‘Badass’ new mum shows undies to call out body shamers

Our bodies are pretty amazing, when you think about it. As well as keeping us moving, they are capable of creating a whole new human in just nine months – and then keeping them fed and content for many more months afterwards. That’s why one mum was so angry when the focus on her post-birth body was about how it looked, not what it had done – and her fury has stirred a global movement.

“Obviously you want to get back to your pre-baby weight.” That was one of the first things a personal trainer said to Australian mum Mel Rymill. “It wasn’t a question, it was a statement,” Ms Rymill writes on Facebook.

She was stunned, but she decided to turn her experience into something positive through this inspirational Facebook post – accompanied by a selfie she took dressed in only her underwear.

“I corrected her nicely by simply saying, ‘My goal is to regain my core strength and endurance … I’m not worried by how my body looks, only how it functions … it can be pretty badass’,” she writes.

So I had my first session with a PT today and the first thing she said to me was "Obviously you want to get back to your…

Posted by Mel Rymill on Thursday, 19 November 2015

“Post pregnant women are told they look good if they return to their pre-baby body quickly leading to the assumption that they look bad if the keep the extra weight. Skinny people are envied for their lack of fat or shamed for apparently starving themselves. Voluptuous women are either labelled fat and shamed or they’re labelled brave for being comfortable in their own skin. There is always pressure.

“No one is comfortable in their own skin 100 per cent of the time. Constantly labelling people and piling expectations associated with these labels on them is harmful to everyone … including those doing the labelling.”

She says we should be worrying about whether people are OK, not what they look like. “So here I am. I may not be magazine ready, my nana undies and bedtime nursing bra are certainly not going to be rocking a runway any time soon, my hair is greasy, I have no makeup on, my body is squishy and plentiful, I’m not even sure I’m totally OK. But I am strong. My body is healthy.” She finishes by urging women to join her #badassundies campaign. Her November 19 post has been shared more than 7000 times. And plenty have taken her challenge on board, posting their own photos on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  

In a follow-up post, Ms Rymill says she’s amazed by the response. “It is so empowering seeing all these awesome people owning their bodies and shouting it from the rooftops,” she writes.

She tells NBC’s Today show that pre-baby she played roller derby for seven years and was used to having a strong body, but she had to stop exercising during her high-risk pregnancy. She visited the personal trainer because she wanted to regain her strength, she says. “I loved being active and take pride in my body, but after giving birth I felt like I needed some guidance and motivation to become strong again.”



#noshame #badassundies #mombody #beautiful #tattoos A photo posted by April (@zombiemom6) on

The South Australian mum, 33, says the #badassundies post was a “spur of a moment thing”. “I looked in the mirror and started getting down on myself before snapping out of it and remembering that my body is amazing. It allows me to do amazing things.”

(Via Huffington Post; images via Facebook)



Michelle Rose

Michelle Rose

Michelle is a journalist and mum to two girls who are obsessed with dinosaurs, fairies, pirates and princesses in equal measure. She lives in Melbourne's east with her husband, daughters and a giant, untameable labradoodle. Michelle loves all things vegetarian, wine (it's a fruit) and online shopping.

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