Let’s face it. Pregnancy takes a tremendous toll on a woman’s body. It’s more than just weight gain—there’s pregnancy related illnesses such as higher blood pressure or gestational diabetes, there are skin conditions that result from pregnancy hormones such as acne or skin pigmentation changes, not to mention stretch marks.
Sure, there are a lucky few women who seem to carry babies like it’s nothing; they gain not an ounce of fat and any belly growth is due only to the baby inside them. Their arms and legs remain thin, their skin remains clear, and they bounce back to their pre-pregnancy body within a week of giving birth. But these types are rare.
For the rest of us, pregnancy has some vicious side effects—mainly in the looks department. Even celebrities—the physically elite—have the same problems the rest of us humans do. Perhaps that’s why articles like this can actually help the rest of us feel better about our physical limitations, especially after pregnancy. If THEY struggle with the same issues we do, maybe we don’t have to feel so bad about the fact that it’s been two years since baby was born, and we still have some baby weight hangin’ around.
Some celebrities do bounce back remarkably fast, but there are also some beautiful celebrities who lost their looks, if only for a time, after pregnancy. It may seem mean-spirited to talk about the celebrities who did not make the hot list after baby was born, but really, their struggles become our struggles. We should learn from them, otherwise what are celebrities for?
14 Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey had a very difficult pregnancy with twins, which included bed rest. She states during an interview on The Rosie Show that she developed edema, which is water and swelling. All that swelling and extra weight didn’t do her looks any favors, and after the twins were born she struggled to get the weight off. She looked like a completely different person, especially in the face. Add to the extreme weight gain the fact that she had to have a C-section, and post-baby workouts were just not happening. Eventually, Mariah was able to do some light workouts, which included swimming and walking the dogs. Later, she was finally able to get some of the weight off when she joined the Jenny Craig program—at one point she became a spokesperson for them. I still don’t think Mariah is back to her pre-baby beauty, but twins are tough…we should cut her a little slack.
13 Chaka Khan
Chaka Khan has always been a gifted recording artist, winning ten Grammys, and in the past she was a major sex symbol. She was completely stunning in her youth, but age and children caught up with her and she lost her good looks. Still an amazing woman, to be sure, but we’re happy that she has lost some weight recently. She attributes her weight loss to wanting to be there for her granddaughter, whom she adopted, and she put herself on a very strict diet. The first couple months of her weight loss journey she went on an all-liquid diet. Then she became vegan, cut out meats and dairy and more! Some speculate that Chaka Khan had surgery, but she denies it. While she is looking better these days than she did in her heavier days, she obviously will never be able to look as good as she did in her youth.
12 Kirstie Alley
Kirstie Alley's first and only pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage, but she explains that the pregnancy is what began her on a path of extensive weight gain. Having lost the baby, her hormones were still 'all over the place' and "When the baby was gone, I just didn’t really get over it. Neither did my body. I so thoroughly convinced my body that it was still pregnant after nine months that I had milk coming from my breasts. I was still fat, I was still grieving, and I had just been told it was very possible I would never be able to have children. Fat, childless, with little hope for any future children…that’s when I began to get fat." Kirstie ended up adopting two children later on, but she has struggled with her weight, health, and looks ever since. In looks-obsessed Hollywood, that struggle made an impact on her career. Still, she's trudged along and is still a household name.
11 Jessica Simpson
Blond bombshell Jessica Simpson made headlines when she gained massive amounts of weight while pregnant. Considered by many to be one of the sexiest women alive, some of the pictures of Jessica post-pregnancy aren't even recognizable, and I (and I'm sure others) had to look twice to be sure it was actually her. Pregnancy is different for everyone, and some women carry well, gaining weight only in the belly, whilst the rest of us gain weight 'all over'. There are also many diseases that cause excessive weight gain while pregnant, so we shouldn't judge people lazy just because they gain a lot of weight. Still, Jess took a huge hit in the 'sexy' category after packing on all those pounds. Men everywhere were shocked by the transformation! Jessica turned it around when she became a spokesperson for Weight Watchers, and she's since gained those looks back. It's hard to forget the post-pregnancy pics though.
10 Lily Allen
Many have criticized Lily Allen for gaining a great deal of weight during her pregnancies, but she had this to say to her critics: “Yes, after tragically losing a child so late into my pregnancy I may have gained a few pounds. I am one of many that find comfort in food.”
Allen, who had two daughters after the miscarriage also said, “The two pregnancies that followed were terrifying because of what had happened before and I was pretty much on bed rest for 20 months. I wasn't exercising because I didn't want to take any risks, and, funnily enough, the survival of my children felt more important than being thin."
Lily Allen makes a wonderful point, and her children’s safety is absolutely more important than her looks. Doesn’t change the fact that she did lose her good looks after her pregnancies, but if she works hard she could get them back.
9 Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera gained a ton of weight during her pregnancies, and she had a tough time slimming back down. She didn’t hide the fact that she has struggled with the weight gain. None of that is so unusual, but I found it a little ironic in her case because she really shamed Britney Spears for 'letting herself go' when she got pregnant and gained a lot of weight also. Christina's looks were even worse than Britney's after pregnancy. When I see Christina today, she still doesn't look like the girl who wanted to 'get dirty and rowdy'. After baby, looks change, and that's okay. Sometimes women will eventually get back to their pre-pregnancy weight and good looks, but in the case of Christina, I just don't think that it’s in the cards for her. She will just need to embrace her new looks and take it from there. Sorry Christina, but it’s just the truth!
8 Kelly Le Brock
A stunning woman before kids, Kelly Le Brock rocked her gorgeous body, especially in the 80s and 90s. Today is a different story and she admits that her looks are no longer what they were. “I’ve got the kids and all the stuff that makes us a little larger as we get older,” says Le Brock. She also states that she's okay with being a larger woman these days, because starving herself doesn't make her happy. She lost a whopping 31 pounds in 14 weeks when she was involved in Celebrity Fit Club, but she doesn't want to diet ever again. She doesn't mind getting Botox and other fillers to keep her face looking youthful, but she has vowed to never weigh herself again. Pregnancy can certainly pack on the pounds and three kids have done some damage to the once great beauty. As long as she's happy with the way she looks, then that should be fine with the rest of the world.
7 Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson has really struggled with her looks after pregnancy. She looks nothing like the girl she was before having kids and that’s okay.
She says herself: “There are just some people who are born skinny and with a great metabolism – that is not me.” There are many who believe that Kelly has gained a bit too much weight and is not working hard enough to get the weight off.
British TV personality Katie Hopkins tweeted a bunch of comments about Kelly, and even later in an interview with Access Hollywood Katie defended her position, saying 'ultimately Kelly Clarkson is a chunky monkey.'
It may sting a little to have your looks denigrated, but when you are in the public eye, you are expected to look your very best. Kelly’s chubby figure doesn’t appear to be her very best, in fact, I’m not sure she’s tried very hard at all to get back to her pre-pregnancy looks.
6 Kareena Kapoor
Actresses these days are closely scrutinized during and after their pregnancies. It's like we all think they are failing us if they don't slim down immediately after giving birth. Maybe we need some encouragement: "If they can do it, we can too!"
Some people call it fat shaming when the public comments on the fact that a star hasn't quite lost the baby weight, but sometimes we're just observing the facts. Kareena had this to say about pregnancy weight gain: “If you’ve put on a bit of weight on your face, your arms etc when you’re pregnant, it’s okay. It’s the only time you can proudly flaunt the extra kilos and say ‘I’m a woman, and this is what God has made, and it’s such a beautiful thing.’” True. It is a beautiful thing, but at what point is a person jeopardizing his or her health by holding onto that extra weight? Doctors will tell you to lose the weight, so it's not necessarily fat shaming when others say the same.
5 Britney Spears
Oh Brit, it’s true! You lost your looks after (and during) pregnancy. You let yourself go, perhaps because for the first time ever, you had a good reason to.
Britney Spears is pretty much famous because of her body. Let’s be honest here…it’s not because of her voice. That’s why her body sort of belongs to the public in a way. That’s why people become so vocal in the discussion of it. Some people say it’s judgmental and ‘just leave her alone!’ but I ask you, who would Britney be without her looks? If you are famous for your sex symbol status, do you owe it to the public to keep yourself in top shape at all times? Some people believe that in a way you do owe it to your fans to remain the beautiful you they love.
In recent years, Britney is back to being the bombshell the public adores, but we won’t forget the post-pregnancy years.
Pink's looks have changed post-pregnancy, and she seems to be okay with that fact. "I think people have gotten it wrong. They think their opinion matters and holds weight, and I don't know where or why they're giving themselves so much credit, you know? So I thought it was important for me to remind them that I don't care," she told Entertainment Tonight. This was directed towards a bunch of body-shamers who criticized her for wearing a gown that covered her body from head to toe. What was she trying to hide? We all just have to realize that good looks will suffer for our children. It's just a part of having them, and it's one of the tradeoffs. Losing your looks is not the worst thing that can happen to you, and most mothers believe that their new body is fine with them, because they've gained something so much more important—kids to love!
3 Hilary Duff
Hilary Duff beefed up quite a bit during her pregnancy; she looked a far cry from the fresh-faced child star that stole hearts. Even though her pregnancy definitely changed her looks for the worst, she was able to get most of them back eventually. She admitted that she took her time about getting the weight off. Having struggled with weight and her looks previously, she knew it might be tough to lose the 50 pounds of baby weight she gained. She admitted that getting those pounds off was even harder than she thought it was going to be. Still, Hilary gave herself longer than other celebrities—one year to be exact—to get the weight off, because she wanted to focus on her son. “I’d rather be happy than bitter because I can’t eat anything good!” Now, Hilary is looking great again, although she is admittedly thicker than she used to be. Some people are loving the thicker Hilary, though, so that’s great.
2 Keely Shaye Smith
Keely Shaye Smith has completely lost her looks after children. Many people on the Internet are shocked that hubby, Pierce Brosnan, is still married to her. When they met back in the 90s, she was a stunning actress and she's known for her roles in Unsolved Mysteries (1987), General Hospital (1963) and Premiere Bond: Die Another Day (2002). However, over the years her looks have changed dramatically. Much is blamed on her two pregnancies, a son and a daughter with Brosnan, but her appearance from then to now is pretty shocking. Still, her husband stands by her and seems content with her full figure. What a guy! As long as they are happy, who are we to judge? Brosnan has apparently said that he's fine with her extra pounds, and in fact threatened to divorce her if she ever went in for liposuction. I knew there was a reason I'm in love with that man!
1 Leah Remini
Leah has a lot to say about pregnancy, weight gain, and the obsession that society has with celebrities: “When you have a baby and you are not blessed with a metabolism [such] that you can get back into your jeans the very next day, it becomes something to focus on. I don’t even blame the papers. They are making money from it. But the people who are buying it? … I just went on [the] Tyra [Banks Show]. She has a great campaign called ‘So What?’ I think it’s fabulous. It’s about sending that message — yeah, I’m fat, or yeah, I’m chubby, or yeah, I have stretch marks: So what! I love that message.”
She also believes that people’s preoccupation with celebrities’ post-pregnancy bodies is ‘silly’. While we agree that celebrities do get judged rather harshly, we as a society can’t seem to help ourselves. We love our celebs and we obsess over them!