I was tagged in a photo on Instagram recently. The photo was of a mom with her new baby and she wrote about how a “real” mom’s body looks after giving birth. The person who tagged me said in the message that I keep it real Every. Single. Day.
She meant it as a compliment and that’s the way I took it because I know exactly what she meant. But I don’t support the meaning behind the message of the “real” mom’s body.
While on vacation this year I was laying at the pool and this woman walked by holding hands with her two little girls. She was wearing a white bikini and had a kick ass body. You couldn’t help but notice her she was 'that' beautiful.
Oh, and did I mention she also had a newborn baby?
This beautiful woman in the white bikini? She also has a “real” body. Yet I wonder how we’d react if she also posted a photo on Instagram talking about her “real” body. Would we applaud her or would we tear her apart and say she’s setting an unrealistic expectation for other women.
The truth is we all have “real” bodies. I haven’t met one mom who has a fake body. It makes me wonder what would even constitute a fake body. Even if someone has plastic surgery, they’re still real, aren't they? Or have we started attaching our heads to mannequin bodies and I missed the memo.
The fact is, whether we’re thin or not thin, tall or short, have cellulite and rolls, don’t have cellulite and rolls, we’re all real.
Every year there is some internet letter that thanks moms for wearing a bikini no matter what they look like. I’m one of those moms letting it all hang out, so to speak. And trust me, there’s hanging (that would be my stomach pooch). There’s also jiggling, wiggling, rubbing (no thigh gap for me, thankyouverymuch) and a whole slew of adjectives to describe my body in a bikini.
So, yes. That’s me on the beach in a bikini with the jiggly belly and thigh rub. And it’s me jumping onto air mattresses and climbing large inflatable slides in the middle of the lake in what I can only imagine are completely unflattering angles as I try to hoist my leg up and over the edge and crawl my way to the top.
I guess that’s what my friend meant when she said “I keep it real” because I’m past caring about judgement and just go with the flow. I accept and love my body for how it is right now not because of how it looks but because of what it can do. And that’s cool because it works for me.
But it’s also cool to embrace all the moms who aren’t comfortable doing that. And it’s cool to applaud the moms rocking a bikini. And it’s cool to love all those moms who are in between.
Let’s celebrate every single mom out there no matter what her size or shape because there is no ‘one’ body after giving birth.
We’re all real.