Here's just a taste of the celebrity culture around pregnancy and beyond:
Jessica Simpson (click for source)
· Being paid an estimated $3 million by Weight Watcher to lose baby weight
· (Not to mention all the jokes about how big she got during pregnancy and how long the pregnancy was.)
Would you stick to a diet if you were getting paid $3 million?
Gwenyth Paltrow (click for source)
"Every woman can make time [for exercise] -- every woman -- and you can do it with your baby in the room."
Works out 2 hours every day with the help of a personal trainer to lose baby weight.
I don't think that Gwenyth Paltrow understands the limitations most women have when is comes to exercise after the baby. By the way, two hours every day is a bit excessive!
Maria Menounos (click for source, the actual quote is in the magazine not online)
Admits to being afraid to get pregnant because she doesn't want people to see her "hippy" body.
But you will pose nude for Allure? I guess the assurance of airbrushing makes it all better.
Mariah Carey (click for source)
Wore a towel in the bath so her husband couldn’t see her “rancid” body.
“I had, like, no bones for a while,” she said gesturing to her collarbone. “It’s important to me to feel my bones!”
Clearly Mariah Carey was uncomfortable with her body during pregnancy, which isn't uncommon for a lot of women. I'm just sad that she would call her body "rancid" on record. Not the example I want women to look up to.
Padma Lakshmi (click for source)
· "I felt good then, I feel good now, I'll feel even better when I lose the last 15 pounds" (gaining 25 pounds during pregnancy).
If you feel good about your post-baby body, why do you still need to lose 15 pounds?!?
Heidi Klum (click for source)
· Walked runway for Victoria Secret 5 weeks after having her fourth baby.
· Still hoping to lose 20 more pounds after being on the runway.
First of all, Heidi Klum is not the only model to walk the runway in a few short weeks after delivering a baby. The pressure to appear in public after giving birth seems to be mounting for celebrities. But seriously folks, most women are not ready to walk a runway 5 weeks postpartum. And most women would be very satisfied with their bodies if they could walk the runway--they wouldn't be complaining about needed to lose 20 more pounds!
The reality of most women's experience giving birth is so far-removed from celebrity culture. That's why one of my top pieces of advice is to throw out the magazines. Focus on the gift of motherhood (even though some days it feels like a curse), and be compassionate toward your body. You don't need timetables and comparisons to make life more stressful during pregnancy or postpartum.
What do you think of the media's portrayal of and celebrity expectations about pregnancy and post pregnancy?