inspirational if done for cruel reasons; being fat is bad, but being thin makes you “gaunt” (i.e. makeup-free and not glowing); it is good to work out, but not okay if an overweight person works out wearing a shirt with food on it (it negates the workout…or something?). Now, it would appear that the Daily Mail finds it excellent that Britney Spears lost weight and looks the way she does on the cover of Shape, but they’re going to simultaneously critique her body for not looking perfectly photoshopped in real life.
In their article on Shape‘s cover story about Spears toning her body and working out, the Daily Mail opted to first snidely shame her in the title: “Britney Spears admits ‘dieting is tough’ as she shows off her incredible bikini body on the cover of Shape magazine (with a little help from the airbrush.” Uh, not that I think Daily Mail isn’t purposefully ignoring this, but every magazine cover is airbrushed and edited in some way. Whether it’s a wrinkle, mole, freckle, lighting issue, cold sore, cellulite, blemish, makeup blotch, stray hair, stain…it all gets edited, adjusted or removed completely. It is unfortunate, in some ways, but it is how the publishing world is; Britney Spears doesn’t secretly look like this:
They praise the weight she’s lost and how she looks in Shape, but then the Daily Mail goes on to criticize how she looked while out in Los Angeles “displaying the dreaded cellulite.” Is cellulite a pirate now? They say there’s “no mistaking [her] orange peel thighs” in the sunlight, revealing both their inability to come up with decent metaphors as well as their insensitivity and ridiculousness.
Daily Mail also posted several photos of Spears from 2000 — when she was 19 — and compared them to how she looks now, insinuating she should get back to having her teenage figure despite mothering two children and being 31 now. Then again, it’s the Daily Mail, so I suppose we already have pretty low expectations, so none of this came as a particular surprise — we just wish it wasn’t so routine.