Body-shaming Double Standards

I have never been so angry so early in the morning. Ok, yes I have, but it’s usually because my husband has awakened the baby while getting ready for work and/or I still haven’t had coffee.

On my local morning show, I saw a story about a woman, Caroline Berg Eriksen, who ‘started a firestorm’ about posting a picture of herself on Instagram four days after having her baby. She is a fitness buff/guru who runs a popular fitness blog, and worked out all through her pregnancy.

The only ‘firestorm’ I see here is the way she is being treated by other new moms. Every single article I found spoke about how the picture is “setting a bad precedent for new moms” and making new moms “more ashamed of their bodies needlessly”.

You know who is setting the bad precedent here for new moms? The new moms who are shaming her for her body. She looks fantastic, and she should – she was a fitness buff before and all through her pregnancy.

I am disgusted by what a double standard this is, and the ones who are decrying “body-shaming” are doing exactly that to her. By telling her she is making other new moms “feel ashamed”, they are trying to force her to feel ashamed. I am ASHAMED that this is happening to her.

I found comments, tweets, and even entire columns dedicated to telling her she should be ashamed. asking “How is this positive, what point are you trying to make here?” You know what’s not positive? YOU. By asking her that, you are doing to her EXACTLY what you claim she is doing to you.

I am not thin; I have not been for 15 years. At 250 lbs, not all of that is pregnancy weight (ok, none of it is). I was so elated to still look the same after I had my baby 6 months ago I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. And so should she. I take responsibility for the way my body looks, and I will feel good or bad about it on my own terms, and because of MY choices – not because someone else has a better body than me. I worked out before my pregnancy, but I was 250 lbs then too.

Our bodies change post-pregnancy, all of us; whether it is on the outside or the inside. I am sad that this woman is facing this backlash for having worked hard for the body she has.

We need to spend less time looking to others for our own happiness and for others to blame for our unhappiness, and more time being happy and proud of our sisters who do well.

 

6 comments

  1. I also wanted to clarify that I am well aware that some people have weight or body issues because of real medical problems. By me stating that I take responsibility for my body’s appearance was not an implication that everyone has control over how they look.

  2. I agree with you to an extant. I didn’t like how it said something about ‘what’s your excuse?’

    My excuse is, I’m not her. I’m me. I’m not a fitness buff, I didn’t work out my whole pregnancy. Why should she expect everyone to look like that when that’s not everyone’s lifestyle? I felt like she was calling me out, calling all women like me out. That’s what I found offensive.

    I wish I looked like her but I’m not willing to die trying. Lol And that’s what would happen, I would die. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this its an awesome read!

  3. Oh no, I was all over that “What’s your excuse” bitch like white on rice! This woman isn’t her. All this woman did was post a pic on her own Instagram, and it went viral with nasty comments..I sincerely felt bad for her.

    We could try it, and be buried beside each other! lol And thanks for reading! 🙂

  4. I tend to stay away from women body image arguments, but I did enjoy reading this. There always seems to be a “body image war” going on. I just smile and tell my wife she looks great.

  5. Hmmmm. I read the article and came away with my usual urge to dig a bomb shelter, stock it with vodka and carbs and never come out. She looks amazing. She’s totally hot. Much of our post-pregnancy recovery is genetic, some of it is within our control, and some is just luck. Good for her, but I’m having a hard time with this picture. Every skinny girl I have seen post-partum, no matter how thin, her belly button looks like it belongs on a part of her body that we normally don’t see in undie pics.

    Given the narcissistic nature of the pink push up and boy-cuts, ironically worn at a time when she can’t even have sexy time – unless she somehow managed to avoid stretching that at well…..I just think it’s silly. Which do you think chafes more in that get-up, her boobs or her episiotomy?

    However, you are right that the first thing we do as women is claw the shit out of each other. Had she posted a picture more typical of 4 days post partum, she would have been torn to shreds as well. My, point, and I do have one, is that she could have done a lot more for new mothers by posting information about reasonable expectations, suggestions for recovery, etc. than she did by posting a pic of herself in her undies. And we could do a lot more for each other as women BY NOT FOCUSING ON STUPID SHIT LIKE THIS. Show me a picture of the baby. Remember the baby?

    *looks for shovel and vodka*

    1. Definitely, to all of it! I couldn’t get past the outrage at her, though. I was really mad at the things people were saying, and shaming her for shaming everyone else, when she didn’t. My bottom line is that everyone’s body is different, everyone bounces back (or not, in my case!) differently, and we should all just shut the fuck up if we only have negative things to say about each other. And yes, the BABY! And the vodka. Viva la Vodka.

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