Leave Famous Moms Alone!


I saw a tweet today linking to some tabloid article with the headline, “[Insert Famous Lady Name] Flaunts Post-Baby Body!” I didn’t bother to click on the link but I still felt a strong twinge of annoyance. All I could think was that a famous lady with a young baby had probably had the audacity to leave her home looking semi-decent and an asshole paparazzo took a picture of her doing it and now we’re all thinking she’s a big show-off for being skinny. But I bet she probably wasn’t trying to show off. She was probably trying to go to Starbucks because she’s exhausted and wants a cup of coffee and a conversation that doesn’t involve baby poop, even if the only words exchanged are “Venti soy latte, please”. She’s just a mom like the rest of us and she’s allowed to leave the house without it being a case of flaunting anything.

I feel so bad for celebrities during their pregnancies and immediately after they give birth. Suddenly their bodies become a publicly traded good, like there’s a ticker running to show how their bump rises and falls. Photographers are everywhere trying to see how they’re changing, what kind of progress they’re making, and if they’re being hasty enough in their return to hotness after taking a sabbatical to use their bodies as baby-gestators. Because being hot is what they’re there for, right? The fact that they’re women who can MAKE WHOLE PEOPLE is secondary and only remarkable if they erase all traces of the people-making-process.

And the headlines that use phrases like “flaunts her post-baby body” and “shows-off her weight loss” and “debuts her baby bump” or what have you? They use those words to make it sound like these women really WANT us to stare at their bodies and analyze their during- and post-pregnancy shape. As if they are simply begging all of America to stand in the check-out line and say “Huh. Her butt looks saggier since having kids. What a damn shame. She used to be hot.”

Yeah, rich, famous new moms may have some things easier since they can afford night nurses and people to take on the laundry and cooking, but they’re still new moms. They’re still dealing with hormone fluctuations, post-partum hair-shedding, sore nipples, and that crazy phase right after giving birth where you just cry for about two weeks for no real reason. They’re still struggling to figure out how to care for a baby and maintain their income and their relationship with their partner. They have to muscle through colic and the first cold and diaper blow-outs. And then, THEN, they have to see themselves in yoga pants and a baseball cap on the front of the TMZ site as they dash into a sandwich shop and deal with judgy jerks criticizing them for not being red-carpet ready when they have a three week old baby at home and they’re emotionally overwhelmed with the process of loving this tiny stranger who now dominates their whole consciousness.

I’m a mom and I try to think warm supportive thoughts for all other moms, even super-famous ones. I wish we could get away from gaping at stars’ bodies as they enter motherhood. Let them experience having a baby the way the rest of us do: surrounded by family and focused on the love of a baby.

Read more from Rebekah at Mom-in-a-Million The Broad Side. Follow Rebekah on Facebook and Twitter too!

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