Fist pumps all around for this winner of an article! (You have no idea how hard I fought the urge to say ‘breast pumps’ instead).
I struggle sometimes in this industry where rapid weight loss is praised, rewarded and used as inspiration. I’ve just seen too many women brutalize their bodies into quick ‘results’ only to gain it all back and too many women give up on healthy habits when their 10lb goal isn’t hit in a week. Two friends of mine who’ve recently had babies couldn’t help but ‘apologize’ for their slightly bigger appearance when I saw them. As if being a new mom and adjusting to a new busy life was somehow a shitty excuse for why they weren’t back in their skinny jeans yet. What? I smacked ‘em. With love. :)
What happened to the ‘baby moon’? The period of time where you can just connect with the wee one, adjust to momhood and not have to worry about losing that weight?
Personally, I don’t think rapid weight loss after baby is something to be rewarded OR something you should aspire to. It’s not BAD per se (some people happen to bounce back faster than others - another weird term ‘bounce back’. Like we’re all elastic bands that can just snap back into place after being stretched apart). But this emphasis on shedding it all and getting back to pre-baby weight as quickly as possible is NUTS. And the media coverage of celebrity post-baby weight loss is adding pressure to millions of moms who feel like failures when they don’t lose it as quickly as Victoria Beckham.
Enjoy your baby moon. Don’t compare yourself to celebrities. And next time you see an article about how some celeb lost their baby weight in 3 weeks, remind yourself that it’s ridiculous.
One of Us Weekly’s lead articles on their website today is about football player Tony Romo’s wife Candice Crawford. Romo and his wife attended the White House Correspondents Dinner this weekend, where Crawford caught the attention of the press, ’cause of her rockin’ just-three-weeks-postpartum figure. Don’t you feel dirty reading that phrase? I felt dirty writing it. But US Weekly did not feel dirty writing the headline ‘Candice Crawford’s Hot Post-Baby Bod: How She Did It‘, accompanied by an article detailing the healthy habits this new mother has practiced in the last weeks that have melted those pounds right off. The topic is all over the internet, as are photographs of recent mothers Jennifer Garner, Hilary Duff and Beyonce Knowles with captions calling attention to the state of their postpartum bodies. Women’s postpartum figures are a media obsession, which has fed a social obsession, and this obsession needs to be stopped.
State governments cutting funding to women’s health organizations like Planned Parenthood, the legislature that would’ve made mandatory an invasive vaginal ultrasound for women seeking abortions, Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a slut for advocating for accessible birth control — these are all obvious moments in the War on Women, obvious attempts at oppression.
But the US Weekly article and every paparazzi photo taken of a recently-postpartumed star absolutely exist on that spectrum, as well. Scrutinizing these women, praising them for rapid weight loss, stalking them in the weeks after their babies are born (or, in the case of poor Jessica Simpson, stalking her every outing up ’til and including her arrival at the hospital this morning to give birth to daughter Maxwell), it all sends the message that a) their bodies are objects for public consumption and judgement b) that sort of weight loss is an option for every woman and c) that it’s something to aspire to. That, three weeks after having a baby, when most of us are still learning how to breastfeed, and some of us still can’t move around without assistance, we should be aspiring to weight loss.