Babies change everything from your priorities to your sleeping schedule. Most mothers will tell you that there are both joy and struggles to pregnancy, and one of the biggest changes happens to your body. But those body changes are beautiful and should be embraced because hello – you just grew a whole human being! That’s something to celebrate.
As we have seen, Meghan Markle recently stepped out in front of the media wearing a dress that didn’t hide her post-baby pump – reminding us that women’s bodies don’t magically snap back to their pre-pregnancy bodies.
Like many mothers will tell you, the post-baby body is full of stretch marks, loose skin and extra weight that’s harder to lose than one would imagine despite what people say about breastfeeding being a way to help shed the baby weight. There are all kinds of postpartum bodies, and most of them a far cry from the size 0 celebrity postpartum bodies.
A proud mom of four, Bethanie Garcia recently met up with some friends at a blogging conference. Katie, Meg and Desiree are also mothers. Meg had started the hashtag #this_is_postpartum to celebrate and showcase all different types of women’s postpartum bodies.
This prompted the four friends to decide to do something many other mothers found to be brave and extremely helpful. All four moms took a picture, proudly showing off their postpartum bellies, and shared the picture to multiple accounts on Instagram.
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“Is this an advertisement for why women should get tummy tucks?”⠀ ⠀ “Why aren’t there any fit women in this photo? Not every postpartum body is fat and loose.”⠀ ⠀ “Why has society made it ok to bash women who bounce back yet glorify women who can’t lose weight?”⠀ ⠀ “How about dieting?”⠀ ⠀ “Posts like this bother me. Not losing the weight is a choice.”⠀ ⠀ “I’m a mother of 4 but I’m also a smokin’ hot wife because that’s my duty. No way I’d be happy or settle to look like this.”⠀ ⠀ “Photos like this tear women apart.”⠀ ⠀ “So, you’re saying that skinny women don’t have real bodies?”⠀ ⠀ Just a small sample of the comments we’ve received over the past few days since our original post went live. It’s a shame that the point has been completely missed by some of the people that have taken time out of their day to comment. (The point being: the four of us have been friends online for a long time and finally met IRL and took a last minute photo together…of our different postpartum body types…to show that all body types are beautiful.)⠀ ⠀ If you look at this photo and your first thought is “why are there no skinny women”, you have bigger issues to deal with, my friend. You can look literally anywhere: film, TV, Instagram, magazines, video games and see skinny women. Other body types are absolutely underrepresented in media and it causes women with those body types to feel less than… to feel like they’re not good enough.⠀ ⠀ I want to encourage anyone who felt the need to leave any of the above comments to dig deeper, self-reflect, gain some perspective, learn. Your comment says WAY fucking more about you than it does about us.⠀ ⠀ Be better.
There were many hurtful people that took to shaming the four friends by saying comments like, “How about dieting?” and “Posts like this bother me. Not losing the weight is a choice.”
However, there were many other moms who had positive comments, saying “this is beautiful and I’m glad to see women unapologetically loving themselves” and “This brought tears to my eyes because I see parts on there women that look familiar — but that I have never seen in media and that cause me shame. Thank you thank you!”
Bethanie replied to the haters with, “The point being: the four of us have been friends online for a long time and finally met IRL and took a last minute photo together…of our different postpartum body types…to show that all body types are beautiful.”
We’re proud these moms are choosing to ignoring the hateful comments and are focusing instead on building up the self-confidence of other mothers to embrace the beauty of their postpartum bodies, no matter what size or shape.