6 Celebs who showed us the beauty of postpartum bodies
Celebs embrace mom bods amidst public pressures
In case you don’t know it yet, no mother should have to succumb to the pressures of post-baby snapback. As a new mother, your body just went through one of the most gruelling bodily transformations known to mother nature and much of your attention is focused on nurturing your child into his/her/their new world. Unfortunately, mother’s continue to face criticism and hate around their pregnancy and post-pregnancy bodies.
Reality Television star Kim Kardashian recently spoke out about how she “cried every single day” over the fat-shaming she experienced when she was pregnant with her first child. In an effort to clap back at haters, model Candice Swanepoel posted a picture of her post-baby body on Instagram with a caption expressing “I’m not ashamed to show my postpartum tummy. I am proud actually.”
In 2021 and going forward, this is the kind of energy we’re embracing and celebrating for new (and older) mothers who are not only experiencing the pressures of isolation, work and child-care during a global pandemic but are also trying to create safe spaces of for self-love and inner peace in these tough times. So, unclip your waist trainer and free yourself from shapewear as we celebrate mommy bodies with 6 celebrities who took pride in their postpartum bodies.
In 2019 actress Linda Mtoba shared a heartfelt message online about getting used to her new mommy bod. Like most moms, Linda was having a hard time adjusting to her body’s transformations after giving life to her newborn. The River actress posted a picture of herself on Instagram in a black dress saying she no longer feels “as sexy or as beautiful” as she used to feel. Months later, she continued to vent her struggles, stating: “Last night I looked at my body & had a good cry. In as much as I’m losing the weight (in no rush for it) my body will forever be changed. The amount of stretch marks I have I haven’t wrapped my head around. It’s going to be a process to accept me.”
Former Miss South Africa Rolene Strauss posted a video titled “Pretty Hurts” in 2018 where she conveyed the difficulties of aspiring to perfection as a new mom. The former beauty queen sang Beyoncé’s popular single and depicted how she had often had a negative voice inside her head that body-shamed her and instilled a negative image of herself in her head. In an Instagram post, she wrote “It’s not easy to explain… Some mommies might agree with me, but with an almost 3-week old baby, I still don’t feel like myself. I am not even sure what that “self” is anymore… My body changed in ways I couldn’t imagine. My life changed. I changed… Looking back at some active memories on my phone (swipe left), I had to succumb to the realization that most of my goals changed. That includes my health and fitness goals. I’m trying to look at this time in my life as a new adventure: to rediscover all aspects of Rolene”
For many new moms, post-baby body reveals are stressful and famous moms often stay off the radar until they’ve achieved their snapback goals. But when the adored royal Duchess Meghan Markle made her royal tour around Africa with Prince Harry, she no efforts to hide her new mom bod. The Duchess wore figure-hugging outfits like the trench-tuxedo sleeveless dress pictured below. The dress revealed the beautiful roundness of her tummy and her new mommy weight. Of course, we now know that Meghan was dealing with mental health issues that were much more serious than achieving a snapback body, which only affirms the point that self-love and care should be our number one priority after giving birth.
Model Chrissy Teigen is no stranger to speaking her mind while being raw and honest. She’s shared her post-pregnancy body more than once, revealing stubborn baby bumps, stretch marks, love-handles and issues with postpartum depression that validated many women’s pregnancy journeys. In one Instagram post, the star let out her frustration over a bump that didn’t go away after losing her baby Jack to a miscarriage. “This is me and my body, just yesterday”, Chrissy captioned. “Even though I’m no longer pregnant, every glance in the mirror reminds me of what could have been. And I have no idea why I still have this bump, honestly. It’s frustrating. But I’m proud of where this entire journey took my body and mind in other ways.”
Serena Williams is apparently a glass-half-full kind of girl. While a lot of new moms out there go back home from the hospital only to look into the mirror with despair (which is totally okay!), the tennis champion fell in love with her postpartum body. She saw her new tummy jutting out and thought “this is kind of cool: I have a stomach because the baby was there.” As an athlete, she had to start getting back in the court to get fit again, but she admits that it still wasn’t easy. “I just feel like this whole story about having a baby and then coming back two days after and looking better than before is not teaching the right way or the natural way or the believable way,” she continued. “Like maybe that happened to one person, but let me tell you, that didn’t happen to me.”
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter
Yes, even our reigning queen, her majesty Beyoncé can be as imperfect as the rest of us commoners. But in the renowned September Issue of Vogue 2018, the megastar told readers that there is beauty in these imperfections. She was 218 pounds after she gave birth to twins Rumi and Sir and was swollen from complications with toxemia. Still, she was not deterred by the changes. “During my recovery, I gave myself self-love and self-care, and I embraced being curvier. I accepted what my body wanted to be. After six months, I started preparing for Coachella. I became vegan temporarily, gave up coffee, alcohol, and all fruit drinks. But I was patient with myself and enjoyed my fuller curves. My kids and husband did, too.”
The common thread is that most mommies clearly experience a loss of bodies and beings that have irrevocably transformed. Accepting this change is difficult, but it’s also necessary for your journey into selfhood and motherhood. As mothers, we should all go through these journeys in ways that suit us, never forgetting that there is no need to rush to ‘perfection’ or shame yourself into reaching body goals that will leave you mentally exhausted.