A US-based mum and Instagrammer just shared the sort of post that’s guaranteed to strike a chord with other mums, and it’s sparking important conversations about more accurate representation of postpartum women in ads.
Ana Rojas Bastidas shared this image of herself, in maternity bra and undies, alongside one from an ad featuring a model similarly kitted out. And by similarly, we mean not very much the same, because the underwear is pretty much the only thing these shots have in common.
Ana’s a passionate body-acceptance advocate, and she pointed out that many, many women will not look like the “postpartum” woman in the ad she shared. She’s – quite rightly – worried about the impact this sort of messaging is having on new mums’ self-esteem.
Not keen to take this lying down, Ana’s urging women who’ve recently given birth to ignore the way women are represented in these maternity-type ad campaigns, and reminding us of the pressure these images can place upon already possibly-overwhelmed mums.
“Just because you never see anyone who looks like you in ads, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It means millions of people are not being represented.”
Ana says the misrepresentation of new mums in the media is fuelling a downward spiral in self-esteem in women – “we start the comparing and that’s when our self image goes to sh*t”
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I am now 2.5 weeks postpartum and finally getting around to buying more nursing bras. As I was browsing I came across this ad and just had to share. What happens in the absence of representation? Our brain recognizes that of all the examples of what a brand new mom is "supposed" to look like, that most of us don't even come close. Then, we start the comparing and that's when our self image goes to sh*t because you can't compete with a edited photo. Also, I can guess this model is not exactly 2 days out from giving birth like I was in the picture on the right and THAT is who is buying these bras. Please recognize this and be kind to yourself. The way you see and acknowledge this transitioning is so important. Otherwise, we become distracted by the unimportant and unrealistic things. Focus on your recovery and your babe(s) and forget the lies we're constantly being fed. You deserve truth, love, excitement, joy, sleep, and more. Just the way you are. You've done and are more than enough. ❤️ #bemorethanabody #nonairbrushedme #takebackpostpartum #stopcensoringmotherhood #effyourbeautystandards #mombod #momlife #newmom #4thtrimester #postbabybody #selfcare #representationmatters #bodypositive #bodygoals
You are enough
This great mum is hoping women “forget the lies we’re constantly being fed” by advertisers – and focus on their value instead.
While it’s true that some women bounce back to something close to their pre-pregnant shape, in the early weeks postpartum, Ana points out that for most of us, that’s simply not the case.
“I can guess this model is not exactly 2 days out from giving birth like I was in the picture on the right and THAT is who is buying these bras.Please recognize this and be kind to yourself.”
“The way you see and acknowledge this transitioning is so important. Otherwise, we become distracted by the unimportant and unrealistic things. Focus on your recovery and your babe(s).”
“You deserve truth, love, excitement, joy, sleep, and more. Just the way you are,” Anna reminds us. “You’ve done – and are more than – enough.”
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You might be asking yourself, what now? Now that my body has been "ruined". Well, I hope that what awaits you is adventure, excitement, and passion because for as long as you have a body, you have the means of experiencing all of that. The state that it is in or the way it takes up space has no bearing on its capacity to do. Just a heads up, no one is at the beach with a velvet rope that only a select few can walk through. TSA isn't removing bikinis from passengers they don't deem worthy. You haven't missed the deadline for your beach permit. This wide world is open to us all but there's no profit to be made in us knowing our value. Instead millions of dollars are being pumped out so that we feel trapped in. Inside of our shame and fear. THAT alone should prove to you how much your self esteem is worth. Knowing how much companies pay to learn exactly how to manipulate you. Just only showing one body type as a standard for all is enough to deliver the message that we are not good enough. Eff that y'all. We got lives to live. Paths to forge. Memories to make. Passions to follow. Love to share. Wings to spread. Loving this month's theme at @nonairbrushedme of #weareallangels #bemorethanabody #nonairbrushedme #victoriassecret #stopcensoringmotherhood #stretchmarks #scars #mombod #bikinibod #youareenough #beachbody #fridayfeels #goodvibes #bopo