More power to you for reclaiming your physical self seven days after you give birth to a 7-pound human being. Yes, we are in awe of your abs and secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) we are jealous to our core that five years later, we're still carrying that "pregnancy" weight around with us. But I wanted to come clean and let you in on a secret. We don't really hate you for looking like a supermodel. Sure, it makes us feel a bit underaccomplished....OK, maybe a bit like an epic failure, when in comparison to you. And sure we can't help but ponder what on earth is wrong with us - why can't we get our lazy, fat asses out of bed and to the gym at 6 a.m. every morning like you do. But we can handle a little self-doubt and low-self esteem. We've been "handling" it since we got our first Barbie doll for Christmas eons ago. But when you make such a public ordeal about your "successes" in so quickly shedding those pregnancy pounds, whether it's on your Facebook page, or your Twitter feed, or in your open letters (much like this one) to the tabloids, it's just a bit disheartening.....because once again, you are greatly reducing us to that oversimplified, physically exploited, one-dimensional gender. Look, I just had a baby and I can fit into these hot pants. Oh, I also have something important to say about the state of injustice in the world. See how that's not as compelling? But perhaps what I find most bothersome is that by publicly touting an immediate post-baby accomplishment such as weight-loss, we are somehow pushing (ok, shoving) each other immediately right back in the female rat race that society has subtly created for us.....and pitted us against each other.
Look, we just experienced the one thing in life that no man will ever be able to experience. We brought a living human being into the world. Regardless of our life circumstances, we can't help but become altered by this, be bonded by this, on some level. Yes, we can and should be empowered by respecting our bodies and caring for them. But should our "successes" directly after giving birth be defined by our waist sizes and BMI's? Maybe. But maybe it would serve us better as women who share an extraordinary common life experience.....to just be still. To use this one brief window of time to NOT try to define our successes (against each other) at all. One could argue that we have just achieved great "success" by carrying the future of the world in our bodies for nine entire months. What if we actually gave ourselves permission to just hit the pause button and truly celebrate the miracle in which we just took part? What would the world look like if we, as women, gave each other some space and reflective time to figure out how to mold our own existing lives around this notion of what it means to be someone's mother? Could we be fooling ourselves into thinking we have it all figured out, just because we can instantly fit back into our pre-pregnancy jeans? Or because we are able to return swiftly to work a week after we get out of the hospital? Or because we already have our first baby-free date scheduled with our spouses?
Ladies, the mere fact that we HAD A CHILD is a feat in itself. Why are we rushing to instantaneously put ourselves back in the position of once again measuring everything we do.....against each other? Wouldn't it serve us better to just simply high five each other? You know something along these lines: You go girl - you just spent 12 hours in labor. Your battle scar rocks. Whether you are a size 2 three weeks after giving birth, or still fluctuating between a size 4 and a size 9 six years after you've given birth, does it really matter? We all had babies, we all have our own journeys, we're all traveling at different paces - why not collectively celebrate that kind of beauty, rather than the kind that can be weighed on a scale.