Beauty: Post-Partum Bodies

Jessica Simpson has recently been in the news for her extended pregnancy and weight gain. To outside observers, it appears that she went over her due date…if that was the case, I send her my heartfelt sympathy. I was induced at 42 weeks with my son, and spending those last two weeks with everyone else’s anticipation was very difficult. I can only imagine how it must have been like for someone who lives in the media spotlight.

I don’t normally get very personal on this blog, but I’ve recently been thinking about post-partum bodies and beauty. I read a very interesting article on Huffington Post titled Jessica Simpson and the Acceptable ‘Shape’ of Modern Motherhood. It was written by Clare Winterton, Executive Director of the International Museum of Women. She muses on popular culture and the pressure on women to return to their pre-pregnancy bodies.

Winterton states it well: “Amidst all the frenzied speculation, it’s time to pause and ask where our obsession with eradicating the physical evidence of pregnancy and birth has come from, and whether there might even be another way to see — and even value — the bodily changes that child-bearing brings.”

Stretch marks, sagging breasts, curves, added weight – these are only a few of the changes that separate mothers from the rest of the pack. And I think we can all agree, it can be extraordinarily difficult to look in the mirror after giving birth and think, right off the bat, “I’m beautiful.” You feel like crap. You’re going on very little sleep. Who knows when your last shower or hair brushing happened… But, if you think about it, the changes in your body are a sign that something amazing happened. And that should be something beautiful.

Rumor has it that Jessica Simpson will sign up with Weight Watchers to lose her pregnancy weight. But, if that doesn’t happen…or if it takes longer than people expect…I hope that the media will be gentle. Like all mothers, she deserves to be able to graduate into her new body and her new role in life.

The International Museum for Women is showing a film called “Birth-markings.” Film director Margaret Lazarus asked women all over the world to share their experiences of pregnancy and birth. The women are comfortable in their own skin – they show off all of the markings that signify motherhood. I badly want to see this film. It sounds extremely empowering for the new mother. Frankly, we need all the encouragement and confidence building we can get.

Cheers, Amy

Image from Etsy shop gkabaker

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