Beautiful Post-Baby Bodies | Modern Mummy

Friday, 26 July 2013

Beautiful Post-Baby Bodies

I've wanted to write this blog post for AGES. Three years in fact. And no doubt it will take me days/weeks/months to get the words right and, by the time I eventually publish it, it will be old news and no one will give two hoots. But I hope not.

There have been two stories in the media in the past week - one of which has horrified me beyond words, and the other which has impressed and inspired me so, so much. However, together, both have finally given me the kick up the backside to talk about something I've always wanted to talk about - post-partum body image.

From this post's title (and so long as I hit 'publish' within before the story is old news) I'm fairly certain you'll all know the negative tale I'm talking about. Oh yes. THAT one. The hideous headline on the front of OK! Magazine earlier this week in relation to Kate Middleton's supposed 'Post Baby Weight-Loss Regime' - which hit the shelves only hours after she gave birth to Prince George. There are literally no words to describe the sheer horror I felt when I saw the front cover doing the rounds on Twitter and thought about the influence it might have on some of the magazine's readers. This, to me, is proof that the media's obsession with skinniness, diets and celebrity post-baby weight loss is getting seriously out of control. 

As if publishing pictures of size 0 models that make girls as young as 9 or 10 want to diet wasn't bad enough, magazines have now hit an all time low by pressurising brand new mums to shed their baby weight immediately giving birth. There is nothing more precious than bonding with your newborn in the first few weeks after his or her arrival - and I can think of nothing worse than spending that time starving yourself in an attempt to shrink back into your size 12 jeans before your visitors start arriving.

I think it's horrific that celebrity mothers feel as if they have to hide away once they've given birth and that they can only emerge and face the media after they've dieted and exercised back to their original pre-baby shape. Why would anyone want to devote all their time and energy into doing that, rather than spending it having scrumptious newborn cuddles with their baby? Celebrity trainer, Tracy Anderson, actually described many post baby bodies as 'disasters'. I beg your pardon!? How dare she!

One positive thing to come out of 'Kate-Gate' was all the amazing women within social media - Katy Hill in particular - that fought back against OK! Magazine with their #dontbuyok campaign and in doing so, told the world that this really isn't acceptable and things need to change.

This particular Twitter campaign forced OK! bosses to issue an apology (if you can call it that) which was something, however the issue is still available to buy when, in my opinion, it should have been pulled from circulation altogether. Unless something super drastic happens which, lets face it, will have to involve money - so either a huge loss of sales or a big fat fuck off fine courtesy of the Courts - I have a feeling that things aren't going to change just yet. That is unless us mamas really do make some noise.

But before I slip back into angry/dispairing mode, let me share with you the amazing, empowering and gorgeous women I have discovered this week, thanks to photographer Jade Beall and her A Beautiful Body Project.



Jade's collection of photographs of real mothers and their beautiful post-partum bodies was also in the press this week (before news of the Royal birth broke, I hasten to add). She has made a statement, a really brilliant statement, to the whole world and said LOOK! These women have made babies and they may have gained a few pounds and a few stretchmarks in the process but they CREATED LIFE! And they are BLOODY BEAUTIFUL. {These pictures actually made me weep a little bit. Us women are awesome}

Am I the only person that thinks that this miracle is worth changing appearance over? I know that some lucky people do spring back into shape pretty easily and naturally but I am definitely not one of them. And it may have taken two babies for me to change my perception of my own post-partum body to a positive one but, hell, I LIKE my tiger stripes - they remind me of what amazing things my body is capable of - and if I want my silhouette to look a little slimmer (which I confess, some days I do) then I'll stick on a pair of Spanx, thank you, and then go and eat cake with my little ones, if that's what they fancy doing. 

So here's my contribution to the Mama Body Photo Club (ooh have I just invented something there?) Photos of me pregnant with my girls - I had polyhydramnios both times which meant I was huge due to excess fluid levels - and a photo taken of me three months after having Evie.  I'm totally updating this post with a nudie belly shot tomorrow when Himself's awake to take it for me.


My boobs may be a little saggier, and my waist a little thicker, but I've got my little people - and that's what I was put on this earth to do. I wouldn't have it any other way xoxox


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9 comments

  1. Hey katy... I love this. I havent had children but I work in maternity and the pressure women feel is immense and the media shocked me this week too. Its vile. I like that a lot of breastfeeding info seems to have appeared this week...thats something not talked about enough in my opinion.
    Women see pictures of women 8 weeks after birth and theybare stick thin. But I bet they spend zero time with their children. Real women need time. It took nine months for your body to gwt thebway it did you cant expect it to take any less to be back to how it was before. Love this blog.
    Ps you look gorgeous :-) ash

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  2. Aileen Gallahue26 July 2013 at 23:34

    I'd say advertising getting pulled from OK!'s pages could do more damage than a fine. Here's hoping!!

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  3. You are such a legend for posting this. I was disgusted when I saw ok and that comment from "celebrity" trainer...lets she has kids some time soon so she can be welcomed into the real world. I saw those real woman shots to and felt so empowered and emotional seeing them, beautiful.
    And your pics...you are one hot and brave mummy!

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  4. This is awesome! I call mine tiger stripes too and just like my c-section scar they are the marks which show that I made and carried a baby - a perfect human life!! He's 3 1/2 now and I'm not the size I was before I had him and maybe never will be but my heart is bigger and I carry more love, it's got to be kept somewhere ;) xxx Great post!

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  5. Very true and inspiring. We live in a society of media obsessed celebrities. My son is 14 months and i still have extra weight and stretch marks which i will show off proudly on holiday. My son happiness and well being is more important than being skinny. I was a size 10 when i was 20 years old. I am now 36 years old and a wife and a mummy and happy as a size 14. Xx

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  6. We're on holiday at the moment so I've only seen snippets of this on social media as I've dipped in and out at times. Thanks for sharing your story and your pics - this is what we should all be doing to counter the trash magazine trend. You look beautiful in all your pics x

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  7. Thank you all heaps for commenting - and sorry for my waffly ranting! I have always been infuriated by the media's take on 'beauty' and upset at how influential the magazines seem to be, but piling the pressure on new mums is a step too far for me. It's such an emotional, amazing time, that goes too fast as it is - and women should cherish it, rather than feel forced into dieting and working out. Ash you are so right - nine months on, nine months off is the way I see it too. I would LOVE it if every mama out there spoke out and showed the world what is normal - and beautiful x

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  8. Katy where's the nudey belly one? ;o)

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  9. I have to admit, I'm struggling with the idea of what my post-pregnancy body is going to look like but that said, my body issues have built up over the years. I don't think my new body is going to be easy to accept :-( But for the moment, I'm just hoping I stay healthy and don't fall into a depressive state after my little man is born.

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