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Redefining Beauty, #This_Is_Postpartum Encourages A New Body Positivity Movement

  • IWB Post
  •  May 15, 2019

Just a week ago, post the arrival of the new royal baby in the family, a glowing and confident Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle caught social media’s attention.

With two-day old Baby Archie in tow, Meghan answered questions about becoming new parents dressed in an understated white dress with a simple belt tied above her waist. But an important message that was sent out by the Duchess was that postpartum bodies are beautiful too and one should embrace them wholeheartedly.

In a world of airbrushed and Photoshopped pictures that narrow beauty standards, unrealistic expectations from new moms often lead to low self-esteem. However, instead of being bogged down by those stretch marks and everything that comes with a postpartum body, one should try to celebrate those scars. Inspired by Meghan, #this_is_postpartum is seen trending all over social media, encouraging a new body positivity movement, debunking the ‘perfect pregnancy’ myths.

Check out these beautiful mamas who are redefining beauty:

Applause 👏 . Repost from @katiemcrenshaw using @RepostRegramApp – Almost two weeks ago, I traveled to Texas and had the pleasure of spending real life quality time with three women who inspire me every day to be my authentic self. We have worked on body acceptance projects together via the Internet a few times, so we wanted to document our time together in a way that would celebrate all bodies and hopefully empower other women to celebrate the skin they’re in.⠀ *⠀ BECAUSE this WAS empowering and beautiful to many people, the photo was featured by some other accounts. Naturally, anytime we publicly display the bodies we are in, the trolls come in droves. Unhappy people assemble to tear us apart, criticize us, make assumptions about who we are, and boldly suggest how we should be, act, look, eat, etc. People can be terrible. (See @thegarciadiaries post for some examples. 🙄)⠀ *⠀ But. Something I learned from Brené Brown long ago has resounded in my head over the last few days.⠀ *⠀ Brené said “You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness. What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?”⠀ *⠀ She also said- “A lot of cheap seats in the arena are filled with people who never venture onto the floor. They just hurl mean spirited criticisms and put downs from a safe distance. When we are defined by what people think we lose the courage to be vulnerable.”⠀ *⠀ So, I’m not giving my story to the people in the cheap seats. I’m giving my story to the women who saw themselves represented. To the woman who said she’d always thought her legs were too big for white jeans or her she couldn’t show her arms before we empowered her. It’s for the woman who said she’d never gone to the pool without a coverup on before she saw my posts. They are my people. Because vulnerability isn’t a weakness, it’s what will bring us back to each other. There will always be uninformed, insecure, hurt people with claws out. ⠀ *⠀ The minority is loud, but we are louder.⠀ #this_is_postpartum

17 Likes, 0 Comments – Anita’s Accesorios (@anitasaccesorios) on Instagram: “Applause 👏 . Repost from @katiemcrenshaw using @RepostRegramApp – Almost two weeks ago, I traveled…”

Little did I know that big belly would be this #snugglebug #yogababy, with his huge head of blonde hair! And no, 2 years #postpartum with this guy I don’t have a #flatbelly, or visible abs, or size 0 pants. I have some #stretchmarks, some #babybelly left, and I wear a size 8. And you know what, I’m proud. I’m happy. And I’m in the best shape of my life. To all those mamas posting #this_is_postpartum, I commend you. For being real and honest and to have the courage to share the unphotoshopped life of a mom! It’s beautiful and you’re beautiful.

1,168 Likes, 41 Comments – #yogamama + her #yogaboys (@studioartyoga) on Instagram: “Little did I know that big belly would be this #snugglebug #yogababy, with his huge head of blonde…”

Embracing her scars, Kristin writes, “Little did I know that big belly would be this #snugglebug#yogababy, with his huge head of blonde hair! And no, 2 years #postpartum with this guy I don’t have a #flatbelly, or visible abs, or size 0 pants. I have some #stretchmarks, some #babybelly left, and I wear a size 8. And you know what, I’m proud. I’m happy. And I’m in the best shape of my life. To all those mamas posting #this_is_postpartum, I commend you. For being real and honest and to have the courage to share the un-photoshopped life of a mom! It’s beautiful and you’re beautiful.”

I’ve been working out for 5 solid straight months and this is all I have to show for it?! ✨ Those are the negative thoughts that crept in my mind when I took this photo. Those anger hisses of doubt and self loathing. You’re pathetic. It looks like you did nothing! ✨ Actually- you have done so much. You get up every morning at 5am to get a work out in. You’re dedicated to getting it done and despite that fake 6 pack society says you should get, you also kept 2 babies in there. ✨ What do you say? Let’s stop the self hate and start with the self love. It’s time we share all our bodies, tall, thick, thin, brown black, purple and white. Tell me in the comments what’s one thing you love about yourself. I’ll be here all day ❤️#this_is_postpartum

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Cait writes, “I’ve been working out for 5 solid straight months and this is all I have to show for it?! Those are the negative thoughts that crept in my mind when I took this photo. Those anger hisses of doubt and self-loathing. You’re pathetic. It looks like you did nothing! Actually- you have done so much. You get up every morning at 5am to get a work out in. You’re dedicated to getting it done and despite that fake 6 pack society says you should get, you also kept 2 babies in there.
What do you say? Let’s stop the self-hate and start with self-love. It’s time we share all our bodies, tall, thick, thin, brown-black, purple and white. ❤️#this_is_postpartum

 

#Repost @cnn ・・・ This mom is on a mission to redefine the public perception of a woman’s postpartum body. Mother and blogger Meg Boggs felt like she couldn’t find images of other pregnant or postpartum women who looked like her on social media. “I felt as if my postpartum journey and body didn’t count.” After posting photos of herself, she asked other mothers to share their experiences with body image issues, postpartum depression and anxiety, and infant loss and grief using the hashtag #This_is_postpartum on Instagram. Sometimes, there are people that try to bring them down but Boggs says that, “I can get hundreds of negative comments but it’s that one message that I’ll get, even if it’s just the one that says ‘This is what I needed to see today,’ it’s those messages that remind me that it’s worth it.” #thisispostpartum

8 Likes, 0 Comments – Bibi Thaiss (@bibithaiss) on Instagram: “#Repost @cnn ・・・ This mom is on a mission to redefine the public perception of a woman’s postpartum…”

When I first made the decision to post these pictures, I felt like I owed the Instagram world an explanation as to why there wasn’t a big difference in the pictures. Or why my stomach still looks “like that.” Or why I have all that extra skin. I think, as women, we often feel the need to offer up excuses in order to protect ourselves from what we believe other people are thinking about us. And to be honest, I think I’m kind of done doing that. . It doesn’t stop with just the physical things. We often feel the need to defend our new hobby, the way we parent or why we chose to go back to work/stay at home with our babies. . When I was a preteen, I remember taking hours trying to figure out what to wear. If the blue accent on my belt didn’t match my Roxy shirt exactly, LOOK OUT! It was the end of the world 😂. My mom used to say “Only you notice it.” This phrase is one I repeat from time to time when I find that I’m being too critical of myself. . It isn’t always easy but I encourage you ladies to take pride in your body no matter what shape it is or how different it looks now, to have confidence in your decisions no matter how “hot topic” they may be and have joy in being you! Pull an @oprah and OWN it!

133 Likes, 81 Comments – Jessica Spence (@jessica.ann.spence) on Instagram: “When I first made the decision to post these pictures, I felt like I owed the Instagram world an…”

I thought I would be more self conscious about my tiger stripes, but I realized that there’s absolutely no reason to be. This body made a HUMAN BEING. It grew a life! 👶🏻🎉 Before Peter came along, infertility was one of my biggest fears. Then when I got pregnant, I felt guilty for being pregnant while so many other women struggled with conceiving; until I realized there’s no reason to feel that way either. I’m so much more grateful for the opportunity to sustain my child from conception. So I wear my marks with pride and an unmeasurable amount of love, because they truly are a blessing 💕 . . . #tigerstripes #postpartumbody #postpartumhealth #postpartumpositivity #postpartumbelly #postpartumsupport #momlife #momlifebelike #momlifeisthebestlife #momlifestyle #momliferocks #motherhood #momlifebestlife #momlifebalance #momliferules #momlifeunfiltered #momlifeisgood #momsofinstagram #mommyhood #momlifeinspo #this_is_postpartum

80 Likes, 5 Comments – Hannah Gibson (@hannah.rose.gibson) on Instagram: “I thought I would be more self conscious about my tiger stripes, but I realized that there’s…”

Hannah writes, “I thought I would be more self-conscious about my tiger stripes, but I realized that there’s absolutely no reason to be. This body made a HUMAN BEING. It grew a life! Before Peter came along, infertility was one of my biggest fears. Then when I got pregnant, I felt guilty for being pregnant while so many other women struggled with conceiving; until I realized there’s no reason to feel that way either. I’m so much more grateful for the opportunity to sustain my child from conception.

So I wear my marks with pride and an unmeasurable amount of love because they truly are a blessing.”

Feature image credit: Hannah Gibson

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