Opinion: Post-Baby Body BraggingKatlyn Joy |17, December 2013
The wife of a Norwegian soccer player lit up internet chat when she posted a photo of herself a mere 3 days post birth, thin and abs tight as a pack of tiny newborn diapers. People were outraged and angry about her self-elevating photo or supportive and venomous about the other fat slobs who can't slip back into their skinny jeans within hours of their milk coming in.
Is it a good thing to show what is supposedly possible after birth? Why does it make us mad to see another mom trim and svelte? Why doesn't it give us hope; why aren't we supportive?
Hmm. Well, sometimes because it's not meant to encourage anyone else. It is a nah-nah-boo-boo moment. It is thumbing the nose at the normal girls who struggle to slough off the post-baby bulge for not days, or weeks, but months and maybe years later.
And sometimes it's just a lie. Women (celebrities in particular) love to say, "I didn't do anything special. I'm just lucky. I ate healthy and kept active." Then they pose in designer work out duds with flawless and likely airbrushed made up faces, with their cherub-faced babies, freshly handed over from their full time nannies.
Recently a stink was made of Tori Spelling's post baby body lies. She told in her biography that she shed her pounds just eating healthy and swimming in her pool. Apparently, she actually starved herself. She doesn't even know how to swim. Her people at the book publisher didn't think that was a positive message to put out there.
Jessica Alba ate healthy and worked out, but she also wore a double corset night and day for three solid months, remarking how it was sweaty but worthwhile.
If we snipe at every fit new mom, it makes us sound, (and somewhat justifiably) bitter but if we feel defeated and miserable in comparison we are falling prey to silliness.
We are not seeing the whole picture when we see selfies of hot new moms. Chances are they are not being real. The picture is stilted, she sucked it in, she is posing so she hides her cellulite, or such. She is airbrushed. She is made up with smoke and mirrors.
Or she's telling the part of the story she wants to tell. It's a story of sensible lifestyle and with a too-cute shrug and smile, "I guess I'm just blessed with good genes." That and like Beyonce, she works out for hours a day, limits herself to vegan meals or like Tori Spelling, eats very little at all.
Are we willing to do all that? We don't have to; we don't work in an industry that demands perfection on the outside. We don't have trainers, dieticians, nannies round the clock or cooks. We don't have a weight loss endorsement on the line paying us millions. We have a new baby, a messy house and work to do. We are sleep-deprived, overworked and still have unrealistic expectations of how we want to look and how easy we want it to come to us.
On the other hand, it's not an excuse to gain loads of weight while pregnant, and buy bigger sweats post baby and gripe about celebrities and rich snobs who can afford those bodies, or sculpt them at plastic surgeons.
We have to start doing ourselves a favor. Stop giving a second thought to those people who live lives way beyond ours. We have to start where we are and do the best for us. Eat like a person who wants to enjoy life, but enjoy a long life. Eat healthy things and keep things in balance. Don't despair over the occasional cupcake or glass of wine. Exercise regularly and dress like we care about having sex again. Don't expect everything to be perfect; they never were and never will be.
But some things can improve. You may have new and more feminine curves. Being a mom may inspire you to cook more nutritious foods. You need not set your mirror next to someone else's. Just be the best version of you and be happy with it! The heck with the sucked-in, lingerie-clad breastfeeding selfies! Be a real woman with real pride in who she really is.
Here's the correct way to get a flat tummy after having a baby.
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