Ok, I think by now the mass hysteria the oh-so-perfect Goddess incited amongst the social media realm has died down a bit. For most. And then you have the new(ish) mothers out there who are still harping on her one month postpartum baby photo. The viral photo that caused a bigger stir than a buy one box get three free diaper sale on Black Friday. I am one of those women. Beyoncé, what have you done? I’ll tell you.
If you aren’t living under a rock, you have undoubtedly seen this infamous instagram photo. You likely reacted one of three ways. 1.)”Oh em geee this picture is peeeerfect!!!!” and commenced tagging your bffs so they too can oogle over Queen Bey’s perfection. 2.) “Well, isn’t THIS a load of crap? NO ONE looks like that so soon after having twins!” and commenced tagging your BFFs so they too can be mad at this blatantly insensitive insult to mothers everywhere. 3.) And then you have the third mixed reaction. This was me. My reaction was a strong combination of both 1 & 2. (Actually, my exact initial reaction was “I want two more!” and I asked my husband how he felt about having another set. For some reason shot me down immediately.)
As I looked at the photo my self-esteem began to drop. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who felt my insecurities resurfacing (we all have them) and many women used social media to bash the new Mom. Many were claiming that as a role model she should know better than to give the world such an unrealistic view of what a woman should look like postpartum. How DARE she look so perfect while the rest of us had to wear maternity clothes well into our babies’ three month checkup? The more I read, the more I realized this: what the hell?
Since when was it ok for women to bash one another over their personal life choices, especially women who are in a sensitive postpartum stage of potential depression? We consistently advocate for and spread messages about body positivity and accepting ourselves for who we are, what we look like, “going for it” when it comes to health and fitness, but once we see people taking what is assumed to be the “easy way out” we become a hostile, shaming, judgmental mob. No. That didn’t sit well with me. What also didn’t sit well with me was my own feelings of insecurity. I decided it was time to work on improving my overall health for my own sake and that of my children (this time it would be for real! I swore it! 37th time’s the charm right?!) That little black dress from two Christmases ago was calling my name. I wanted to look good in it again. That same week, I rejoined my old gym.
Beyoncé was the wake up call I needed. I saw a beautiful, confident goddess when I saw that instagram post. I know I am one too, because all loving mothers who sacrifice their bodies to give life are, but I didn’t FEEL like one. So my fitness journey commenced. Again. I will admit that I started my weight loss workouts for all the wrong reasons. I felt a pang of jealously and I believed that the only way to fix it was to get myself back in shape. I made sure to join a gym with great childcare so my 2 year old twins and 6 year old could come along. No excuses. I was doing this right.
After a couple of weeks something amazing happened. The scale showed I had lost 5lbs. That wasn’t the amazing part. What was amazing was how I started to FEEL physically. I started to have more energy. I started to sleep better. My attention span was improving and I realized that THIS is what shoud motivate me to continue. It wasn’t about wanting to look like a celebrity. It was about finally getting myself to feel physically better, and I could in turn be a better mother to my children. Physical health and mental health go hand in hand and my confidence shot through the roof! I’m only a short 6 weeks into this weight loss journey and last I checked I lost 10lbs. In 6 weeks. Not bad.
So here is my point. Stop worrying about Beyoncé. Stop worrying about KimK or any number of celebrities who make a decision to show the world their perfect bodies (Yes, I know, many would say KimK is not a definition of “perfect” but that’s another good point. She feels she is so who cares? Live and let live.) I understand many will say their celebrity status makes them role models whether they want to be or not, but we should all know better than to measure our own worth by comparing ourselves to rich celebrities. We have children to raise. Let’s show them what a role model is by showing them our best selves.
On another note: have you had a tummy tuck, breast augmentation, gotten your stomach stapled, gotten “sleeved,” liposuction or had any sort of procedure done to improve your physical appearance while the rest of us are busting our butts doing it the old fashion blood-sweat-and-tears way? Let me tell you what I think of you: CONGRATULATIONS on making the personal decision to improve your health or physical appearance despite potential judgement from others. Choosing to have cosmetic surgery is not easy (or cheap) and I commend you for taking the leap! You have every right to do whatever you feel is right for you given that you did it in a way that didn’t harm you (synthetic biopolymer implants anyone? The horror stories I’ve read about…)
Ladies, we need to stop being judgmental. We need to focus on improving OURSELVES both physically and mentally. Be happy for the mamas who look incredulously perfect postpartum. Be happy for the mamas who DON’T look so perfect but feel good about themselves regardless. Let’s build each other up while at the same time figuring out what it is WE want and strive for self-improvement.
So again, thanks a lot Beyoncé. Thanks for posting the picture that started me on my weighloss journey for all the wrong reasons but eventually kept me on track for all the right reasons. Keep being the goddess we know all women are.