I've taken to my computer to vent and type furiously as I'm suddenly feeling most alarmed. Seven months pregnant and I'm noticing far too many stories in the media of women who are being celebrated for 'bouncing back to skinny three hours after their baby is born'!
Kate - outside the hospital, just pooped a princess out, and simultaneously popped her team in; hair and make up, personal trainer, stylist, and wham! - three hours later she looks like a skinny virginal Hollywood superstar. My younger less wise self would assume the mystical stork delivered our princess, into her skinny, toned open arms. But alas, I no longer believe in fairytales (sob!).
So now I'm well and truly up the duff and suddenly all I'm noticing in the media are headlines like 'bounced back' 'shredded baby weight' 'quickly got figure back'. Kiera Knightley, Abbey Clancy, Mila Kunis, Carey Mulligan - just to name a few - all women celebrated in the media for 'getting rid of that ghastly extra wobbly baby weight'.
I'll be honest, it's really starting to get my goat! Stories of magic - that 26lbs women notoriously put on during pregnancy gone in a flash - poof. According to medical research baby weight should realistically take at least six months to lose, and if it takes longer quite frankly so what! Yet the stories that dominate celebrate women who have lost the weight in mere weeks. You can add this to the long list of how the media sets unrealistic physical expectations for women.
Along with all the 'beach body ready' BS we have to endure it seems we are now dealing with a new message that tells women we should shed our baby weight immediately, and by not doing so, as a woman you're letting the side down.
Constant reminders of rich super stars who (along with their team of minions) shed their weight as if it's a disease that they've conquered. Not once in these stories do they mention that they have the money to afford a team of experts who help them in their quest to 'bounce back'.
Where are the celebrity stories in the media that represent the post-birth, hormonal, knackered wobbly reality that I know is true for so many new Mums? Seems to me that these stories barely exist, I certainly haven't ever seen one.
So, I'm concerned for the ladies who, like myself don't splash cash on personal trainers and dietitians and stylists because we have a mortgage to pay and a nursery to kit out....Priorities, right? What do women do when they don't have a team of crack experts to hand? Cry? Starve themselves? Or say - screw you the media - I'm doing this my way - I'm going to embrace my extra baby weight and have my baby on my terms. Oh yeah, that's what I'm saying!
So please, people of the media who print these stories of 'bouncing back', have a think before you file your copy next time and ask yourself if all this celebration of women being utterly perfect is in fact perpetuating low self-esteem among women who struggle to meet the unrealistic expectations that the media sets for us. Give us a break you lot!
To redress the balance here's what I suggest - if any journalists are reading this, I invite you to come round to my house a month after my baby is born, for a glamorous 'Bouncing back' photo shoot where I promise you I will strut my stuff in my sick stained dressing gown, with my long flowing greasy hair flapping in your wind machine. And when you ask me 'if I'm bouncing back?' I will grab my extra wobbly buttock fat and proudly declare - 'BOUNCING BACK...MY ARSE!'