Beauty Redefined Blog

You Had a Baby? This is How You Get Your Body Back!

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Beauty-Redefined-Post-Baby-Body1If you haven’t seen an ad on how to “get your body back!” after giving birth or seen a “news” story on how some celebrity new mom “got her body back,” you have not LIVED! Seriously, it means you are probably not alive. You should get that checked out. Because the rest of us are being beaten over the head with the lie that women with post-baby bods have no bodies at all. Until we “get our bodies back” through fitting into the narrow and nearly unattainable ideals, we’ve got nothing. Except shame, depression, and anxiety. We can have all of that we want!

Instead of encouraging us to recognize how AMAZING it is that our bodies helped to create and house and give birth to friggin BABIES, media makers and many industries want us to forget that little bundle of joy and focus on our appearances. Of course pregnancy has a significant effect on the way our bodies look, but isn’t that the least interesting aspect of the whole pregnancy/giving birth experience? This NEW focus on what bodies look like after pregnancy is a reflection of the way we have been trained to view ourselves and all women — just bodies. Just something to look at, pick apart, judge, and obsess over. But we are more than that, and if you don’t know that, please let us drill it into your brain. It’s what we do best!

Moms and moms-to-be, we’ve got 4 awesome, simple ways you can reclaim your body — “get it back” — and reject the lie that you are a body alone and your highest priority is looking good for all those onlookers.

1. Don’t fall for media’s unattainable ideals. Call them out. They are selling you lies designed to keep you from happiness, progress, and peace. We live in a media-dominated world that has found a new target audience to bully and shame into submission: Mothers. While women have always been the target demographic advertisers hit hard, when we have babies, we are now pummeled with profit-driven lies convincing us we are disgusting, invisible, and the only way we can and should be seen is after we “get our bodies back.” Want proof? It’s everywhere:

Kourtney Kardashian, a new mom Photoshopped out of reality.

Kourtney Kardashian, a new mom Photoshopped out of reality.

Take this cover of OK! magazine. Or any cover of any woman’s mag, any day of the year. Here we find a heavily Photoshopped image of Kourtney Kardashian, just one week after she had her first baby. The headlines tell us to look inside to see how Kourtney lost all her baby weight immediately! And do you know what the advertisements inside tell us? Kourtney was a spokesperson for Quiktrim, a diet pill not approved by the FDA. This magazine is also sponsored by a range of other advertisers begging you to believe Kourtney lost all her baby weight in just days and they can help you pull off that feat, too. Never believe the lies sold to you in a magazine. All you have to do is look at who is advertising to know what the women within the pages MUST look like in order to sell the products being advertised. That is how media makers rake in their money – advertising.

it worksHave you ever had a friend online invite you to an body wrap party? If you’re a new mom, I bet you have. Ads like the one to the left sell you on body shame and hope. These types of advertisements perpetuate the lie that women are bodies to be judged, looked at, and fixed and we cannot be happy with our bodies after pregnancy. For new moms or moms-to-be, ads like this need to be your arch nemesis. 

Ever heard of the “mommy makeover” sold by cosmetic surgeons? In Utah, where we just graduated with our PhDs, it’s inescapable. Utah’s chart-topping birth rate and early marriage age lead to the perfect storm for the ultra-popular “mommy makeover,” which includes breast enhancement, tummy tuck, and lipo. You can get that makeover immediately after having a baby! Who needs to get to know their baby when she can “get her body back” instead? Cosmetic surgeons capitalize on this body-shaming trend far too often, and it doesn’t just happen in Utah. It’s everywhere.

Kari, a mother of two, runner, and awesome example of reality!

Kari, a mother of two, runner, and awesome example of reality!

2. Your body is a site of resilience and resistance. Reclaim it. Our doctoral research reveals that motherhood is actually a resilient trait that boosts positive body image and motivates women to be positive role models of healthy body image for their kids. This resilient concept revealed itself again and again in our research as a resilient force women called upon to remind them of their responsibilities, worth, and opportunity to be a force for good to a growing generation that desperately needs it. Instead of complaining about weight gain and stretch marks — marketed to women as reasons mothers need to “get their bodies back” — several of our study participants wrote about the empowerment of growing a child and how awesome it is that their bodies created miracles. While media and many of our cultural messages try to shame mothers for the physical effects of growing babies within their bodies, motherhood can offer a unique and powerful opportunity for resilience in the face of body shame.

Plus, moms can actually use their post-baby bodies as communicative tools that they can use to resist the lies they are being sold in media about what it takes to be valuable and beautiful. The mothering body can be a resistive site by reclaiming it as a site of women’s own life, pain, and joy. Your body can house and feed a baby. Your body bears the signs of that miracle. Your body is REAL. You can use your body to resist the Photoshopped lies about what moms should be and look like. We were so happy to see Kate Middleton do that as she refused to hide her body after having her baby. She came out into the world and joyfully shared her baby and her post-baby body with the world. Our friend Kari, mom of two, a runner, and a great woman, snapped this “I am Beauty Redefined” picture to show the world what one healthy, happy mother’s body looks like. 

3. You can be an example of what motherhood is all about by shutting down the body comments and putting the spotlight on the awesomeness of your baby and your new life. When Kristen Bell spoke up about her awesome stance on not talking about her weight, it sounded like a radical notion. That kind of talk is unheard of in a media world where women like Kim Kardashian are bullied for their pregnancy weight gain and then do interviews claiming their “No. 1 priority is weight loss” after they give birth. Youch.

Do you know why her statement went viral? Because women everywhere are starving for that uplifting, awesome example of what motherhood can be. They are begging for that light at the end of the body-shaming tunnel. They need to know they are valuable no matter what their breasts or stomachs or hips look like — after giving birth or otherwise. You can be that light. The next time someone comments on your post-baby weight, whether positively or negatively, shut it down by talking about how you have chosen NOT to focus on your weight and instead focus on your baby, your happiness, your new responsibilities, ANYTHING. Teach those in your circle of influence that you are so much more than a body. Start as a new mom so you don’t pass along the pain of negative body image to your babies. It is one of the worst things you can do to them. For more inspiration on the mother/daughter relationship, read this

Jennifer Garner Beauty Redefined Baby Bump4. Go on a media fast. It’ll change your life. Rather than cutting out food, cut out media. Cleanse your mind in order to cleanse your body. Choose a time period — 3 days, a week, a month, or more — and avoid media as much as humanly possible. All of it. No Twitter/ Instagram/ Facebook, TV, Netflix, movies, blogs (aside from this one, obviously), radio, and any advertising you can avoid. Without this never-ending stream of biased, $-driven, idealized, Photoshopped, self-promoting messages and images, you give your mind the opportunity to become more sensitive to the messages that don’t look like or feel like the truths you experience in real life, face to face, with real people and your own health choices. Without those messages, you can see how your life is different and how your feelings toward your own body are affected. When you return to viewing and reading popular media, you will be more sensitive to the messages that hurt you and those that are unrealistic for you. Then you can make personalized, critical, well-informed media choices for yourself and your household that will uplift and inspire, and promote health rather than objectification and unattainable appearance ideals. Read more about the awesomeness of media fasts for your body image here

You are well on your way to healthy, happy, awesome motherhood. Please know you are more than a body. Your body is awesome — it grew another body inside it for heaven’s sake (!!!), and you are more than your body. Don’t ever let anyone sell you otherwise. Now go out there and “get your body back” by reclaiming it as your OWN instead of buying into the lie that you must obsess over the look of it instead of getting on to everything happier, healthier, and more important. 

Need more help developing body image resilience that can help you overcome your self-consciousness and be more powerful than ever before? Learn how to recognize harmful ideals, redefine beauty and health, and resist what holds you back from happiness, health, and real empowerment with the Beauty Redefined Body Image Program for girls and women 14+. It is an online, anonymous therapeutic tool that can change your life, designed by Lexie & Lindsay Kite, with PhDs in body image and media.

 

 

 

  1. Angie
    Angie10-08-2013

    Bravo! This was absolutely your best article yet – so relevant. What you said about shutting down the body comments is SO important. We need to STOP focusing on a woman’s body after birth, in our comments to others, about others, or about ourselves. It’s always, “Oh, you look so amazing! I can’t believe you just had a baby!” while in the same breath or in our thoughts criticizing our own bodies. Both are harmful. I love your suggestion to talk about how you’ve chosen NOT to focus on your body. What a powerful statement. I’m going to make it my new mantra. As a mom of six-going-on-seven I can tell you it has been a struggle having a body that hasn’t remained the same size or shape for more than 6 months at at time. But my body is beautiful and powerful. I see the proof of it every day in my children. The truth of the matter is that it’s the sacred nature of motherhood that should be the source of our self-worth and purpose.
    THANK YOU for making a difference.

  2. DeLaine
    DeLaine10-08-2013

    I really want to support what you are trying to accomplish. I am a woman who loves to support being healthy and happy no matter what that looks like. I know your goal is to wake woman up to what reality is and not what the media tells us it is. The reason I am having a hard time supporting you group is how you are going about it. I feel like you are fighting the hate with hate. I don’t believe in trashing other companies I do kind of feel like at times you gear more towards making woman who like to stay fit and “skinny” feel like they are the enemy. That is if they strive to be a certain size then they don’t really love themselves since they feel the need to do that. You single out companies over and over again and bash them with hateful comments. I guess I don’t understand why you can’t just post positive stories and talk about beautiful, smart and inspiring woman out in the world making a difference? You can’t fight a war with a war and expect there to not be casualties. You are doing exactly what the media is doing. You are spreading anger and hate.

    For instance this article talks more about how wrong the media is than how awesome Kristen Bell is. The more you focus on the media and companies you dislike, the more attention you give those things. If you write something compelling enough and uplifting enough you shouldn’t have to constantly defend what you are saying or put down the other side in order to get your point across.

    Like I said I want to support you in end goal, but I can’t support how you are going about doing it.

    • Beauty Redefined
      Beauty Redefined10-08-2013

      DeLaine, I so wish you’d have read this post before writing such an inflammatory comment. We take accusations like yours very seriously, so I went through and carefully analyzed this post to see if your accusations held up. We named two examples of specific media that preys on female insecurity and does serious harm to females: an extremely Photoshopped cover of OK magazine and a body wrap advertisement targeted at new moms. We then laid out the entire post dedicated to strategies for rejecting those messages that inspire body shame – the antithesis of health. DeLaine, we do not teach hate, we teach truth. It is called media literacy. We teach people how to read and understand media messages – what they mean, why they are designed the way they are, that they are profit-driven and engineered to sell specific products and ideals. We do this out of a sincere love for girls and women who are entirely surrounded by messages and companies hoping to sell them shame and anxiety for major profit. We KNOW that girls and women who can forget the number on the scale and respect their bodies as something other than objects to be looked at make better health choices. If you think you can fight degrading media lies by pretending they don’t exist, you are sorely mistaken.

      • Mewsie
        Mewsie09-29-2015

        There is nothing hateful about calling out companies when they exploit weaknesses they themselves created in their target audience. Often, when pointing out immoral moves by companies, good people are told “oh that’s just how capitalism works and capitalism is impersonal and ruthless, deal with it!”

        It’s not hate when you refuse to deal with being crushed so that someone, somewhere, can make a buck off of your insecurities and shame.

        What you guys do is revolutionary.

    • Jules
      Jules10-09-2013

      While I certainly understand where DeLaine’s desire for positivity is coming from, I definitely think her view on this article was off base. It has so many inspiring words and the rest are words to call out lies. And yes, I do believe that focusing on reaching a certain size is unhealthy for our bodies and our spirits. Those women are not the enemy but the concept is. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this post. Just recently an 8 year old girl was telling me that her mom was freaking out because her stomach wasn’t back to normal after giving birth a year ago and proceeded to tell me how she has to wear a tight wrap because of it. I think my heart spilled out onto the floor. It is important to point out that these things are harmful. We are setting up for a future of women who have even worse body dysmorphia than we do. I am so thrilled that I was able to give birth to a healthy baby girl 6 months ago. Immediately afterward, I was told how wonderful I looked. I can’t tell you how hard it is to not let those comments drive me into a downward spiral of image obsession. They need to stop. We must be aware of the negative impact this has in the lives of all women around us. I love what you do! Thankyou for reminding me to stand up against the negativity and build up those around me!

  3. Jules
    Jules10-09-2013

    While I certainly understand where DeLaine’s desire for positivity is coming from, I definitely think her view on this article was off base. It has so many inspiring words and the rest are words to call out lies. And yes, I do believe that focusing on reaching a certain size is unhealthy for our bodies and our spirits. Those women are not the enemy but the concept is. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this post. Just recently an 8 year old girl was telling me that her mom was freaking out because her stomach wasn’t back to normal after giving birth a year ago and proceeded to tell me how she has to wear a tight wrap because of it. I think my heart spilled out onto the floor. It is important to point out that these things are harmful. We are setting up for a future of women who have even worse body dysmorphia than we do. I am so thrilled that I was able to give birth to a healthy baby girl 6 months ago. Immediately afterward, I was told how wonderful I looked. I can’t tell you how hard it is to not let those comments drive me into a downward spiral of image obsession. They need to stop. We must be aware of the negative impact this has in the lives of all women around us. I love what you do! Thankyou for reminding me to stand up against the negativity and build up those around me!

  4. momditty3
    momditty310-09-2013

    DeLaine I totally agree with you. As I read this article I saw some points that I could agree with but then others made me feel almost embarrassed and ashamed for wanting to do what I can for my physical appearance. I don’t have TV, nor do I subscribe to any of those magazines but I do read the Bible and believe that my body is a temple and should be treated as such. God did not intend for us to just allow our bodies to just be whatever just to say we are impowered. He instructed us to take care of it. ..I am a mother of three that suffered severe weight gain with my last pregnancy as well as hypothyroidism. ..I struggled for a long time with my body because it wasnt what I wanted for myself. I never felt I needed to be a skinny minnie nor did I ever regret my pregnancies but my body could not handle the extra weight and because I couldn’t keep up I was struggling with my self esteem. Like I was failing my kids and my husband…I needed something to change.
    My body brought three beautiful babies into this world and my heart is so full when I look at them, but in no way do I need to allow my body to keep showing what it did. I do use the It Works body wraps and they have helped me tremendously! I didn’t do it because I felt guilted into buying them…I did it because as a woman I wanted to both feel and look better and quite honestly nothing else was working. It Works did work for me and I absolutely LOVE it!!
    NO woman should ever feel ashamed to try to look better!! And accusing these companies of preying on woman makes me think that you think women are weak and gullible! Women are beautiful and so powerful and should never have anyone try and tell them not to do something that could potentially help them! Celebrate your body no matter what size or what you do or don’t do to get it that way!

    • Beauty Redefined
      Beauty Redefined10-09-2013

      Momditty, it is very clear you are a wrap seller. We do not host advertisements on this page for a reason, so I’m going to call out your comment right now. Because NOTHING on this post shames women in any way, I knew immediately that you profit from one of these products. Wrap distributors seem to be some of the only people who have negative stuff to say on our posts that are meant to uplift and inspire and help women break FREE from the shame of media that would have them stay fixated on the look of their bodies instead of their actual health. We are all for services and products that help people feel better and encourage them to make healthier lifestyle choices, which is why we help women to think outside the box of being fixated on what their bodies look like and fixing “flaws” like loose skin or stretchmarks from having babies or losing weight or just living a regular life. What all research shows is that body wraps can help moisturize the skin, but the “lasting results” advertised by these companies for “toning and tightening” the skin — if that happens at all — lasts 1-3 days max. A wrap cannot change the cellular structure of the skin or the fat underneath, which is why the cellulite removing/tightening/firming/tonight/stretchmark reducing claims are so harmful, especially to girls and women who have been taught to believe their worth lies in the appearance of their bodies. And especially when those false claims are being aimed directly at new mothers. That is not health.

    • Leah
      Leah10-10-2014

      How exactly did the wraps work to make you “feel better,” in any other way than a superficial sense? Those wraps are the equivalent of telling someone to just get surgery. You’re not striving to make better choices to get in better shape and have a healthier lifestyle, you’re temporarily tightening your skin and just LOOKING better, which is a great feeling but only lasts until the results wear off. Unless of course you keep spending the money, which would be better spent on life enrichment activities or gym memberships and fresh foods, that will make you feel better in a real sense. No one should be ashamed for wanting to look good, that’s true, but I think retailers should be ashamed of trying to suck women into products that will only help them as long as they keep spending money and do nothing to actually help them refrain from unhealthy choices. How are temporary cosmetic changes conducive to encouraging women to be permanently happy with themselves, and more focused on their health and well being?

  5. Emma (This Kind Choice)
    Emma (This Kind Choice)10-13-2013

    This is awesome! I am far, far away from having a child, but every time I see those kind of magazine covers I think to myself, your body just created another human being. In nine months. Like that. Let’s focus on that instead of any stretch marks, weight gain or other changes to your amazing body. It’s so sad that women are encouraged to miss that irreplaceable time with their baby by worrying about their weight etc. which can gently be changed, if necessary and possible, over time.
    Thanks for such a great post :)

  6. camelotpiece
    camelotpiece10-15-2013

    This post is really poignant to me. I’m in the process of trying to conceive for the first time, and every time I witness the body shaming that new mothers endure, it makes me sad. I want so much to have the baby that these lovely women’s bodies have created.

    I will make a confession, though. I’m a middle school teacher and I work tirelessly to create a body positive atmosphere in my classroom at all times, but I’m not immune to the barbs of body loathing. A fellow colleague of mine went through plastic surgery after her last child was born. I admit that I was jealous of how she fit into a stereotype that I was trying desperately to reject as irrelevant. But, your blog has helped me to examine these feelings critically instead of spiraling into body loathing.

  7. Silvia
    Silvia10-15-2013

    One of the best articles I’ve read in this blog, and believe me, I loved them all. I just want to share it with everyone I know.

  8. Becca
    Becca11-14-2013

    As a first-time mom nearing the end of what has been a difficult pregnancy, I just want to thank you again for this post. For some reason, other women (especially moms) seem to want to talk to me not about birth and how I’m soon going to have a baby so much as how soon I will “get my body back”. And I’m getting so sick of hearing that phrase! My body hasn’t gone anywhere, it has just been going through some remarkable changes in order to nourish and support my little baby. I’ve realized and come to terms with the fact that my body is not going to ever be quite the same as it was pre-pregnancy, and that’s fine with me. I am excited to have my body to myself again (as this baby grows it gets more and more crowded!), but I am also excited to meet this little person and continue to nourish him once he’s on the outside. And if my body reflects the changes I’ve been through to bring him into the world, I think that’s pretty remarkable. I’d rather have my baby than have my stretch mark-free body back any day.

  9. Sarah
    Sarah01-20-2014

    I didn’t know how much I have had this image of “getting my body back” and “losing baby weight” stuck in my head. My husband makes fun of me sometimes and calls me “fat”, I say “its not fat, its baby weight”. I know I will never be the same, and I’m trying to come to terms with that. But even when he makes fun of me, he does love me and what I am doing, even though I am hurting. He thinks I’m beautiful and loves speaking now to our soon to be baby. And I know that this is pretty remarkable that my body is able to do this, because I know women who struggled, who couldn’t do this. And they struggle still with that. And I had a miscarriage before this, and I thought maybe I couldn’t have children at one point just earlier last year. So I do not want to take this for granted, this is remarkable for me that this is happening.

    I linked you on my blog. I thought that this was a great article, I just want to say thank you.

  10. Erin
    Erin03-21-2014

    Just had to say, your friend’s photo here is really powerful. My belly looks like a lot like that! After five babies, I suspect it may always look like this….and there’s nothing wrong with it! I run for the exercise and health benefits, but I don’t expect it to change my body shape.
    Images are so powerful. The media images are often so powerfully destructive to our self-esteem. Kari’s image is powerfully beautiful and honest and helps remind me I’m beautiful too. I appreciate her sharing.

  11. Megan
    Megan03-27-2014

    Thank you to Kari for sharing this picture. I wouldn’t be comfortable doing that, but my belly looks a lot like that too, and I actually really appreciate knowing that more hard work at the gym probably won’t change that. I run half marathons and try to do strength training and attempt to eat healthy, but I am pretty convinced that my body won’t go back to the way it was before I had a kid. I like knowing that it’s not because I’m doing something wrong. I’m okay the way I am and as long as I keep exercising and working on a healthy diet (not a weight loss diet, but a healthy mix of foods that I eat) then I’m doing it right.

  12. Shannon Lagasse
    Shannon Lagasse04-25-2014

    This is awesome and so true! There is this beautiful woman at the gym. We started talking one night, because she looked really fit and I wanted to know what she did to work out. Turns out, she’d just had a baby like, 3 weeks before, but she didn’t care about the fact that she still had a post-baby tummy. She just came to the gym every day and did her regular workout – no “lose the baby weight” fad diets or extreme workouts. She still looks great!

  13. Artela Jacobs
    Artela Jacobs06-21-2014

    Great article! As a mother of three sons (ages 8, 4, and 1), I appreciate this article. I don’t judge others and I wish society would stop trying to make moms feel a certain way if you don’t bounce back after pregnancy. The important thing is to be healthy for ourselves and our family!

  14. Christina Marie
    Christina Marie07-17-2014

    Great article- but one thing missed, I thought, was the notion that lypo or dieting right after birth may cause fight or flight syndrome (causing weight gain)- or the removal of fat stores would rob the breast feeding baby of nutrients- which they would then take from the mother’s bone marrow causing a SERIOUS problem down the line. Women NEED to know this! I gained 86 pounds with my pregnancy and it took approx 2 years for my baby to “eat it off”. When I stopped breast feeding after 2 years, my body naturally went back to it’s genetically intended size (4). My main focus was nutrients. Not dieting, not exercise, but being nutrient-rich. We are doing a photo exhibition to address this topic head-on called #dysphoria. We have already shot 50 participants in all shapes and sizes including pregnant women and post-pardum women-showing them in the most beautiful way. We hope to raise awareness for Body Dysmorphic Disorder and the proceeds of the exhibition/photo book will go to partner charities that provide education and anti-bullying campaigns.

  15. janice
    janice07-17-2014

    In a perfect world we all would care less about our appearance after baby. I’m in the same boat but I do believe when I look better I feel better. I’m just being honest – even before my baby if i gained a few lbs I wouldn’t be as sexual with my husband nor would I want to wear my “cute clothing”. I wear baggier clothes and feel crappier. So although in theory i agree with you and I wish my out look was like that every day. I know how i feel most confident. So I won’t stop going to the gym or dieting or buying products just because of this article. If all of us were given a magic pill or amazing weight loss product EVERY SINGLE one of us would take it. I just think you can’t always be judging other women by how they feel after they deliver. Some are into their body after baby and some just are not. Can’t we stop judging how others react?

  16. Sarah
    Sarah08-31-2014

    This article infuriates me with its pretense at being pro-female. A strong, healthy body is attainable by every woman. At the bare minimum, a human being should be fit enough to save his/her own life and the life of his/her child, irrespective of gender. Do you eat fresh, unprocessed, nutritionally-dense foods? Can you out-sprint a would-be attacker, either animal or human? Can you pull yourself up by your arms onto a ledge and out of the way of a panicked crowd? Can you run 3 miles for help when your husband breaks his leg while hiking in the mountains? (And there’s no cell service?) Can you deadlift an improperly-secured appliance or bookshelf off your 3 year-old?

    If this does not describe you, please seek out an empowered female trainer like Lauren Brooks. She’s a shining example of healthy diet and training before, during and after pregnancy. Enjoy the abdominal tone and tight buns that come with being a powerful human being capable of saving your own life!

    Resist harmful cultural messages that tell you it’s okay for your body to be weak, no matter what your reproductive status. Real women are strong and fit and teach their children the same.

    • lindsay
      lindsay08-31-2014

      There’s no way you read this post if you’re so infuriated then! Ha ha. Feel free to read a bit more about what we do and you’ll see you’re preaching to the choir here. Everything we teach points to the fact that women are not here to decorate the world – our bodies are instruments for our use and not ornaments to be looked at. Please direct your anger elsewhere!

  17. Kristina
    Kristina10-09-2014

    I am torn with this article. I gained 50 lbs with 2 kids and lost the weight each time. I worked out first thing every morning and was wearing jeans from high school. I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to get your body back. I have a ton of stretch marks that remind me of my kids but I’m not going to stay huge just because I have children. I agree not to trust any media, I don’t have cable nor pay attention to celebrities. I do see my other mom friends who have 3 and 4 kids and look like they did before having kids. I also see women who have one or two kids who never lost the baby weight and aren’t the most healthy. Moms should focus on their health over anything. That will help them keep up with the kids, have more energy, be an example for the next generation and boost self esteem.

  18. Angelica
    Angelica10-10-2014

    I have never sold a wrap in my life and think they are hokey sauce but I still plan to get back in shape and I want my body to look the best it can for *me* I want to feel comfortable in my own clothes and confident but I won’t as long as I can gather handfuls of my belly skin. I don’t have a problem with it on others but it hurts me. I think it’s complete crap to tear down the women who want surgery and are happy with the results, as if we are lesser and weaker than those of you who are enlightened and superior in your thinking.

  19. Kimberly
    Kimberly02-20-2015

    I find this offensive and do not agree. What is so wrong with wanting to get your body back and look good again. I do not think that a tummy tuck or a breast job after a baby is a bad thing! Heck I want to look good as long as I can and I know with a saggy tummy and defalted breast I would not want to be as social and it would affect my relationship with my husband including my sex life. I honestly think Woman should do what they want after a baby. If that is a mommy make over more power to them! No shame is wanting to have a figure!

  20. Holly
    Holly04-13-2015

    I agree with the main points of this article– that the media and society inappropriately make women’s bodies into objects on display which need to be “fixed,” and that this practice is harmful and must be actively rejected. But I do have one concern. As I read the article, I noticed a couple statements that struck me as less than empowering to women, such as, “Who needs to get to know their baby when she can ‘get her body back’ instead?” This statement presents a false dichotomy that a woman can either focus on her new baby or on improving her body. I think this is harmful and completely unnecessary to the main points of the article. There’s no need to imply that a woman’s focusing on her physical body (whether it is in a positive or negative way) precludes her focusing on her child. There’s already a huge problem here, so there’s no need to create a new one that shames women for falling victim to negative media messages by implying that they’re bad mothers. Let’s remember that it’s the media that are in the wrong here, not women and girls!

  21. trina
    trina04-14-2015

    This is great it takes time to heal. I went to the store 3 days after having a baby with my newborn in her car seat in the cart. The teller said is that your baby I said yes… she said and your still pregnant? Clearly she’s not to bright lol I then explained it takes time for the belly to contract all the way down again. Jeez blow to my self confidence.

  22. Mewsie
    Mewsie09-29-2015

    I feel shamed at the other end as well. I do not have any children and will never be able to, and when I see celebrities with super toned bodies a week after giving birth, I hear only “Look at actress X and how flawless she looks after giving birth! You still aren’t a size zero and you haven’t pushed out an entire person! What is your excuse to be so repulsive?!”

    What no one says is that some women are genetically very lucky, their bodies don’t change much and they recover easily from everything, and others are not so lucky. I look like a neolithic Venus figurine even though I’ve been an athlete all my life. I am strong like a bull, but what good is that, since I am no cover girl?

    People like me, who aren’t mothers and who also don’t look like the actress or the model du jour, are made to feel as though we are not contributing anything to society and should just go away. It’s hard to remind myself every day that I have some worth, even though I will never be on the cover of a magazine or somebody’s mom.

  23. Mewsie
    Mewsie09-29-2015

    Oh and there are those actresses who have plastic surgeries upon plastic surgeries and when asked what their secret is, they say “loads of working out! I eat what I want and loads of it!” That is so harmful, especially to young women who are more likely to take this stuff at face value.

    It seems that nowadays everyone hates women, including other (more privileged) women.