Love your post-baby body

The media has created unrealistic body images that too many of us think we need to achieve. It's time we all embrace our stretch marks and spider veins.

By Amy Valm
Love your post-baby body

Photo: Flame Pictures

A recent Forbes article called "Baby boom: Who really wins the baby weight game" addresses the media's expectations for new mommies to bounce back to pre-baby weight before they leave the maternity ward.

Bollywood star and new mom, Aishwarya Rai, is beautiful in every sense of the word with bright sparkling eyes set into flawless olive skin. Despite her beauty, the media seems to think she’s slacking on losing her baby weight. Without any discretion, they publicly chastise her for not being thinner.

In the popular flick, Knocked Up, Katherine Heigl’s character sits with her bosses at E! to discuss her on-camera position. Included in her promotion is a gym membership. They say they can’t legally ask her to lose weight – only to “tighten.”

“We would just like it if you go home and step on the scale, and write down how much you weigh, and subtract it by like, 20. Then weigh that much,” Kristin Wiig’s character famously says. At a later meeting, the bosses find out Heigl’s pregnant, expressing joy that viewers will love her baby belly. Again, asking Heigl’s character to “tighten up” after the birth.  

Albeit humorous, it paints a bleak picture of how the media perceives women – particularly after children.

Mothers should be cherished for their love and dedication, not put down for failing to comply with a manufactured "ideal" body image. Your body was a vessel for providing life. Every stretch mark or upped pant size are just mementos of that amazing life you brought into the world. This should be celebrated, not degraded. Websites like "The Shape Of A Mother" honour mothers' changed bodies.

Who we are and our actions as parents and people define us, not how much we weigh, or the gap between our thighs. Who cares that Beyonce lost all her baby weight, or that January Jones is thin almost immediately after giving birth? Women put enough pressure on themselves and we don't need unrealistic pressures put on us by the media. Your baby thinks you’re perfect and you are!

This article was originally published on Jun 26, 2012

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