Real Post Baby Bodies Are Beautiful

When I stand in the grocery store line to check out, I consistently do two things: first, always avoid looking at the cleverly placed chapstick by the candy convincing me to buy a new one only to remember I have six more at home- but second, and more importantly, ignore the gossip rags. I have problems with body shaming and obsessing over chapstick, okay?

This summer I couldn’t help but notice the excessive amount of body shaming geared toward mothers and pregnant celebrities. So many celebrity women were taunted on covers for gaining too much weight, or never looking as good as she did before she was pregnant. Why should I care how much Kate Middleton weighs? Why should I care if Kim Kardashian can’t lose her baby weight the week after the gives birth? Oh that’s right, I don’t.

Kate is more powerful than all y'all. Leave her body be!
Kate is more powerful than all y’all. Leave her body be!

Gossip magazines and blogs have set an unrealistic standard for women to “bounce back” after pregnancy and look as good- or even better- than they did post baby. I can’t imagine having my baby and then feeling like I need to be in the gym the next week! Women should be proud of their bodies after having a child- you have given the miracle of life.

50 lbs in 40 days AND taking care of a baby?! Media, your expectations are too damn high.
50 lbs in 40 days AND taking care of a baby?! Media, your expectations are too damn high.

Thankfully, there are people like photographer Ashlee Wells Jackson who want to reverse this expected beauty standard and celebrate real women and their bodies. Her project, 4th Trimester Bodies, is a photo gallery of women tastefully baring it all and proudly displaying their stretches, stripes, and scars.

These photos prove that women can be beautiful without the body type the media claims you need to have after having a baby. I love these photos of women posing with their children, and it made me feel more comfortable with my body. If you want to check out more from the project, view more photos here. What do you all think of the project? How do you think the media portrays women before and after pregnancy?

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