Well Being

Coco Austin (Ice-T’s Wife) Is An Unlikely Role Model For Body Image And Fitness

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Coco Austin's butt

I'll admit it: I've never taken much time to ponder the body  of model and actress Coco Austin. The curvaceous wife of Ice-T just wasn't someone who was on my radar. But a recent TV appearance, coupled with this Photoshop-free InTouch spread, have gotten my attention–and my respect. Austin's body-positive acceptance of her figure, and emphasis on working out and being healthy, are a refreshing change from the usual rhetoric surrounding women and their bodies.

I'm usually not a huge fan of celebrities who feel the need to prove whether aspects of their bodies are real or not (paging Courtney Stodden–but is she actually a “celebrity”?) because it almost always feels like catering to body-snarking, and because it presents women with an unfair expectation of what they should and should not have to explain to the world. But Austin's appearance on The Doctors and her non-retouched photo spread struck me differently.

Sure, the idea of the show was that she'd have an ultrasound to “prove” that her butt is all muscle (and no implant), but her emphasis was more on her intense workouts (which she can perform in Louboutins and a zebra-print outfit!) and her own body acceptance. Which is kind of a nice change from the usual body-negativity–or worse, the emphasis on “eating tons of junk, I swear!” that models often feel the need to play to.

Austin has been open about her previous surgeries–she's admitted that she had a breast augmentation–but I don't necessarily think that precludes her from being a role model for body-positivity. After all, who can say that one way to get the body that will make you feel your best (like tons of squats and lunges) is better than another (breast augmentation), as long as the end result is a healthy body and high self-esteem?

Coco Austin has made a career mostly out of her appearance (I can't name any of her work beside the upcoming reality show, Ice Loves Coco, can you?), which may rub some women the wrong way; she's highly sexualized, mostly lauded for her looks, and feels the need to go on TV to prove that she works out to get her most notable feature. But she's also representing a curvy body that's the product of a healthy amount of exercise (and not, you know, diet pills), coupled with a message of self-love–and that's pretty notable, I think.

Image: InTouch

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