health

"It is now socially unacceptable to be skinny after you’ve given birth."

Skinny sucks… apparently.

I remember the day well. My fiancé, an ex-test cricketer, had announced our engagement on social media while we were holidaying in the US. He posted a photo of the two of us in a New York restaurant. We were flooded with well wishes and positive comments. It wasn’t long, however, before the trolls emerged.

Amongst the light-hearted comments such as “bowling a maiden over” and that my fiancé was “batting above his average”, were far less complementary remarks. I needed to “eat a hamburger” and was apparently suffering from some kind of eating disorder.

Much to our surprise, this food-deprived bride to be would fall pregnant just a few days later.

Skinny shaming.
Katheryn’s not ashamed of her post-baby body. Image via Katheryn Blewett WordPress.
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Fast forward to today. My son is nine and a half months old. When I was pregnant, I was told repeatedly by many ‘experts’ that I would struggle to deliver a child naturally because my hips were too narrow.

A subtle note. YOU WERE WRONG.

Apparently, skinny women struggle with breastfeeding too because they can’t produce enough milk. Sorry to deflate your ‘expert bubble’ but wrong again. I’m still breastfeeding and my son is nearly 10 months old. No issues with milk production here. Thank you for your concern though.

I even recall my first weigh in at my OBGYN. The nurse double glanced at the scales and looked at me. “You weigh forty two kilos,” she repeated twice in total bewilderment. FORTY TWO. I stood there completely unpeturbed. ‘And your point is?’ I thought to myself. She was convinced I was the lightest person she had ever come across to bear a child. I had been slight my whole life and was always front row of every class photo from reception to year 12.

I wasn’t about to justify how much I ate on a regular basis. The night before, I had succumbed to pregnancy cravings and had eaten a large wood fire pizza followed by a chocolate molten pudding with triple cream till I felt sick. I knew what she was alluding to. I was familiar with references to anorexia and bulimia. I had heard them more times than I care to remember. It was no surprise to me how much I weighed. I knew the truth and that’s all that mattered.

Why can’t we celebrate women’s bodies for what they DO not look like:

Sadly, it’s become commonplace in today’s society to condemn women for being too skinny. Throw a baby into the mix and a post-pregnancy selfie of your flat stomach and you have a troller’s paradise ready to aim fire. ‘Skinny slamming’ (aka skinny shaming) is the new trolling trend infiltrating our social media. Where it is now socially unacceptable to be skinny and have a flat washboard stomach after you’ve given birth.

Yes, you heard correctly.

W.E.I.R.D

Skinny shaming.
Katheryn and Greg Blewett in New York. Image via @blewy214 Twitter.
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Instead of embracing great post-pregnancy bodies, we are shaming women who post complimentary pictures of themselves after pregnancy. These body types are seen to be unattainable and unrealistic to the average person.

Apparently photos are only to be posted if you are riddled with stretch marks, sport a post-pregnancy spare tyre around your waist and are photographed in your maternity ward with a tray of donuts and custard in front of you.

That way you have the majority of the population empathising with you and ‘liking’ your photos. Meanwhile, hot bikini pics will see you crucified and in serious need of wearing a bulletproof vest. Makes perfect sense… right?

The likes of Sophie Guidolin (fitness model who recently gave birth to twins), Rebecca Judd (lifestyle and fashion blogger) and Ashy Bines (fitness model) to name a few, are all prime examples of women who have been the recent subjects of being body slammed by Internet trolls for being too skinny post pregnancy. Sophie Guidolin was apparently too fat when she was pregnant and then when she lost the majority of her weight shortly after the birth of her twins, she was condemned for being too skinny. Rebecca Judd has also been under the spotlight for being too skinny before and after pregnancy.

The latest to come under attack is Ashy Bines who has posted a pic a few days after giving birth to her adorable baby boy. Haters have accused her of not eating properly and have even made reference to her rapid weight loss as being attributed to weight loss pills.

I am certainly no fitness model. I wish I was. In fact, I don’t train and never have, despite the fact that my now late father opened the largest health and fitness centre in South Australia. I clearly didn’t get his fitness-hungry genes. Unfortunately, nor has any of my husband’s athleticism or desire to train rubbed off onto me.

Skinny shaming.
Katherine at the beach with her baby son. Image Katheryn Blewett WordPress.

I may be skinny, but I do have cellulite and have no sign of sporting a bubble butt any time soon. I don’t maintain a fitness regime and I certainly don’t diet. The point is that this is me naturally after giving birth. I have the right to embrace my post-pregnancy body (however slight), just as a larger woman has the right to embrace hers.

Trollers are passing their vicious judgements based on their standards. They fail to realise that just because someone’s body has bounced back post pregnancy, doesn’t mean that they aren’t enduring the daily struggles that come with motherhood. Shitty nappies, sleepless nights, breastfeeding, teething, colic, the list goes on (forever).

Having a baby is a momentous and life-changing event in a woman’s life. We should allow women to revel in that special moment and enjoy their newborn child(ren) without scorn and without the unnecessary trivial media frenzies that so sadly mar these special moments.

Further a small reminder — Bines, Guidolin and the 7mth pregnant Michelle Bridges are all fitness gurus. Of course they are going to look cracking after pregnancy… duh. Was there ever any doubt? Why do we all act so surprised and outraged that their bodies bounce back so quickly after pregnancy and then feel the need to shame them?

IT MAKES NO SENSE.

TV Rock said it well, “Go on and flaunt it, shake whatcha mamma gave you.” Bombard social media with your hot bod pics and stand proud.

Now, please excuse me. I hear a hamburger calling my name.

This article was originally published on KatherynBlewett.Wordpress. It has been republished here with full permission. 

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