I was flicking through a copy of the Who Magazine last week when I came across this photo of Buffy, I mean, Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Having given birth in September to her first child, daughter Charlotte, the magazine made reference to her "Buffy buffness" just less than a month later. And she does look great.
But often, when we read such articles (of which there are many) all of us "normal" mums out there move in to protest mode. "Oh - it's not fair. Of course she looks good. She probably has a personal trainer, a nanny and a team of people who can help her out!" And whilst that's possibly true, I can only imagine what sort of pressure is placed on the shoulders of female celebrities to look good so soon after birth. We often blame celebrities, and photos of them post-baby, for our own insecurities we experience about our bodies after our little ones are born. But when it comes to regaining their pre-baby figure, I actually feel a bit sorry for them. Why? Well, there's enough pressure on us "normal" women to look good. The speed in which we mothers try to get our bodies back in to its former shape after giving birth often becomes nothing short of some gladiatorial battle with each other. Imagine how celebs feel?
About a month after the birth of my second son, Hubby and I hosted a birthday party for our eldest son's 2nd birthday. When the guests arrived, I remember most of the other Mums present directed their eyes almost immediately to my stomach. Although it didn't worry me too much, I did feel conscious that I was being judged as to how well my body had "recovered" after giving birth. And that's what women do. We size each other up, sometimes without meaning to. I know that after my third son was born, I felt frustrated that I hadn't looked after my body more during my pregnancy. In fact, about a year later, a few other mums at my sons' school gave birth to their third child and not long after looked...well, nothing short of amazing! In fact, their bodies a couple of months post baby looked better than mine a good year and bit after my son was born! (I wholeheartedly believe that Pilates, of which they used as their exercise routine, played a big role in their great post-baby figures, and if I had my time again, I'd make sure to take it up before pregnancy, maintain it through pregnancy, and then keep going to classes post-birth.)
But that was just a few mums I experienced affecting how I felt. When a celebrity mother walks out of her front door, she often has to deal with a bevy of paparazzi photographers, vying to shoot her from an unfortunate angle so it can make the pages of magazines all over the world. Their whole career is based partly on how they look. Let's be honest about that. It does. So, can you only imagine how much pressure they feel to look their best ASAP?
And I know, I know. So much emphasis shouldn't be on how our bodies look after having a baby, and the magazines that publish photos of Heidi Klum for instance, walking the catwalk at a Victoria's Secret parade in 2005 just 8 weeks after giving birth, looking INCREDIBLE do nothing to increase our own sense of confidence in our body. But I do get why some celebs do it - that is, pose for magazines in their bikinis etc looking buffed shortly after giving birth. I don't believe they're trying to throw it in our face and make us feel less of a person because we don't look like them. I think they do it for themselves. They want to feel great again. Their choice of career feeds off what people think about how they look, and I'm quite sure they are all well aware of that. I mean, who'd want to open up a magazine every day and see their muffin top sticking out over their jeans and stretch marks on their tummy and legs? I know I wouldn't want that. I have a problem seeing that in the mirror, in the privacy of my own bathroom. In a mag? No, thank you.
So, let's give celebs a break. If we stopped making such a fuss of how good they look (or don't) post-pregnancy, then maybe they wouldn't be in such a rush to do so. (And, God forbid, do it in an unhealthy way, as many of them may do.) I don't blame them. The pressure is ON.
Until next time...