How did you look after you’d just given birth? Me? I had bags under my eyes you could have done your weekly food-shopping in, weird brown skin patches on my face (not a tan so much as looking like I needed a good face wash), and crazy damp hair stuck to my head — basically an overall pale, exhausted shell of myself. No sleep and a C-section will do that to you.
But look above at heiress Tamara Ecclestone — daughter of billionaire and Formula One Management CEO Bernie Ecclestone — who gave birth to her daughter Sophia at the London’s private Portland Hospital (a favorite among celebs) a couple of days ago. She looks like she just got back from the beauty salon, not like she just GAVE BIRTH. She uploaded this photo to Instagram captioning it: “Welcome to the world Sophia, our beautiful baby girl, born yesterday 6lb 90z. Proudest day of our lives, never felt love like this. x”
The 29-year-old is married to broker Jay Rutland, after a whirlwind romance where he proposed after they had been dating for just four weeks. Here’s the happy family, a photo she captioned: “Three musketeers forever. Love my little family x.”
If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking this photo was re-touched and that there was a stylist present, along with special lighting and make up and all that jazz. Well a spokesperson for Tamara told The Daily Mail that the top image had been taken by Jay on his camera phone and no stylist had been present. I would ask, “No stylist — fine. But please confirm there were hair, make-up and lighting folk present?”
Most people don’t look as glam and fresh-faced with perfect curled hair ON THEIR WEDDING DAY, let alone after birth! There are no reports as to whether Tamara had a natural birth or a C-section — although she counted down the weeks and then days very precisely on Twitter (even posing naked in a shot captioned “one week to go”), suggesting the birth was planned.
Whilst I am delighted for her — and any new birth photos have a radiant charm — I can’t help feeling that photos like this set some ridiculous precedent for other women that is frankly impossible to emulate. Clearly she is a naturally beautiful woman, but in the photo it appears that she’s had her hair styled, is possibly wearing eyelash extensions, and is definitely sporting make-up. Most people are too busy trying to get a baby to latch on and sustaining skin on skin contact to even care about how they look. There is, of course, nothing wrong with caring about how you look in photos — I remember bringing tinted moisturizer into the hospital when I had my son (in reality I needed something much stronger to hide my eye bags …) — but in my opinion, it shouldn’t be your priority.
After both my C-sections, having waited all day and having barely slept due to worry about the operation, I looked bloated and exhausted. All I wanted to do was sleep and have something to quell the pain searing through my abdomen. Even women I know who gave birth in a matter of hours and were home in bed within the day did not look like this! Nor should we try. Which is why I hate articles that say: “So and so is in their skinny jeans, two weeks after giving birth!” like it’s some sort of achievement. It isn’t! Being your old body weight after having a baby should be the least of our concerns. Having a healthy baby who is gaining weight — now THAT is an achievement. Managing to get some sleep, establishing breastfeeding (or not) or a routine (or not), or managing to get your other children to school and having a vaguely clean/tidy house — THAT is an achievement.
All of this obsession over how we look post-birth — skinny jeans or not — is wrong. It’s putting too much pressure on women who are in a very vulnerable time in their lives. Ironically, this should be the time in their lives that they’re the LEAST worried about what they look like, not the most.
So congrats, Tamara. You look fantastic. It would just be great if you could be honest about how you were able to look so good straight after birth! Am I wrong to say this? I’d love to hear what you guys think…
Photo credit: Instagram