What post-baby bellies REALLY look like… New mothers bare their bodies to protest unattainable celebrity idealsIdea to photograph their post-baby
bodies came after one woman said she was scared to click on a 'Beyonce's
Body After Baby' link
16:40 GMT, 25 June 2012
A group of working mothers and bloggers have decided to tackle the growing pressure women feel to snap straight back into shape after giving birth.
Baring their own post-baby bodies, seven bloggers from CT Working Moms have embraced their stomachs, in an effort to liberate other women from the unattainable cultural beauty ideals plaguing today's 'bounce-back' obsessed society.
In a photo shoot they have named the Goddess Gallery, the women hope to encourage new mothers to accept, and cherish, their changing bodies despite the ever-growing 'body after baby' celebrity worship, and the suffocating negativity that can come with it.
Baring all: Showing off their own post-baby bodies, seven bloggers from CT Working Moms have embraced their stomachs to liberate other women
Dena Fleno, a blogger for CT Working Moms, wrote: 'A while back, someone mentioned they were scared to click on a link to “Beyonce's Body After Baby.” I think we all know what these headlines bring.
'All you have to do is do a simple Google search for “body after baby” and you see these celebrities with their impossible-to-attain-their-normal-size-never-mind-their-post-preggo-size photo spread in the latest gossip mag.'
She continued: 'Those women probably worked really hard to take the baby weight off and more power to them, but we average non-Victoria's Secret models do not have the luxury of Photoshop, airbrushing, personal trainers, private chefs, nannies or several pairs of Spanx. As the wise Katie Schunk stated, “I would be in mad shape if my paycheck depended on it!”'
So the women decided to do a photo shoot of
their own, in the hope of encouraging others to embrace and accept
different body images outside of the fashion industry's 'ideal'.
Positive body image: The women decided to do a photo shoot, in the hope of encouraging others to embrace and accept different body images outside of the fashion industry's 'ideal'
Goddess Gallery: The mothers decided to tackle the unattainable cultural beauty ideals and
celebrity worship plaguing today's Victoria's Secret riddled society
Mrs Fleno wrote: 'It was a completely liberating moment. Some of us started out a bit nervous and shy, but encouraging comments and catcalls from the other ladies… made it easier.
'For me, I know I am far from what I may ultimately want my body to look like, but I know I have never felt more beautiful and accepting of my body.'
She continued: 'This turned out to be
more than just a photo shoot to show what real mommy bellies look like
or to help us embrace our body image differences – there are a ton of
websites out there that already do this.
'This was a gathering of Goddesses.'
Post-baby stomachs: The women admit they are 'far from' their ultimate bodies, but they say they have never felt more
beautiful and accepting of their body shapes after the photo shoot
The women called the experience 'freeing, inspiring and powerful.' however they have been honest about the internal negative monologue they still struggle against.
Mrs Fleno wrote: 'I will admit that when I look at pictures of myself (like I'm sure most women do), I pick apart all of the things I wish were different, more sucked in or just smaller. I end up feeling bad about myself and, instead of throwing in a workout DVD, I head to the freezer for a little therapy in an ice cream pint.
'When I looked through the photos of
our shoot, I did do a bit of trash talk about my problem areas, but the
feeling inside was completely different. I didn't feel depressed, I felt
the energy of the night. I felt the joy, love and sisterhood of that
moment and again felt beautiful.'
Ann Kearney-Cooke, a Cincinnati psychologist who specialises in body
image said women still have a long way to go in terms of body
Girl power: The women called the experience 'freeing, inspiring and powerful.' however they have been honest about the internal negative monologue they still struggle against
Joining in: The women decided to create a Goddess Gallery of their body baring images on the blog, and are encouraging other women to do the same
She said: 'It’s become such an accepted norm to put yourself down that if someone says she likes her body, she’s the odd woman out. I was in a group discussion recently, and when one woman said, “I actually feel OK about the way I look,” another woman scrunched up her face and said, “I have never in my whole life heard anyone say that—and I’m not sure I even believe you.”
'That’s how pervasive this negative body talk is. It’s actually more acceptable to insult your body than to praise it.'
The women created a Goddess Gallery of their body baring images on the blog, and are encouraging other women to do the same.
Mrs Flemo added: 'The more women who participate in these events, the more we will accept our bodies and embrace them. It will be life-changing!'