I’m annoyed. I wasn’t going to blog tonight, but just had to, after seeing a Yahoo headline titled “Beyonce Shares Stunning, Make-Up Less Bikini Pic” and then of course you see a picture of her just as the title indicates. Stunning. Make-up less (i.e., naturally beautiful). Bikini. Okay, we all know that Beyonce is beautiful. But must we focus so darn much on the fact that she’s able to look as stunning as ever in a B-I-K-I-N-I weeks after having a baby?! Pleeeeease. C’mon media. Stop it. Stop rubbing into the faces of all mothers out there that this is the way it should be–i.e., gorgeous and in shape a few weeks after having a baby….and if you aren’t then there must be something wrong with you! <insert disdainful suck-teeth noise>
Media, you do such a great job of perpetuating this fallacy. Too good of a job, actually. Do you realize just how badly you make 99% of the moms out there feel? Oh yeah, that’s right. You don’t care. After all, it’s glamor and stardom that make money for your women’s magazines, right? But do you understand how the celebrity hot mama out there actually gets into shape with personal trainers on a daily basis? That they have the time to do this because they have nannies to take care of their babies night and day? That they can afford this star treatment, and 99% of moms out there can only dream of such a lifestyle and in fact struggle with the realities of coping with motherhood all too often with very little help?!
New moms generally find themselves 1) struggling with a topsy-turvy emotional state due to the tremendous hormonal crash that occurs with childbirth, 2) being a first-time mom and struggling to learn how to understand their babies cries, 3) breastfeeding with oftentimes tremendous difficulty, 4) dealing with uncertainty and a great deal of anxiety that they’re doing the best they can in caring for their babies, and 5) struggling with extreme sleep deprivation. Yes, it’s great to be able to successfully squeeze in some exercise a few times a week. But it’s not unusual for a new, sleep-deprived (and maybe even depressed) mom to feel exhausted and put exercise and self care, in general, at the bottom of her list of things to do.
It’s not just Beyonce I’m trying to poke at….yes, I realize one of my recent posts was about that whole deal with her in Lenox Hospital hogging up the floor and preventing parents from seeing their babies in the NICU. I don’t have it out for her. I happen to like her. But when I see a situation in which society, or in this case media, is perpetuating a situation that lowers the self esteem of moms who have better things to do than worry about whether their bodies can return to their pre-baby state right away, I’m gonna damn well blog about it!
It happens all the time. This emphasis on beauty and body. Covers of magazines that you can’t avoid, even as you are waiting on line to pay at a supermarket. They are everywhere. Ugh! I got my thoughts out on my blog. But that’s about it. There won’t be any changes in my lifetime when it comes to how media chooses to focus on the things that mean the least in the grand scheme of things.
But I want the mom who sees images of beautiful post-baby bods to try not to pay any heed to them. That’s not the norm. Not at all.