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Rant on body image...

So there are news stories about how pleased people are that Princess Kate showed her 'real' post-partum body -- which is fine and good, right? Included in the article I read was a comment on how women can lose 25 lbs in six weeks and have their pre-pregnancy body back in a year...that part I don't like. Actually, I don't like any of it!

Our obsession with looks is appalling. When something as natural as childbirth brings women's bodies under such intense speculation and expectation...gah! I mean, honestly. Do people think a new mom has nothing better to do in those six weeks but work on losing baby weight?! When D was born, I was in such a fog that I'd make a list of things to do each day, and I rarely got past #1 (take care of D). #2 was eat, and #3 was shower. I didn't care about losing the weight -- and the idea that celebrities and/or royalty should put their weight as a priority makes me ill.

Being a new mom is such a challenging (and joyful) time -- it shouldn't be trivialized or commercialized with this focus on weight and body shape. Instead, it's a time of discovering new aspects of your own personality, of fitting into a brand new role, of falling in love with this new life entrusted to you...none of it includes worrying about baby weight.

And even when you've had more than one baby, each experience is a new discovery -- and often, women will get pregnant before their first child is a year old (I did, and I know many others who have, as well). As for the idea that the 'mommy belly' will be gone in a year? Well, I still have mine (heh). Even with weight lost (um, which didn't really happen for 8 years after my last pregnancy), there is still that paunch in my belly. One of my friends said she asked her doctor about it, and he said (very frankly), that if a woman has had more than one child, the only way that paunch would leave was with extreme abdominal exercise or a tummy tuck (and he added that body type dictated whether or not the extreme exercise would even work). So for all those who think that's so important, these are the 'facts.'

It irritates me that our society thinks there's anything wrong or unattractive about a mommy belly, in the first place -- another sign of the ridiculous focus on appearance and a standard that 'someone' has set, a standard that's frankly ridiculous.

(A/N: I'll be honest -- I did 'worry' about what my body could do. It was hard feeling weak and knowing that things had shifted and changed physically so that I wasn't as strong, especially in my core, as I had been. I did want my body to 'be my own' again.)

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( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
boreal_owl
Jul. 25th, 2013 04:49 pm (UTC)
Because she's in the public eye so much, and photographed so much, I suspect Princess Catherine is as interested/obsessed as any woman is with her looks. She lost a lot of weight, as did her mother, before her wedding.

However, (maybe because William may have reminded her about Diana's eating disorder?) she took the high road this time.

A great new YA novel dealing with body image, 45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS), has just been released. It was written by a member of my critique group, Kelly Barson.
robinellen
Jul. 25th, 2013 08:56 pm (UTC)
Yes, I'm glad she didn't show an obsessive view of it all!

I'll look for that book -- thanks for the rec! :)
Kelly Barson
Jul. 26th, 2013 03:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the shout out, Barb!

sesheta_66
Jul. 26th, 2013 04:36 am (UTC)
Brava! Well put. *hugs*
robinellen
Jul. 26th, 2013 06:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks, hun :)
jennygordon
Jul. 26th, 2013 07:54 am (UTC)
This reminds me of a US reality show being aired over here in the UK that I caught a bit of the other day - "Extreme Makeover". I imagine you're aware of it. It was utterly horrific and disgusting. So focussed on the body-perfect. How about learning to love the person we are and the body we live in. Wouldn't that be so much more healthy? And the voiceover was appalling, even going so far as to call people 'freaks'. Eurgh! Makes me shudder just thinking about it!
robinellen
Jul. 26th, 2013 06:37 pm (UTC)
I've heard of it but not seen it...and yes, I think U.S. culture is focused on this more than many, sadly. :(
jennygordon
Jul. 27th, 2013 11:38 am (UTC)
Definitely a show best avoided. You're lucky you haven't been polluted by it - it would only make you cross!
deenaml
Jul. 26th, 2013 11:38 am (UTC)
Yes!!!! Thanks for writing this!
robinellen
Jul. 26th, 2013 06:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Deena :)
writertessa
Jul. 26th, 2013 03:21 pm (UTC)
Love this post, Robin! :)
robinellen
Jul. 26th, 2013 06:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks, T :)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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