Our society is OBSESSED with women’s bodies. And, when it comes to pregnant women and the bodies of mothers, it’s an eternal spiral of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” A woman will never be able to escape the comments about her appearance and unsolicited advice to improve her image. Case in point: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. In case you missed it, she’s pregnant again. But really how could you miss the big news? Practically every article announcing her pregnancy either marveled over her trim figure or shamed her for being shockingly thin. How could we ever forget the scrutiny she faced when she was photographed after giving birth with little George, looking - God forbid- still pregnant.
If being royalty doesn’t grant you immunity from the scathing public eye, then neither does being an A-list actress or Grammy Award winning artist. We as a society should celebrate the changes that a woman's body goes through when she gets pregnant, as well as her postpartum body. Yet, our society expects celebs to snap back immediately and share with us their secrets to getting a bikini body 2 weeks after giving birth. These 15 celeb moms have been selected because their “post-baby” bodies endured unspeakable public scrutiny. However, these moms did not hesitate to speak out against unrealistic standards our society sets for women.
Starting off the list is Kim Kardashian. She’s famous for well, being famous, and is definitely no stranger to the public eye. But even for someone who got her first 15 minute of fame from a video featuring adult content, having constant media attention her ever-growing body must have been unbearable. Regardless if you think Kim K. brought the scrutiny on herself not, no mama deserves to have her postpartum body mocked. She was very open about her pregnancy struggles and her battle with preeclampsia, a life-threatening condition. For anyone wondering why she looked so big after giving birth, just read a bit on her website on how traumatic her birth experience was. It’s no wonder why she opted to forgo the gym and for bed rest and TLC with her baby.
For every celeb who has staged a postpartum appearance in front of the paps and and an airbrushed to hell and back gossip rag cover celebrating how so-and-so got their sexy back, remember that Jennifer Garner is not here for it. Moms everywhere stanned hard this mom of three after her 2014 appearance on daytime talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show. When being asked about rumors of a possible fourth pregnancy with then husband Ben Affleck, Jennifer proudly exclaimed to host Ellen, “From now on, ladies, I will have a bump, and it will be my baby bump. It’s not going anywhere,” she said. “Its name is Violet, Sam and Sera.” How’s that for a clapback? Perhaps we could all learn a lesson from Jennifer Garner and start slaying our postpartum body haters with kindness.
We’ve seen Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett go from Playboy Playmate to parent. She’s no stranger to the public eye: Kendra doesn’t hold back and has baring her soul and body in her appearances in Playboy magazine and as a cast member and live-in girlfriend of Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner in the hit E! reality series, The Girls Next Door. On top of that, her best-selling books have given us an insider’s view of coping with life in the spotlight and dealing with postpartum depression. She’s a pro at revealing herself on camera, so it must have been a cathartic moment for new moms when Kendra revealed her unfiltered and retouched post-baby body, stretchmarks and all, on Instagram for Mother’s day 2016. She proudly captioned the photo: “Look what my 2 babies did… They made me happy. #happymothersday.” As long as Kendra’s happy with her body, that’s all that matters, right?
The Elusive Chanteuse Mariah Carey is an over-the-top diva who lives in her own bubble of luxury and excess. She’s opened up about her 70 pound weight gain during pregnancy, and how she indulged herself with hearty Italian meals and soul food when pregnant with her twins Moroccan and Monroe in 2011. Mariah also admitted to something that many of us moms can relate to - not looking at the scale. Considering that Mariah battled edema throughout her body that caused intense swelling, it’s easy to understand why she shied away from the scales and kept this approach even after giving birth. “I never weighed myself. People will think I’m a liar but it’s true...“I would tend to go, ‘Does this size dress fit me that I wore three years ago? I’m good, let’s go.’” We hear you, Mariah!
If there’s anyone who is the living embodiment of the age old saying, “What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger,” it’s undoubtedly actress Drew Barrymore. Her childhood was anything but idyllic, scarred with drug and alcohol abuse and trips rehab as well. Still, the Hollywood star managed to come out to top to become an award winning director and producer as well. Given all the struggle that Drew has been through in her life, it’s clear that losing the baby weight was not a priority for her. After all, she’s faced much worse demons. Nevertheless, she faced intense public scrutiny for still looking pregnant despite giving birth. Rather than hit back at online trolls, Drew simply shrugged off the criticism and said, “I would much rather have my kids and look a little worse in a bathing suit!”
She wowed us with her bold voice as the original American Idol who took over the pop charts with songs of empowerment and love. While other Idol contestants floundered into obscurity, Kelly Clarkson proved to us that she was here to stay. Throughout her career, Kelly has endured much public scrutiny over her weight. Needless, to say, comments about her weight continued after the she gave birth to her children. “I don't obsess about my weight,” Kelly said rather offhandedly, “which is probably one of the reasons why other people have such a problem with it.” Online trolls should have known better to try to pull Kelly down. After all, she very publicly fought with major record label RCA for control over her third studio album, My December. You really think she’d let a few anonymous words get to her?
We may not have all the awards and accolades that Kate Winslet has, nor do we have Leonardo DiCaprio as a totally dependable BFF. However, when it comes to her post baby weight and the struggle to drop the pounds, Kate has proven that she’s just like us and doesn’t give AF - honestly, truly. In 2015, the Oscar winning mom of three candidly told Harper’s Bazaar UK, “My body will never go back to what it was and I wouldn't expect it to after three babies. I so didn't want to be one of those 'Oh, wow, she's back in shape after 12 weeks' women. When I read things like that, I just think, 'Oh, for f---'s sake, that's actually impossible." She later added: "How does anyone have the time?" Thank you, Kate, for being the voice of reason!
As if we needed any more confirmation that songstress Pink is a badass mom of two, she’s shown us that she couldn't’ care less about what trolls hiding behind a computer screen have to say. She’s never shied away from hitting out at body shamers who have relentlessly attacked her throughout her career. In a candid Instagram post, Pink admitted to her 1.5 million followers: “'Would you believe I'm 160 pounds and 5'3"? By 'regular standards' that makes me obese. I know I'm not at my goal or anywhere near it after Baby 2 but dammit I don't feel obese. The only thing I’m feeling is myself. Stay off that scale ladies!” She’s committed to losing her baby weight at a her own pace. It won’t be long before we see her back on stage doing her thang.
When it comes to speaking out against Hollywood’s ridiculous standards for women and the media scrutiny surrounding celebs, girl mom of two Kristen Bell is a true activist, never one to hold back what’s really on her mind. She publicly revealed that she gained 43 pounds during her first pregnancy but slowly lost weight through a combination of diet, breastfeeding and low impact cardio.The Hollywood legend in the making has also been quoted as saying after her second pregnancy: “'I’d like to get back down to where I was before the baby. … But if this is where my body wants to be, so be it. I’m not going to make myself miserable for the rest of my life trying to get back to where I was before.” We can always count on Kristen Bell to the the voice of reason in Hollywood.
Back in May 2010, award winning actress gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Aviana. Almost immediately after giving birth, Amy faced intense pressure from the Hollywood machine to lose the weight she gained during her pregnancy - and more. Yet, she never caved into the pressure. She revealed to Parade Magazine: “Being pregnant finally helped me understand what my true relationship was with my body —meaning that it wasn’t put on this earth to look good in a swimsuit.” And if a woman embracing her post baby weight wasn’t enough to stop the haters, Amy rubbed her body positivity in their faces by taking up an unconventional method to help her get in shape for her next movie role. Her secret? Pole dancing classes! Amy Adams is the sexy stripping mama we could only aspire to be!
Hilary Duff has been in the public eye way back since her breakout role on the hit Disney TV series, Lizzie McGuire. As a child actress, she faced immense pressure to stay thin, a struggle that stayed with her throughout her career. When she became a mom, she said,“Oh my God, everyone was so hard on me because it took me a year and a half to get my body back!” She also revealed how gossip magazines twist things to sell copies, especially when it comes to stars’ weight gain and other body issues. When she went out to a hair salon half a month after giving birth to her son, Luca, she revealed "[Magazines were] like, 'Hilary Debuts Her Post-Baby Body!' I was like, I'm not debuting s--t right now. I'm just going on an errand run! There is way too much pressure on women these days." Preach, sister! No one here has time for that!
Another child star who grew up in the public eye amidst harsh criticism about her weight, mega superstar Janet Jackson is no stranger to the harsh reality of fame, undue pressure, body image issues, and yo-yo dieting. While she shocked the world with her surprise pregnancy announcement in 2016, further media scrutiny continued as she gained a reported 70 pounds while being pregnant with her son, Eissa. When she was photographed after giving birth in January 2017, both fans and industry insiders even speculated if she could ever shed the pounds and snatch back her old “Rhythm Nation” body. However, Janet was able to shake off the haters - and the extra pounds - through good old fashioned training, dieting, and clean eating, and is currently preparing to resume her world tour.
Small framed moms empathize so much with Christina Aguilera’s weight issues. On a tiny frame like hers, even 5 pounds can look like 10. Christina has very publicly gone through several cycles of weight gain and weight loss, which include the weight gained after her divorce, and the weight she gained and lost over the course of two pregnancies. We were with legendary songstress Christina Aguilera every step of the way of her pregnancy and watched her gain and lose pounds as a panelist on the hit reality show, The Voice. Being pregnant is hard. But being constantly filmed as your body goes through the incredible physical changes of pregnancy is a completely different scenario. Christina Aguilera handled the limelight and criticism with grace, and went as far as defying haters by continuously stepping out in sky high heels and cleaving-baring, form fitting ensembles.
Sources: People.com, Health.com, DailyMail.com, Eonline.com
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