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Motherhood, Our Bodies, and Unnatural Expectations

Pauline Campos's picture

Okay, so I went from cheering for Jessica Simspon and getting pissed at the media for bashing her pregnant self for, you know, PUTTING ON WEIGHT to still being pissed at the media and getting pissed at Jessica. Why? Because I'd be telling the paparazzi to fuck off as they snapped photos of me wolfing down a pack of Ding Dongs if I knew I was going to be collecting $4 million to drop the baby weight, too. Or maybe I'd just let my pregnant celebrity mom friends who've managed to bounce back after previous pregnancies come to my defense because that looks way more authentic.

I'll be honest, it kind of makes me feel like I got played. I guess I'd kind of been hoping that Jessica was going to play for our team.

I don't follow celebrity news as a general rule, but it's practically impossible to avoid the onslaught of media attention focusing on who's got a baby bump and how much weight they gained and then, of course, the bikini-clad magazine Hollywood moms boasting their svelte six-week post-partum figures.The TV is stuck on Nick Jr. in my house but I do have to grocery shop. And it's while I'm standing in line at the checkout lane that I'm reminded time and time again that Hollywood thinks I'm a fatass and that media pressure to get as skinny as possible faster than is healthy for our bodies affects all of us. Actress Jenna Fischer of The Office spoke out recently against the "unnatural" fixation for stars to be bikini ready mere weeks after pushing their babies out.

"Let me please stand in solidarity with all of the women who are not a size 2 six weeks after leaving the hospital. You read all of the stuff in magazines like, 'Oh, I breastfed my baby and I am so skinny now.' I am breast-feeding my baby and I am not getting any skinnier!" the actress has been quoted as saying. "I think I'm just going to be a little bit bigger for a little bit longer, and that's fine with me."

Hallelujah, sister. Let's pretend I'm famous so we can become BFFs because you are so my people.

Celeb Moms

To be honest, I feel kind of sorry for celeb moms. Remember when Melissa Joan Hart was publicly mocked in magazines for being a fat new mom? She ended up on the cover of a magazine, in a bikini, telling the world how she was "motivated" by the media attacks to get back into shape. And Bollywood star and former Miss world Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is being slammed for not losing the pregnancy pounds in the six months since she gave birth by her fans in India. Elephants can be heard trumpeting in the background of an online video report showing images of the star pre and post pregnancy.

For celebrities, their bodies are their livelihood. But with every Beyonce story touting her transformation from pregnant to perfect, it becomes more socially acceptable to put even more pressure on the next celeb to announce she's expecting. And that pressure, my friends, trickles right on down to Average Town, USA, our own perceptions on how we view ourselves, and those around us. Maybe that's why I had harbored such high hopes that Jessica wasn't going to buy into the bullshit and give the rest of us a reason to feel good about where we are right now.

No more games

I'm not playing that game anymore. I refuse to let Hollywood's idea of what my body should look like after having a child take precedence over my physical and mental health. I refuse to let these magazine covers and celeb weight loss deals dictate my feelings about the woman looking back at me in the mirror. And I'm sure as hell not going to let my daughter grow up thinking that she is anything less than perfect and beautiful and strong just they way she is. I threw away my scale. We focus on health, not numbers. And I try to show her that how she feels is more important than what other people think. Because when it's her turn to bring a baby home, I want her to be as happy and confident as she at this very moment while she pulls on her red cowboy boots and superhero cape for her last day of preschool.  Other people's opinions be damned.

Pauline is the founder of Girl Body Pride & blogs at Aspiring Mama. Find her at about.me/paulinecampos

Comments

Andrea's picture

Jessica Simpson

I love this post and I love Jenna Fischer too. It's no wonder women in the US has such body issues!! I thought Jessica Simpson might be one of the good girls - fighting for us curvy, real Moms. But that seems to not be the case.

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