You know what the mommy wars needed? A big ole dose of body shaming!
Fitness blogger Maria Kang posted the above image on Facebook this week and the image went VIRAL. 16 million views viral. 12,0000 comments viral. People reacted strongly - both in support and in disgust - to the image of Kang in a bikini with her three small children surrounding her under the caption, "What's your excuse?"
The implication is clear. If you have recently given birth or have young children, that is not an excuse from being fit (if we're being generous) or thin (if we're not).
Look, I'm happy for Maria Kang. If physical fitness is a passion of hers and she has the time and resources to pursue that passion, then good for her. However, that IS NOT - and need not - be the reality for most mothers out there.
First of all, what's the dang hurry? I've always been a fan of the phrase "nine months on, nine months off" in regards to dreaded baby weight. That doesn't mean I applied it like a ticking time bomb to my own body. It took some serious time and big changes to my diet to finally lose all my baby weight after Amos and that's ok.
Not to mention, even after I lost that weight, my body sure as heck didn't look like Kang's. For most women, having babies changes their bodies permanently . If you benefit from great genetics or are married to a plastic surgeon, then I'm happy for you (I guess...) but that standard need not and must not apply to us all.
Second of all, our society tells a woman from a very young age that her value is indelibly linked to her appearance. Motherhood used to be the last refuge from those types of expectations. Those of us who had recently reproduced or spent most of our waking hours raising the next generation got a pass.
Well, no longer. Now we're expected to be bikini ready within months (or weeks!). It's bad enough to have that message screaming from every celebrity rag in the checkout aisle. Now, we're expected to take this crap from "average moms" invading our Facebook feed!?!
Enough is enough.
Maria Kang, you're right I don't have an excuse.
Because I don't need a damn excuse.
I want to be happy and healthy and confident and that doesn't have anything to do with what I look like in a bikini.
Time to ignore Maria Kang and support Jade Beall.
Time to ignore Maria Kang and embrace the 4th Trimester Body Project.
Time to embrace the bodies we HAVE - not the bodies others want to look at.
What about you? Did you struggle with your post-baby body?