I have been seeing a slew of photos of new celebrity mother’s showing how wonderful they look after losing all their baby weight gain while their babies are still under the age of one. Some have only just made it out of the 4th trimester – the first three months after the baby is born. Now don’t get me wrong, I want women to celebrate their bodies and feel comfortable to share no matter what stage or shape you are in. I happened to lose 60lbs after my second child was born and was asked to pose for some clothing advertising. I was actually “skinny shamed” by a commenter. They had no idea nor took any consideration on how this was my first time ever posing and I was finally feeling confident and flattered for being asked after losing all the weight I gained from four pregnancies, three being consecutive miscarriages, including a stillbirth.
What concerns me the most is the added pressure and sub-text, the negative messages that women are absorbing about their bodies when they are the most vulnerable, in the transition of being a mother and needing to nurture a dependent soul. How you look should absolutely be the last thing on your mind. In fact, I don’t even think it needs to be on a list of worries. Have you had a baby!?! I assure you, there is enough to worry about. Being able to shower and sleep are hard enough. I could easily go off on a tangent about privilege as well… losing weight is hard and it’s one thing when you have secure resources and an elaborate support system but let’s get back to weight.
The most recent comment I read from a celebrity was regarding her post-partum body. She stated, “I don’t even know what to say, other than I’m so sorry to my body.” … I wish we could reframe this messages to one of gratitude, strength, encouragement, and compassion for our bodies like, “Wow, thank you body for supporting and nurturing me and my baby. I will continue to prioritize my wellbeing and nourish you the best way I can.” Imagine what would happen if we consciously chose to send positive and supportive messages about our bodies…What “If tomorrow, women woke up and decided they really liked their bodies, just think how many industries would go out of business.” Dr. Gail Dines
Here are some links on how society influences and/or distorts how we define beauty…