Thursday 9 May 2019

#TBT - back off our post baby bodies!

For #TBT, I thought I'd share this slightly ranty post I wrote a few years ago again, given the arrival of the royal baby this week and no doubt the talk around how Megan 'bounces back' to look forward to...

Warning: this post is a bit of a rant but yet again, a Daily Mail story has ruffled my feathers. I know, why do I read it if it riles me so? Well, it does have good celebrity stories and shameless gossip on my lunch hour is always appreciated.

But I have just about had enough of how the Daily Mail, and all the other gossip magazines and sites, talk about women. Specifically in this instance, new mums.

Body image is a topic of much debate that everyone has thrown their twopence worth in. There can be no denying that what we see in the media has an effect on how we view the world and ourselves. Even when armed with the knowledge that what you're seeing may not be real - that the model has been airbrushed or certain types of people have been excluded altogether - if all you see is distorted images, then your concept of 'normal' becomes manipulated.

This is very true when it comes to mums. The media love to monitor every stage of a celebrity's pregnancy, from speculation - Mila Kunis anyone? - to a running commentary on how their bump is growing and what they're wearing to hide / show off said bump - step forward Holly Willoughby.

The real analysis is saved for when they have actually had their baby, to see who races towards the 'be skinny in just X weeks' finish line first.

The article that's prompted this rant can be read here and it's a good example of how the Daily Mail can turn anything into 'news'. In this case, 'woman has baby then wear bikini'.

At first glance, it may seem that the Daily Mail is being supportive of Kerry Katona and how she's wearing a bikini with pride and enjoying some time relaxing not long since the traumatic birth of her daughter. But look closer and it's not hard to see their thinly veiled remarks.

From comments like she says she's 'proud of her body' to Kerry Katona treated herself to a well-deserved sunshine break to do exactly that and showing - rightly so - that shaping up wasn’t the top of her priorities it's hard to see the sincerity in their words.

The disguised judgements continue:

Kerry, who is engaged to the father of her fifth child George Kay, was seen pacing up and down engrossed in a telephone call – more than comfortable in her skin.

While prior to becoming pregnant, Kerry openly spoke about her desire to shape up for her forthcoming wedding – her priorities have now changed.

Just give us a break. Stop the patronising. Stop the raised eyebrows and smile full of false sympathy.

Yes, women have babies. Yes, women's bodies change in all sorts of ways, and different from one mum to the next. Yes, having a baby becomes the most important thing to you.

No, this isn't unusual. No, it's not something to be ashamed of. No, women should not feel bad if they do not measure up to what the media expects.

Enough with the body bashing. It helps no-one and we could all do without the criticism.

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