What is with the recent hype about the postpartum body? Have we always been this interested? Or are people more open about their own bodies lately?
Not too long ago I wrote a blog post about my postpartum body which gained a lot of attention. I spoke about the journey my body had been on and how I had always been so negative about my weight. But then after having my twins, my outlook changed. It had been pushed to the ultimate limit and been through a war. It was time to celebrate and be kind to my body.
Maybe it was the photos that I included, or maybe it was my outlook, but the fact that it caused such a stir somewhat baffled me.
When I became pregnant with my twins, there was this sudden fascination with my body, my stomach in particular. It was like I no longer had the right to privacy. People would bluntly ask me what my stomach looked like, both before and after delivery.
I have always been an open book and would surprise people when I would show them my stomach. I really didn’t care. I think that was my attempt to normalize what my body was doing and eliminate the mystery. Besides, I was proud of what my body had accomplished, because when you really wrap you head around it, creating two humans at once is pretty awesome.
But after my body image post went viral, a new realization dawned on me. Many people assumed that I wanted to eventually get back to my pre-pregnancies weight and look exactly like I did before having children. I even received emails praising my article, but then asking if I had booked my tummy tuck.
Am I supposed to be striving for perfection? Is having a new shape to my body really that bad?
Recently, a Facebook post by Mel Rymil went viral. She bravely took an underwear selfie of her postpartum body. In the post, she spoke about how her new personal trainer immediately assumed that she would want to get back to her pre pregnancy weight. She told the personal trainer that her goal was to “gain core strength and endurance” and that her body was already pretty “badass.”
I think that the fascination with the postpartum body is split. Part of us wants to normalize our bodies after baby, and the other part of us is curious about what war wounds each of us moms were left with. Bottom line, we all want to feel a little more normal.
I have goals. I would like to lose a little more weight, strengthen and tone. I’d like to comfortably pull on a pair of jeans (that are a size up than before I had babies). But given the chance, I would opt out of the tummy tuck.
I worked hard for these curves, and I am in no rush to erase every piece of evidence that I have created four beautiful children.
You can follow my body after baby journey on my personal blog, Nesting Story.