by MIA FREEDMAN
I don’t know about you guys but straight after I have a baby, all I want to do is put on a bikini and high heels and have my photo taken for a magazine. I like to do this soon after coming home from hospital, even before my internal stitches have dissolved. Baby? Oh yeah. She’s around here somewhere but have you seen my abs? Let me tell you all about them along with my meal plan and how much weight I’ve lost. And have you met my personal trainer? He’s changed my life. Along with, you know, the baby who is also great obviously. So should I put on a different bikini for the cover?
Baby as after-thought. This is the perverse way we now see famous new mothers through the warped prism of air-brushed bikini covers and diet plan endorsement deals. The moment a celebrity pregnancy is announced, magazines and weight loss executives hurriedly write giant cheques while salivating over the fresh new-mother meat coming their way. Meat they can turn into money.
Let’s be honest, this whole post-baby-body caper is morally dodgy and a little bit weird.
Earlier this month, Katie Couric’s new TV show, Katie, premiered with a world exclusive interview. This was a big gig and a prestigious one. Couric could have interviewed anyone. So who did she chose? Jessica Simpson. And what was the exclusive? The ‘reveal’ of Simpson’s post-baby body. Not even her baby. Her body.
Yes, this is now officially a thing. We are unveiling women’s bodies to the world like new model iphones.
“I’m very nervous!” admitted Simpson after slowly walking the length of the studio to rapturous applause. “I just had a lot of pressure on me to lose the baby weight”. Possibly, she was referring to the US$3m deal she signed with Weight Watchers soon after conception. “Today was one of my goals: getting here, feeling comfortable. I feel beautiful today!” she declared, looking expectantly at the audience who cheered her wildly by way of confirmation.
Wait, what? We’re clapping the new mother for losing weight. Ok. That’s not at all strange.
“You’ve lost like 40 lbs, right?” asked Couric. “More” corrected Jessica triumphantly. “Can you tell me…?” probed Couric as if she was interviewing a world leader about something important. “No” replied Simpson with a coy smile confirming further world exclusives are available for sale. It’s understandable, this desire to keep a few lucrative‘reveals’ stashed in her Spanx because as Simpson explained, she doesn’t receive her Weight Watchers payola until she hits her goal weight. How’s that for a carrot? Literally.