It’s not our fault and it’s not Ola’s fault. For decades and generations now, women have been encouraged to ‘bounce back’ after giving birth, to ‘get back into shape’, ‘drop the baby weight’ and fit back into our pre-pregnancy jeans mere weeks after giving birth. There are websites, apps, Instagram accounts, books, thousands of articles and countless products (a quick Google search of ‘weight loss after pregnancy’ yields 720 million results) dedicated to the process.
The prevailing message is ‘don’t look like you’ve had a baby’. And I’d like to ask: why not? What’s wrong with looking like you’ve had a baby? You have had a baby… And that’s an amazing thing that many people would absolutely love the chance to do.
What is wrong with a ‘mum bod’? Nothing. There’s nothing wrong with it, it just doesn’t fit into society’s very narrow standard of beauty that women are taught we have to uphold at whatever cost.
Becoming a new mum is incredibly difficult and life-changing and comes with many mental and physical pressures; how our bodies look should be the last thing on our minds. The narrative around post-partum should instead be how to help support new mums as best as possible.
To delve a bit further, a mother’s preoccupation with weight and body image is also likely to be passed onto the child, and god knows we don’t need another generation of women who are deeply unhappy with how they look.
The pressure needs to stop: the pressure for women to ‘bounce back’ after giving birth, to never gain weight, to have a flat stomach and impossibly smooth, cellulite-free legs and just to look a different way to how we look.
How we look is just fine, and we have far too much to be doing and achieving to continue to focus on our bodies and keeping them small. Got a mum bod? Good for you.