You see a new headline every week—another actress has a ‘hot’ new body only weeks after giving birth. Some stars are said to lose over 60 pounds in only a few months, which is either highly unrealistic for someone who isn’t a celebrity, or just plain unhealthy. And considering that 1 in 20 pregnant women develop anorexia during pregnancy, the pressure to lose baby weight quickly after giving birth may just be too much. Anne Hathaway and Blake Lively seem to agree. Both actresses have recently given birth and have spoken out about the pressure put on women to look perfect so soon after literally bringing a human life into the world.
Blake Lively was praised for bouncing back to having a ‘bikini body’ for her movie “The Shallows,” which started filming only 8 months after the birth of her daughter James. The actress reportedly went through a lot of endurance training to prepare for her role and was praised for losing her pregnancy weight quickly. Lively responded by saying that the praise was focused on the wrong thing,
“I think a woman’s body after having a baby is pretty amazing…You don’t have to be Victoria’s Secret-ready right away, because you’ve just done this incredible miracle that life has to offer. You gave birth to a human being! I would really like to see that celebrated.”
Surely, giving birth to a baby is a more substantial accomplishment than losing the weight after doing so. Then why is society more focused on how a woman’s body looks after she gives birth than the substantial amount of effort she puts in not only through the pregnancy and birth, but raising the child as well? Losing weight is difficult, but motherhood is harder. And many women who don’t lose their pregnancy weight right away feel inadequate, as if they’ve failed at something. They haven’t, according to Anne Hathaway.
The Academy Award-winning actress gave birth to her son Johnathan in March, and recently posted a picture of cut-off jeans to her Instagram, because shorts sold in stores didn’t fit her post-baby body. Which she seemed perfectly fine with. The caption read:
“There is no shame in gaining weight during pregnancy (or ever). There is no shame if it takes longer than you think it will to lose the weight (if you want to lose it at all). There is no shame in finally breaking down and making your own jean shorts because last summer’s are just too dang short for this summer’s thighs. Bodies change. Bodies grow. Bodies shrink. It’s all love (don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.)”
So, new moms, there you have it. Don’t listen to the haters. Your body is perfect, no matter what a magazine says.