beauty

Newsflash: Being skinny doesn't make you a better mother

kate-post-baby-body

There are a few things that perplex me as a modern woman but I’ll just share two:

1.       Why, when both my husband and I work fulltime do I still get stuck doing the laundry?

2.       Why are we still discussing the “post baby bod”?

Because here’s a newsflash – being skinny doesn’t make you a better mother.

Not even 48 hours after the Duchess of Cambridge had given birth, this magazine appeared in the UK:

OK-MAGAZINE-KATE-DUCHESS-CAMBRIDGE-WEIGHT-LOSS-570
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And it’s – quite rightly – caused a storm of protest.

Furious British mums have urged people to boycott OK! It’s quickly sparked a backlash on Twitter and Facebook with some branding it “pathetic rot”.

Why are we constantly discussing celebrity’s post-baby weight loss routines? Why do we look at post-baby bikini reveals? Why do we verbally bash celebrities who take longer than a week or two to lose the weight?

Here’s the thing.

Kate is tall and slim and she was always going to look amazing after giving birth. It’s adorable how lovely her still-swollen stomach looked in her gorgeous dress on the stepped of St Mary’s Hospital to address the media.

It took me ages to lose my baby weight. I felt stressed and sad about my body. What a waste of time. I should have focused on enjoying my baby.

Weight is insignificant to your performance as a parent. Do you think your kids love you any less for carrying around some extra kilos? Do you love your children any less when you weigh more?

We don’t measure men by the gain and loss of a few kilos. How much they weigh takes nothing away from their achievements. We’ve created a culture where weight equals value for women. And celebrity culture is the worst.

Well, I’m calling bullshit.

I always joke that unlike Kate, I was pregnant from the top of my head to the tip of my toes. I also had to wear maternity clothes for a good two months after giving birth. Thank goodness for stretchy waist bands!

Do you know how much I regret my first year of motherhood? I wasted too much time lamenting my size and pouring over trash mags comparing myself to celebrities who looked amazing post-birth. My raging hormones blocked all logical thoughts like, “They have been photo-shopped”, “Look at how they are standing”, “Lighting can make you seem slimmer” and the most important thought, “It doesn’t matter how I look after having a baby as long as I am enjoying this special time.”

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If only someone had removed all celebrity magazine from my house for that entire year. I used to wait for them to arrive and then read through them, measuring my worth next to the celebrities I was seeing.

But sometimes I worry that all the brainwashing from magazines has infiltrated our culture so profoundly that there’s no going back.

Photographer Jade Beall launched the ‘A Beautiful Body‘ Project, taking photos of real women with their babies. Her work is stunning, beautiful, real and comforting. Sadly she has received negative feedback from both men and women who have labelled her photos as ‘gross’. She posted the following message on her Facebook page in response:

“Yesterday I received a slew of comments from men (and, more shocking to me women too) that my work, and especially the self-portraits were not only gross and I quote: 

“Does gaining excessive weight make a difficult pregnancy less difficult? No. Gaining excessive weight makes a difficult pregnancy, and all pregnancies MORE difficult. If you cared about prospective mothers, you’d want to spread that fact rather than trying to convince people that gaining a s*&load of weight during pregnancy is perfectly fine and healthy. It’s not.” -Bobananda Das ( a VALID comment, because a LOT of people write this to me. Do I agree? HECK NO! Will I listen? YES. I offered to this man to call me by phone so we could have a real human dialogue).

Luckily the men that I want to surround myself with so that my son will learn from THEM are men like Steve who emailed me these words and who are leading examples of the Authentic Voice of Love, Support and EMPOWERM

ENT: 

“I don’t know why, but when my fiance gave birth to our son Oscar back in 2005, I suddenly found myself with a new and profound respect for my partners body, over the coming months as she worked to get her figure back to what it was prior to childbirth, I would be endlessly harangued for why I still even thought she was a little bit attractive. Eventually I conceded and sat her down and explained that what she now saw as imperfections of her body with stretch marks, I saw as beauty. They were as individual as a finger print and as special as our child.

She still doesn’t entirely understand how I can see her and her body as more beautiful after giving life to our child so unconditionally.

But men are men and women are women.

I’m just glad you’ve shown what real women look like, as there’s more beauty in a woman whose body tells the story of her life than those who try to hide what nature decides it will look like.

Excellent Job.

By the way I happened upon your work from the BBC site, and felt compelled to write something in support of what you’re doing.

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Keep on making a difference.”

-Steve

Thank you STEVE!!!

(photo attached of my own post-birth body last year which a man (and several women) yesterday called gross and obese. Awesome! More power was fuelled by these comments for me to DO THIS WORK and do it WELL!!!)”

www.abeautifulbodyproject.com

Yesterday I received a slew of comments from men (and, more shocking to me women too) that my work, and especially the self-portraits were not only gross and I quote: </p>
<p>"Does gaining excessive weight make a difficult pregnancy less difficult? No. Gaining excessive weight makes a difficult pregnancy, and all pregnancies MORE difficult. If you cared about prospective mothers, you'd want to spread that fact rather than trying to convince people that gaining a s*&load of weight during pregnancy is perfectly fine and healthy. It's not." -Bobananda Das  ( a VALID comment, because a LOT of people write this to me.  Do I agree?  HECK NO!  Will I listen?  YES.  I offered to this man to call me by phone so we could have a real human dialogue).</p>
<p>Luckily the men that I want to surround myself with so that my son will learn from THEM are men like Steve who emailed me these words and who are leading examples of the Authentic Voice of Love, Support and EMPOWERMENT: </p>
<p>"I don't know why, but when my fiance gave birth to our son Oscar back in 2005, I suddenly found myself with a new and profound respect for my partners body, over the coming months as she worked to get her figure back to what it was prior to childbirth, I would be endlessly harangued for why I still even thought she was a little bit attractive. Eventually I conceded and sat her down and explained that what she now saw as imperfections of her body with stretch marks, I saw as beauty. They were as individual as a finger print and as special as our child. </p>
<p>She still doesn't entirely understand how I can see her and her body as more beautiful after giving life to our child so unconditionally. </p>
<p>But men are men and women are women.</p>
<p>I'm just glad you've shown what real women look like, as there's more beauty in a woman whose body tells the story of her life than those who try to hide what nature decides it will look like. </p>
<p>Excellent Job. </p>
<p>By the way I happened upon your work from the BBC site, and felt compelled to write something in support of what you're doing. </p>
<p>Keep on making a difference."</p>
<p>-Steve</p>
<p>Thank you STEVE!!!</p>
<p>(photo attached of my own post-birth body last year which a man (and several women) yesterday called gross and obese.  Awesome!  More power was fueled by these comments for me to DO THIS WORK and do it WELL!!!)</p>
<p>www.abeautifulbodyproject.com

Weight has nothing to do with our worth – we all know this – and yet we are still circled by pop culture and media sharks who keep trying to bang the same unhealthy message over our heads.

Don’t be fat, don’t get fat, lose they baby weight, lose the baby fat.

Bugger off.

Your weight should never affect your happiness, particularly when you become a mother.

Look how much your children love you. See how their eyes light up? Their favourite place in the world is to be wrapped up in your arms. They don’t care how big or small, how toned or flabby – all they care is that your arms are wrapped around them as tightly as possible.

I’m happy Kate looked stunning before, during and after pregnancy. She’s simply lovely.

I am a brilliant mother too and my size is irrelevant.

Enjoy your baby’s ladies. Don’t let body anxiety take away from this special time.

In fact, join our Mummy Tummy Pride Movement. Click here to see our gallery of real women’s bellies after babies.  It’s brilliant.

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