No Taylor Swift Has Not Been Working On Her 'Revenge Body' - Can't We kill That Whole Concept Now Please?

'The Revenge Body' is a popular trope that needs to be stopped, because it's not good for women​

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Taylor Swift went to the gym the day that her split from actor Tom Hiddleston was announced.

Shock. Horror. 

Taylor Swift goes to the gym pretty much every day when she's at home and quite often when she isn't, as it happens, but a lot of outlets, including some that, frankly, we expected better of, used this as an excuse to cry: 'revenge body!'

Taylor Swift going to the gym, Taylor Swift going to the gym and OH LOOK, there she is going to the gym again.
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The tabloids were all at it of course, as is possibly to be expected. The Daily Star cited the revenge body in this article, and while the Daily Mail say Taylor already has a 'revenge body' in this article, they're still referencing the concept. 

While we can hope for more but expect little from the red tops, we were surprised to see some of the more prestigious titles following suit. Here's what one fashion magazine had to say on the subject:

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So why does the idea of 'The Revenge Body' have us so peeved?

First Of All, What Is It?

For anyone who has been living under a stone, the 'revenge body' is the slimmed down, toned up figure you achieve after months of gut and glute-busting gym sessions.

Sessions that have finally been made available to you through all the spare, thumb-twiddling time you are now landed with after breaking up with a long term partner. 

The idea being that once you've got yourself a hot new bod and posted about it generously on social media, your ex will spot the 'new you' and cry endlessly into a pillow, regretting the decision to ever break up with you. 

His or her unhappiness being the 'revenge' part of the deal. 

Why is it such a miserable concept?

Apart from the fact that one of the Kardashian Klan has managed to create a business out of it - which should be reason enough for you to feel vaguely distrustful of the idea - 'the revenge body' has a number of sinister implications.

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It's A Woman Thing

As with most media chatter about bodies, this is a term that's probably 98.9567 per cent of the time applied to women and not men. 

When Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin consciously uncoupled, did we consciously watch like a hawk to see if Chris was slimming down around the mid-section in a bid for Gwynnie's attention? 

When Orlando Bloom was photographed doing his nudie paddle boarding, we said a lot of things - mostly 'er, why?' - but we didn't speculate about whether his abs-bearing was actually a revenge plotted against Miranda Kerr. 

Once again, while the men get intellectualised, the women are reduced to a sum of their physical parts. Our worth, and in this case, whether we are worth weeping bitter tears of regret over, is all determined by the size of our love handles. 

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It's A Violence Thing

While we're on the subject of gender divisions, associating the female body with willful violence is a pretty old and a pretty horrendous trend. 

Mythically and historically, the female body has always been imbued with a sense of murderous destruction. We have 'killer curves' and are described as 'bombshells', as if, by merely walking into a room, we might cause the nearest male of the species to explode.

And let's not get started on 'vagina dentata' - a myth that implies the female anatomy is, at its core, designed to cannibalise flesh.

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It Uses Sex As A Bargaining Tool

In couples' counselling, this is the number one thing your shrink will probably caution you against. 

You miss him, so you'll lure him back in with sex, rather than because you're a wonderful person with a slew of redeeming traits that don't involve your vagina?

Seems sensible.

What's The Prize At The End?

When it comes to the 'revenge body,' what exactly is supposed to be the prize at the end of the gym slog? 

You win their tears and remorse? Well that seems like a rather wretched pursuit.

You win them back? Granted, occasionally people get back together and it all works out, but for the most part, relationships that have ended have ended for a reason, so is getting yourself re-embroiled in something that has already proven itself to be flawed worthy of celebration?

Where Is Your Motivation?

And finally, it turns out there are plenty of sources on the internet claiming that 'revenge' is one of the best motivators.

Here's a site claiming that the revenge body is the best thing you can do after a break-up, and here's another calling it 'The Vendetta Technique' and encouraging you to pick an enemy, any enemy and channel your hatred for them into a full on overhaul of your life. 

It seems terribly sad that we should be championing hatred for someone else as a key motivator for change.

Perhaps it might be better to pick a positive emotion to channel and maybe set your goals on the basis of your own self-improvement, rather than on the basis of someone else's torment.

Or, find a way to be happy with yourself the way you are.

Just a thought.

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