I don’t want to write this post. That’s the truth.
I made a pact with myself at the beginning of 2013 to try my best to live by the adage “promote what you love don’t bash what you hate”. And I’ve done that. Mostly. But on the weekend I clicked on an image that irritated me. An image that left me feeling weary and sad. This is it:
I clicked on a photo of Norwegian Caroline Berg Eriksen – a fitness blogger/footballer’s wife. And when I clicked, I found myself awkwardly staring at a photo of a woman in pretty black and raspberry lingerie. A woman with watermelon boobs and long glossy hair and a thigh gap reminiscent of when my daughter sticks matchsticks in a lump of play-doh. Oh flat abs.
You see really the photo was all about Caroline’s stomach. That’s because four days ago Caroline had a baby – a beautiful little girl called Nelia. But believe me when I tell you, Caroline’s daughter is the last thing everyone – including Caroline – is talking about.
News Limited reports:
Norwegian Caroline Berg Eriksen gave birth to daughter Nelia on Monday and posted a selfie on Instagram dressed in nothing but underwear with the caption “I feel so empty, and still not … 4 days after birth.”The fitness blogger – who is married to Norwegian Premier League player Lars-Kristian Eriksen and blogs under the name Fotballfrue meaning “footballer’s wife” – has since been slammed in her native media who have accused her of placing unfair pressure on new mothers to lose weight immediately after birth.
Eriksen hit back on Facebook, saying: “I let out the picture because I’m proud of myself and my body for something as tough as a pregnancy/birth, and I think all mothers, regardless of the body shall be.”
You know what? I’m just tired of all of this. And I’m beginning to feel like women posting post-labour photos of themselves is the equivalent of men flopping out their johnsons to see whose is the biggest.
Can pregnancy be tough? Yes (though some women breeze through). And yes women should be proud of themselves for getting through it. No issue there.
And it goes without saying that Erikson has the right to be pleased/proud/ maybe even relieved that she looks that slim and fit just FOUR DAYS after giving birth. I would be too, if I was going to be honest.
In fact if I looked like Eriksen I would also possibly refuse to put on clothes ever again and I would be struttin’ around the house in my size 0 knickers and my maternity bra all day listening to Diana Ross’s “I’m coming out”.
I SO would.
So credit where credit is due: Caroline looks amazing and as a fitness blogger I’m going to assume that she worked hard and was disciplined through her pregnancy. Unlike me. I became pregnant and pulled up a chair to the fridge.
So go girl. Good for you. Well done etcetera etcetera etcetera .
But here’s where I have a problem.
Where’s Nelia in this conversation?
Who? THE BABY. Remember her? THE BABY that was until last Monday a tenant in Caroline’s stomach.
A woman has just given birth to a beautiful baby girl and it’s not the new life Caroline appears to want us to focus on.
Caroline wants us to be talking about how HOT she looks. Now see, I think that’s a bit fucked up.
Because what other reason is there to post a full length photo of yourself in lingerie four days after giving birth to your 242, 841 followers? It’s not a selfie. It’s an act of war AGAINST women. Why is it the mother’s “post baby body” the first thing we want to talk about when a celebrity has a baby?
This whole situation has become ludicrous. The competition for women to give birth and then immediately remove any trace from their bodies that they ever carried a child is OBSCENE. There is no other word for it. Actually, it’s more than obscene – this “Look how hot I still am!” obsession and need for public endorsement is a disservice to all women.
Focusing on HOW we look post-baby detracts from how we feel. And THAT is what we need to be concerned about with all new mothers. Motherhood is overwhelming on so many levels. We need to shift this goddamn focus back to the mental health of our mothers.
Are you coping okay? How are you feeling about being a mum? How are you feeling about your new baby? Connected? Disconnected? Nothing? Are you feeling traumatised about your labour? Did you end up with or choose to have a cesar? Has your milk come in? Having breastfeeding issues? Wanting to bottle feed but feeling alone? Wanting to cry all the time for no particular reason?
ALL OF THAT. And a thousand other things.
What we don’t need to be worrying about is whether or not we still fit into our sexy lingerie. Whether our tummies have snapped back within a week. Whether we still look HOT.
I have no issue with Caroline being proud of herself and maybe as a fitness blogger she felt it was important to show how her fitness has contributed to her bouncing back so quickly. But you know what? Pose in a photo wearing yoga pants and a cute t-shirt with Nelia.We will all still be able to tell you look amazing.
And the fact is Caroline, I’d rather you posted a column about what your exercise and healthy eating plan is going to be once you’ve passed the six week mark and can ease yourself back into exercise.
I’d rather hear the truth about how you’re feeling about being a new mum to Nelia. Talk to me about that and I’ll follow you on Instagram tomorrow.
What do you think of Caroline’s selfie?