Like most women, I gained a lot of weight during pregnancy. To be honest, I wasn’t sad or depressed about my postpartum body as I was (and I still am) overwhelmed with joy and love for our daughter.
However, a few weeks after giving birth I met a guy who I used to know from university. His first words to me were: “Whoa, you gained a lot of weight! Do something about it so you are attractive again.”
After coming home, I spent a while looking into the mirror, evaluating my postpartum body and suddenly, I was feeling very unattractive. I was comparing myself to all the skinny girls out there (although I was never considered skinny even before pregnancy).
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I also realized the postpartum body is something you don’t hear about a lot – at least in my country. In my country, the popular opinion is that “postpartum body or, basically, any not-model-like body is something that makes you very unattractive, so you shouldn’t show it until you are back in shape again – and get back in shape as fast as you can, it cannot be that hard”.
Even in my surrounding, there are quite a lot of women who are trying their hardest to look like those skinny models; they don’t eat properly, they are stressed a lot – all because they want to be attractive based on “photo model look” beauty standards.
I decided to take photos of myself to overcome the negative feelings I suddenly had about my postpartum body and also to show others there is nothing to be ashamed of. I also decided to give them a “motherhood touch”. However, after checking my own photos, my first thought was: “Gosh, I am fat, I have to do some post-editing to make myself look skinnier, to make my skin look smoother, I have to retouch the dark circles under my eyes, I have to erase the second chin, etc.”. Yup, the beauty standards affected me that much.
Then I remembered the real purpose of the photo-shoot and I didn’t edit my body at all. I will never look like a model and I know it. I like myself and I like my body – my daughter was growing in it for nine months, so for me and for my partner, it is the most amazing body in the world.
It is ok to look however you want – as long as you are healthy and happy with yourself. You are beautiful exactly the way you are. Just stop comparing yourself to others. It is incredibly hard, but once you are able to manage it, you will suddenly feel happy and free.