Lindy Klim is standing in her bathroom, her back straight, a white robe falling from her shoulders. She is clad in an orange bra, her face is free of make up and the faintest line travels up her belly. She’s not wearing much, but don’t mistake this for an exercise in vanity. In this image, her tummy is key: The place where her baby just grew.
The 40-year-old’s phone is in her hand, the camera pointed towards the mirror. She snaps a photo, uploads it to Instagram.
“Slowly but surely…. I’m in no rush! Appreciating what my body does for me and has given me, not just what it looks like. Loving myself sick,” she wrote alongside it.
The glow of an online community impressed with a piece of content (for once…) comes in thick and fast. A truly beautiful role model inside and out, some said. A powerful message, said others.
“I was a little bit nervous about it to begin with,” Klim tells Mamamia about taking the image and making it public.
“For me, personally, it’s my fourth child, and it’s really important for me to appreciate myself and my body for what it has been able to do – especially being able to have a baby at 40. I am very grateful for that.”
Klim, who has three children with her Olympic gold medallist ex-husband Michael Klim (Stella, 11, Rocco, nine and Frankie, six), welcomed Goldie Ellis with fiancé Adam Ellis in December last year. She tells Mamamia her pregnancy, though it was her fourth, was one where she began, in the very early stages, to look around. To compare her body. To pre-emptively worry about what she’d look like post-birth.
“When I was pregnant with my other kids, social media wasn’t around and I didn’t feel so much pressure to look a certain way. Because with social media, that can happen. You look at how other people are getting back in shape, and you start comparing yourself.
“I was occasionally looking and thinking that person has done this and that and – at the beginning – started to really compare myself, which I don’t usually do. I had to have a good look at myself and ground myself, just be me and enjoy who I am and what my body can do.”
And so, that’s why, a month after welcoming her fourth baby, you might have stumbled on an image of Klim in her underwear on your Instagram feed, her post-baby body looking remarkably like any other.
She was nervous, she says. It’s still a selfie, and some people are against selfies, let alone the content within them.
“I wasn’t sure what [the reaction] would be like, but I’ve always been really honest. And I think an honest photo of me can help other people understand that we don’t have to rush back.”
You could argue a photo like this one is the perfect exercise in clever PR. However, to do so would ignore the core of what Klim is known for: being a model. Her public identity is uniquely entwined with how she looks, and when that’s the case, it’s never easy to re-direct the narrative.
Having a fourth child, she acknowledges, is a bit of a different experience. Of course, it has been six years since she last had a newborn, which means it’s been six years since she really experienced the sleep deprivation that comes with having a baby. But also it means this time she knows, really knows, how long it will take to bounce back. Four children ago, she says, she may not have been so brazen to have uploaded a photo like this. Now? She “understands the process”.
Naturally, the introduction of baby Goldie in the family is a different experience for another reason, too. Goldie is the first child Klim has with Ellis, therefore being the first time she has experienced the throes of a blended family in all its glory.
“It’s incredible, the love that my children have for Goldie is incredible. They are obsessed with her, particularly Frankie who is six. It’s like she has her real live baby doll. She will do everything for her.”
It seems, from this end anyway, that Klim is finding a sense of calmness amongst the chaos. It’s been a trying year or two, at least publicly, with the breakdown of her marriage with Michael playing out in a public domain. It’s been messy, that much we know, and perhaps for this reason she’s hesitant to comment extensively on the other side of her blended family.
While Klim acknowledges she has not heard from her ex-husband since the birth of her baby – she does reference the fact her children are happy. And for her, that’s what matters.
The happiness and wellbeing of her children, her partner and herself, of course.
And so, when Lindy Klim stood in the bathroom and snapped a photo of her belly, sending it out to her nearly 100,000 followers, her message was loud and clear.
Be kind and gentle to yourself. She certainly is.
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