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Being Beyoncé: Is it All in Diet and Exercise?

I love me some Beyoncé. Her video for "Single Ladies" is mesmerizing. Kanye was right -- it should have won Female Video of the Year (even though it went on to win Video of the Year). Beyoncé has this ease in her style -- she's like Sporty Spice the Exotic Dancer. I wish she and Jay Z would adopt me. Maybe they'd teach me how to dance and in between our grueling workout sessions we'd all sit courtside at Knicks games and share popcorn.

So, Beyoncé has a new video that was released Tuesday.

Once again, she's fabu-licious. She runs out to center stage ablaze with her hair bouncing everywhere in these amazing curls. Wearing knee-high green socks (I pray this solidifies a knee-high sock revival), she shows off her long legs and accentuates the curves in her thighs that lie above those socks and below her tiny blue jean shorts. Her billowy white shirt made me wonder if she had anything on underneath it -- a bare shoulder suggests not. But, she's dancing around so much it's hard to tell. She mimics jumping rope and high-knees...with high heels on. If I attempted to run across the room doing high-knees in heels, just before I broke both my ankles, the heels would explode under the pressure.

But back to Beyoncé. As usual, she works her curves in a way that gives all us "big boned" girls hope. She does this really cute move where she's like, left shoulder dip, right shoulder dip, swings her left arm around her head, then flashes this sly grin at the camera. Oy vey.

Oh, did I mention that this video was made for middle-school kids? Yep. It's called the "Let's Move! Flash Workout," which is part of an initiative to advocate healthier lifestyles for youngsters. And even better, it will be shown in middle schools across the nation next week as part of a "dance in."

The video is shot in a busy school cafeteria where kids are eating vegetables, laughing and having fun, until two kids spontaneously start dancing. Then, Beyoncé runs out from what might be the kitchen and everyone joins in.

On May 3, girls who want to double-down on their self-loathing for a day can gather around television at school with their BFFs, haters and heartthrobs to watch Beyoncé work it in the name of a healthy living. Because trying to match her moves will make you feel better about yourself, right? And I thought being a tweener these days was hard enough. Silly me! We're going to raise the bar, kiddos. Let's see if even on the best day of your life you can work a cafeteria like Beyoncé does.

An instructional video of the "Flash Workout" routine will be sent to schools in advance of the "dance in," so kids can learn the moves. It's also available at schooltube.com. (Or see below.)

This instructional video is actually great and well done. Six different teenage dancers and choreographer Frank Gatson Jr. go through all the moves in eight sequences. More important, everyone is dressed to workout, not to hit a club.

As much as I like Beyoncé, I'm a bit conflicted about the "Let's Move!" video. I realize her intentions are in the right place. But the marked difference in how I view the video versus how a fragile (maybe chubby) 12-year-old girl will, is that I'm a grown woman with the gift of time and a sense of humor to now appreciate my awkward phase during middle school.

If the goal of the video campaign is to encourage kids to 1) make good nutrition choices and 2) get up and move, then great! I hope it works. Now, let's suppose Beyoncé had pulled her hair back, sported Asics instead of high heels and worn realistic workout attire. Then would the delivery of a message to tweeners about making healthy choices in itself been healthier? Possibly.

No, scratch that. Probably.


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