Celebs' post-baby bodies set moms up for failure
I will come right out and say it now: I abhor magazine spreads and online pictures featuring many a-celeb's tiny figures a few weeks after giving birth. There's Kendra Wilkinson, Kourtney Kardashian, Hillary Duff, and most recently Beyonce. Even Jennifer Garner made her way to Us Weekly, in a cute one-piece suit at the beach, a mere four months after giving birth to her son Samuel.
As a former magazine editor, I know that readers hanker for these stories. We all wanted to believe that the readers saw them as inspiration, that all moms and moms-to-be would look at Salma Hayek or Jessica Alba and think they too could lose their post-delivery pounds in six weeks or less. (Even here at MamásLatinas, we're guilty of sort-of the same thinking.)
That's what I honestly believed before having my baby.
Read more ¿Qué más? Working while pregnant could be as bad as smoking for your unborn child!
Of course, that's all changed after I had Sebastian. My thinking is so much different now. And it seems like the rhetoric in the mainstream is also hopefully starting to slowly shift. In May, The Office star Jenna Fischer told People.com how tired she is of seeing all the scantily-clad bikini celeb moms everywhere. "There's so much pressure on you as a new mom that the last thing you need to have hanging over your head is some expectation of what your body is supposed to look like," she tells the site. And more recently, Time.com's assistant managing editor, Susanna Schrobsdorff, wrote a brilliant missive on the same subject. The essence of it:
While indulging in the mental junk food of celebrity magazines isn't the end of the world, it does feed into an addictive contrast-and-compare game we play with our bodies, which numerous studies have shown erode our self-image and predispose us to have depression. It's not surprising that in a nation where three-quarters of us are overweight or obese, we can feel like losers when we're not sexier than ever after having a baby...
Believe me, I know this first hand. It's easy to get lost in the pages of our favorite gossip glossies and consume all that pretty eye candy. It's another thing altogether when that becomes part of our subconscious, like the way it has for me. Three months after having Sebis, I'm beating myself up for still having this belly, for still being about 15 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight, and just in general for not being "hot" enough. I didn't breastfeed, so the weight is taking even longer to go away. I am walking 30 minutes a day, but this still seems not to make a dent in any of my weight loss goals.
Want to find other moms como tú? "Like" MamásLatinas on Facebook!
I'm sure many of you are in the same situation. So I want to put it out there that it's totally fine to NOT be a perfect size 4 six weeks after having your baby. It might even take a year for us to shed our weight, and that's okay! As long as we stay healthy and--most importantly--take care of our kids, we should embrace our new bodies! Because, heck, I'm sure most of us will NEVER be the same again. And you know what? I am perfectly at ease with that, because as long as Sebastian is happy, I'm sure he doesn't care WHAT size Mami is!
Do you feel the pressure of dropping the weight after your pregnancy? How have you handled it? Tell us in the comments below!
Images via The Grosby Group, Getty Images