On Monday, Oscar-winning actress Anne Hathaway posted one seemingly-simple image to her Instagram feed: a pair of cut-up jean shorts. But there’s a reason why the photo’s received over 145K likes (and counting) in the less than 24 hours since it’s been posted. Alongside the photo, Hathaway wrote an open, honest, and revealing caption about the way our bodies change during and after pregnancy, and the need for women to give themselves a break already. It was a message that moms everywhere needed to hear — loud and clear. And by the looks of Instagram, it looks like they have.
In her post, Hathaway wrote:
“There is no shame in gaining weight during pregnancy (or ever). There is no shame if it takes longer than you think it will to lose the weight (if you want to lose it at all). There is no shame in finally breaking down and making your own jean shorts because last summer’s are just too dang short for this summer’s thighs. Bodies change. Bodies grow. Bodies shrink. It’s all love (don’t let anyone tell you otherwise).”
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Hathaway, who welcomed a baby boy with husband Adam Shulman last March, took to Instagram to get real about the pressures of motherhood and body image. At the beginning of the year, the actress posted a now-viral photo of herself, pregnant and in a bikini. In her caption she noted that since she knew she was being photographed by the paparazzi anyway, she wanted to beat them at their own game, and get the photo up first — “with a filter” of her own choosing.
I always admire those in the spotlight who are willing to admit that things aren’t always as they seem to the rest of us, on the outside looking in. While we’re constantly inundated with magazine spreads and paparazzi photos of celebrities that appear to bounce back practically hours after giving birth, we all know that’s not reality.
Just last month, I was cleaning out my closet and noticed a pair of jeans that I’d had since we moved to Manhattan six years ago. They were my favorite pair and I’d worn them constantly after my first daughter was born. But when I tried them on now — two more kids later — they didn’t fit. Rather than get upset with myself or wish that I had the body that I did six years ago, I just threw them in the donate pile and kept moving.
The truth is though, it’s taken me years (and many tears) to know that my body is never going to be back to the way it used to be. But rather than sulking in it, I am making the most of it. I no longer look at old photos of my pre-kid self with despair, and all of those old clothes that will never fit again are just that — old. I’ve found ways to look at what these three pregnancies have brought my body and how to work with them.
There’s no denying that it takes time to get used to the new one. But if there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that you can learn to accept it with happiness. Because in Hathaway’s own words: “Bodies change. Bodies grow. Bodies shrink. It’s all love.”More On