Being June found herself horrified this morning as she sipped her tea and perused the headlines. Apparently, Beyonce recently emerged with a svelte post-baby body, as evidenced by a shot of her in a stunning blue dress. Journalists took the opportunity to speculate about her secret: Fat transfer and extreme breast pumping: how celebs really lost post-partum pounds. Ms. June nearly spouted Earl Grey from her nose, but she read on, chiding herself for her inability to look away from the proverbial car wreck.

From fat transfer operations to marathon breast pumping sessions to (shiver) HCG injections, which allegedly stimulate fat burning and are known to promote colon cancer, Being June became woozy at the prospect of such extreme alteration and desperation. The article went on to warn us mere mortals that these results cannot be expected, and that it is important for us Average Junes not to compare ourselves to the grand dames of tinseltown.

Being June laments that the article is relevant at all. Still, she herself recalls gazing into the looking glass, mystified by the excess that remained after birthing her first beloved offspring. She can recount the long months of furious aerobics and low-fat cottage cheese (shudder) and trying to will her bone structure back into its pre-baby frame.

We know, or at least we’re told, that real beauty comes from the inside, but it is frequently beat down and bullied and shamed into hiding by mile-long legs and symmetrical faces and décolletage and lace, and so it remains inner beauty.

Fortunately, Being June is a proponent of personal accountability. We must be pragmatic about childbirth and aging and all the rest, and unless we live on the moon we cannot help but be aware of the world’s standard of beauty. Exactly! You say. How am I supposed to feel good about myself when I’ve got the likes of Jessica Alba to contend with? Indeed, we cannot pretend Ms. Alba is not beautiful. She is painfully, breathtakingly beautiful. But her beauty has nothing to do with our beauty, and the fact that she is beautiful does not make us any less beautiful. She has a right to her beauty, and we have a right to ours.

Some celebrities believe they have no choice but to harm themselves to remain beautiful, but is that the truth? Have they no choice? Hollywood may airbrush photos and encourage celebrities to breast-pump themselves into near nonexistence, but we must be wise enough to discern what is real and what is not, to know that it is foolish – even dangerous – to compare, and we must act accordingly.

Being June will step off her soap box, and leave you with her unprofessional assessment that if it took nine months to put it on, it will take nine months to take it off. Sheesh.


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