We would love to think that all of the empowering posts and arguments against body-shaming had worked, but we’re still up against it – as mothers, women, and just regular old people.
While we appear to be conditioned to cover up our swimsuits with kaftans, one mum is urging women everywhere to not only show off their ‘post-baby bodies’, but to embrace and celebrate them.
Mel Watts, blogger at The Modern Mumma, recently gave birth to her fourth child. Little Sonny was born via C-section, and Mel followed up a previous bump post with a new angle and insight on her body.
In a split photo, Mel shared a photo of herself at 30 weeks pregnant, and another of her four days after her C-section. She doesn’t sugar-coat anything – but she is absolutely resolute in her praise of what her body has achieved.
“Honestly, it’s no castle or bloody piece of art. Sure, it’s filled with stretch marks and dimples. But this body, this one – the one I own – gave me another life. Another small human to love and to hold,” she wrote.
Top photo 30 weeks pregnant Bottom photo 4 days post Caesarean section. Wow. Honestly it's no castle or bloody piece of art. Sure it's filled with stretch marks and dimples. But this body, this one the one I own gave me another life. Another small human to love and to hold. It held onto him for 9 months and sheltered him, protected him and prepared him for the day he was born. So many times I've doubted my body, so many times I've pinched and pulled at sections that I didn't like. In reality this body has done everything I'd ever want it to do. Sure it's not magazine or swimsuit worthy to some. But to me and my husband, it's the place that grew our babies. It's the place that everything we love most started. And that's all that counts right?! We feel as though we need to follow society's stigma on what we should look like when in fact we should just do what we feel works for us. No body has the same body And every body has their own body. Enjoy it.
Now, Mel is fed up of feeling bad about her body, and the ‘imperfections’ that society has brainwashed us to see. No, from here on out, Mel is going to look at her body realistically, for what it is: a miracle-maker.
“So many times I’ve doubted my body; so many times I’ve pinched and pulled at sections that I didn’t like. In reality, this body has done everything I’d ever want it to do,” she wrote.
“Sure, it’s not magazine- or swimsuit-worthy to some; but to me and my husband, it’s the place that grew our babies.”
Mel came in for great praise for her honest post and words, with many mums reaching out to her to send their support.
“Thank you for posting this – I’ve had three C-sections, and it’s reassuring to see mamas going through it too,” wrote one fellow mum.
Hey guys! Me again. So after yesterday's post I've had a few comments, shares etc which have been great . As reaching so many people and connecting with them is important to me, hence why I started to a blog - so someone had someone to relate to. It's been a whirlwind few days since the birth of our Sonny and I took a few moments last night to write down my feelings towards my post Caesarean section at Day 4. The photo was unflattering, with a dressing intact. If you zoomed you may of seen some regrow then and the little dignity I had left. Whatever floats your boat. As the shares reached new people the comments grew wider and further. Some referring to it as a real post baby body, some referring to it as revolting. Which is totally okay. However, I think you should be aware that I didn't use the word "real" in any of my post. I think all women's bodies are real. Some work hard for theirs and some *cough cough* don't Over time I've watched women be put down and slammed mostly by other women for how someone looks. Either being too fit, too fat, too sluggish and too pretty. I watched @reviejane get slashed for how she looked pregnant, I read @laurenbrant get trampled on for how she looked after her birth. The difference between us, both of these women work hard for how they look. I've watched Revie going to the gym whilst I'm on a 6 pack of doughnuts. Just because we all look different doesn't mean none of us aren't real or unrealistic. Some women bounce back, some don't. Some women train hard, some don't. And just because you feel like you don't fit in one of these categories doesn't make you any less real than myself, Lauren or Revie. We're all real. We're all women who have birthed little humans and we're all just trying to do the best we can. Just like the other millions of women in the world. Instead of fighting each other and writing nasty things about people we don't know how about we just embrace each other? There is so much bad in this world at the moment that as soon as we stop thinking it's acceptable behaviour to bring other women down it's never going to get better. #bethechange
Another chimed in: “Awesome post. I’ve had one natural and two sections and remember the sheer pain and joy in them all. The body will never be the same again, but you’ve nailed it in your post.”
Sadly, not every reaction was as positive or encouraging – something which Mel acknowledged in a follow-up post. Sharing another photo of her tummy after the procedure, Mel reiterated her message to her fellow mums.
“Some have referred to it as a ‘real’ post-baby body, some have referred to it as revolting – which is totally OK. However, I think you should be aware that I didn’t use the word ‘real’ in any of my post. I think all women’s bodies are real,” she wrote.
“Instead of fighting each other and writing nasty things about people we don’t know, how about we just embrace each other? There is so much bad in this world at the moment, that as soon as we stop thinking it’s acceptable behaviour to bring other women down, it’s never going to get better.”
We love everything about Mel’s post – well salute her!