Ideal body shape: Rebecca Judd Pilates backlash

Rebecca Judd Chris Hunt Pilates

In my article today I want to ask you as a Pilates teacher, as someone who practices Pilates, or as someone who works in the fitness industry, a very subjective question: do you have an opinion of what constitutes a “Pilates body” shape, and how do you manage the expectations of your clients who do have such an opinion?

As an example, I’m going to talk about Rebecca Judd. Rebecca is a 31 year-old Australian model, television presenter and the wife of Australian Football League player Chris Judd. She caused controversy last week by posting a picture of herself on Instagram in a bikini (click here to see the picture in question).

She has been criticised before for looking “too thin” but says she has never had an eating disorder. Her weight was a talking point after she has lost her “baby weight” very quickly (she gave birth to her daughter Billie Kate in January and son Oscar three years before). In May, just a few months after giving birth to her daughter, she uploaded a slim bikini shot of herself showing she had already regained her pre-pregnancy figure. Last week she told Daily Mail Australia that morphing into her post-baby shape in record time was all down to hard work. ‘It’s all about Pilates, Pilates, Pilates, Pilates,’ she said. ‘I wish I could run but I just don’t have time. And I just work out on (husband) Chris’ reformer equipment all the time, in his man cave. And there’s a spin bike down there I use… it’s all about being fit and strong and toned.’

Some of the comments posted by her 196,000 Instagram followers criticised her whilst others praised her.

@harriet_rose asked: ‘How is this nice? Way too skinny.’ @wendyrpaton said: ‘I like following you Bec but please reconsider the message you are sending to young impressionable women. You don’t need to flaunt yourself like this. Use your beauty in a positive way and a less self-indulgent. I do think you are inspirational, please consider your message. Eating disorders are real and effect many young girls.’ @minnapurdue said: ‘Eat something. Unfollowed.’ @cina_bina wrote: ‘Omg @kaylahayes5 I would rather look the way I do now than look like this, this is so sad poor girl.’

But other comments supported her. @gabstarflossy added: ‘I think you look beautiful @becjudd don’t listen to the haters. Some of these negative comments are appalling. Some people have no idea when they say stupid things about other people.’ and renata_angarano_makeup said: ‘Well done @becjudd. Your discipline and healthy choices should be taken as inspirational. I can only wish to have as much discipline as you. To all the haters – if you all committed yourselves to exercise as much as you do to bitching, maybe, just maybe, you would be happy with yourselves too.’

So to return to my question for this article, do you have an opinion as to what is the perfect Pilates figure? Of course people will all have different opinions and ideas about what “their” shape should be, and there is not necessarily a right or wrong answer per se, but I am interested as to how as an industry we portray ourselves and our vision of health and fitness to our clients, and how we manage the expectations of our clients.

Chris is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also created Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona, as well as retreats. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

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4 thoughts on “Ideal body shape: Rebecca Judd Pilates backlash”

  1. I’m 60 years old, overweight, have a chronic sacro-illiac, DD issue,,,,,and I am a Pilates instructor. Should I be concerned with a “perfect” figure, Pilates or otherwise? Should I not be in the industry? Should I not teach others if they do not have a chance in hell to get a perfect figure? Unfortunately, when Pilates hit the fitness scene ll this crap came about to fit in with gym mentality. I work primarily with 50’s and up people who have lived hard and have issues, like myself. Is Pilates workable with 50-90 year olds. I think so. It has everything to do with proper bio mechanics, getting out of pain, ease and well being.

    1. Hi centa, and thank you for taking the time to post a comment. I agree that perfection is or course a myth and is determined by whatever filter we view life through. I am more concerned with how as fitness professionals we manage the expectations of our clients, many of who will come to us with some preconceived idea as to what constitutes their “perfect” figure.

  2. Hi Chris

    Ideal body, perfect body, sexy body – these are all terms that are subjective and will vary as much as the people you ask.

    Strong body, flexible body, springy body – these are in a way much more objective.

    Do you have any idea of Ms Judd’s actual reformer workout/practice? Does she work with an instructor? What is the instructor’s view of Pilates? There are so many questions here.

    Pilates to me is an experience of good functional movement not a workout. I see myself when I teach Pilates as a movement teacher and use the work as a basis for teaching good movement skills when I teach the physical practice of yoga. It works for me and for the students that choose to come to my classes. Those who want the Rebecca Judd body would probably hate my classes. To each their niche though I suppose.

    1. Hi shoesandyoga and thank you for your comments. I agree it is totally subjective but it has been interesting to hear different people’s opinions some of which I agree with and some I do not! I do agree with you and I did try to find out more about her workout but I have not been able to yet.

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