Over in England, they’re not only talking about Prince William’s engagement. They’re also talking about how celebrity moms who lose the baby weight fast effect the rest of us.
Apparently, the news isn’t good. When celebrities with babies not even three months old trot out their super slim physiques, it makes regular moms feel — what’s the word — bad. But worse than that, it inspires some to go on crash diets.
In a survey by the Royal College of Midwives, two thirds of respondents said they felt some degree of coercion because of media images of instantly skinny celebrity moms.
In our 24/7 media culture, women whose job it is to look fantastic must feel like they need to look “fantastic” (read: like they did before they had babies) as quickly as possible to maintain their brands. But they’re not going on crash diets to lose weight fast. They’re hiring people to help them exercise and eat well and take care of their babies. And even if you could hire a trainer, a nutritionist, a nanny or two and a cook, should you even try to lose all the baby weight within three months of giving birth?
I would argue, strenuously, the answer is no. Getting pregnant, being pregnant, giving birth, caring for a newborn, these are physically demanding acts. Women’s bodies evolved over million of years to meet the incredible demands of reproduction and after a birth, a woman needs time to recover. More time than three months. That celebrities choose to lose weight fast and then show off their bodies in the press has more to do with their businesses than their health.
And still, the pressure to appear a certain way is fierce and the problem of body image doesn’t disappear in a rainstorm of common sense. I remember being at a kiddie pool with my then 8-month-old twins. Let’s just say that after eight months I’d yet to recover any semblance of my pre-baby flat belly. (The same might be said for after 6 years, but that’s another post.) Along came another mom, with her younger baby and her extremely appropriate and flattering string bikini. I must have gone pale because in a flash my husband was at my side, whispering in my ear, “Honey, she was born like that.” Which let me both laugh at myself and helped me feel better.
So, we can look at celebrity moms and we can appreciate the work they do to look the way they do and fill the pages of the magazines. But looking that way really is their job, it’s not everyone’s work. Sure, we can all be healthy, exercise, eat a balanced diet, but not everybody needs a string bikini to match her baby.
So here’s the real question: When Kate Middleton has her first baby, not only will we able to bet on the baby’s name, but we can also see how long will it take her to lose the baby weight and will she share her secrets?
But seriously, do pictures of celebrity moms change how you feel about your weight?
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