Mom posts side-by-side nursing bra photos prove that representation matters
Representation matters, period. Especially when it comes to buying women’s clothes, undergarments, and bathing suits — because when we don’t see people who look like us, we’re told the way we look as we currently exist isn’t good enough. You know who doesn’t need any of that garbage? Postpartum moms shopping for nursing bras.
Luckily mom blogger and public speaker Ana of Power to Prevail recently called out the unrealistic expectations brought forth by nursing bra ads.
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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
In the post, Ana says she’s less than a month postpartum from the birth of her third child. And, like any newly breastfeeding mom — she knows you need a good amount of nursing bras. But she was dismayed when coming across a bra ad that showed a thin, taut, six-pack toting model. In an ad for nursing bras.
“What happens in the absence of representation?” she writes. “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.”
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This isn't a before or after photo. This is right now. Every picture is a right now. You can't exist in your past or in your future. We are 4 weeks post birth. 4!! Can you believe it?? Baby has gained 2 pounds and the breastfeeding journey hasn't been an easy one but we're still going. What's up with the workout gear? I'm taking Jabba the Mutt out for our first walk/jog of the year. He's been cooped up inside and being a very good big brother as we have been adjusting. I'm excited as I cut my activity waaaaay down during my pregnancy because I was in so much pain. #noregrets Exercise because it's good for your heart, your bones, and your soul. Not to look like or be perceived as healthy because health comes in all shapes and sizes. I don't need to explain why I look the way I look to know that it's true or to be able to accept myself as I am right at this moment. #bemorethanabody #takebackpostpartum #mombod #bodygoals #stretchmarks #scars #looseskin #postpartum #fourthtrimester #motherhooduncensored #takebackpostpartum
New moms are so damn vulnerable about body image — couple that with hormones and the pressure to “bounce back” we all get from society anyway, and it’s that much more frustrating to see an edited photo of a fitness model wearing a nursing bra.
“We start the comparing and that’s when our self image goes to sh*t because you can’t compete with a edited photo,” Ana writes. “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.”
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It's not a lack of fear that pushes me to share with you all. It's a stronger desire to feel love more than fear. Which means facing fears to make room for love. It's making a conscious decision instead of succumbing to habits. Which means reflecting deeply and replacing hurtful habits with healthy ones. It's a strongly held belief that one person can make a difference without having to be someone "special" in order to do so. Which means putting myself out there with no guarantee anyone will even listen. It's basically looking at all the things I was told I was supposed to be ashamed of and saying "prove it." Which means believe in my self worth above all the messaging that wants me to believe otherwise. This picture was taken by @thedelusionisttx for publication in @theperpetualyou earlier this year. The topic was femininity and how we express it. Erin and I were both early in our pregnancies so femininity meant being comfortable in whatever we had on regardless of whether it matched, was pretty, or even in one piece because none of that can decide how we define ourselves. We had so much fun and this was the final shot in the article. Just me. No edit. Not filter. Just us gals in my garage. That's enough. #bemorethanabody #bodypositive #postbabybody #stretchmarks #scars #looseskin #nonairbrushedme Tattered bra: 5 years ago from @victoriassecret Comfy boy short undies also from 5 years ago from @somaintimates No makeup and running a brush through my hair: Me
God, she is so right. Because you will live in those things 24/7 during the first few months. You need ones for going out in public, and lots for staying in and not giving AF. I was incredibly naive and only bought one — one– nursing bra whilst pregnant, so yeah, I spent my entire first week home thanking the gods that be for two-day Amazon shipping.
Seeing a woman who looked more fit than I did A DECADE AGO modeling the sexless, shapeless nude breastfeeding brassiere I added to my cart was… not great. Ana, who decided to start modeling to represent moms on her Instagram page says she felt the same way.
“Since no one else seemed to bring up the issue then I assumed it was just me and that brought so much shame,” she tells Scary Mommy. “When I began this project, it was with the intention of showing that there are so many different ways our bodies look after pregnancy and other life events and that it’s totally normal and OK.”
“A part of me almost didn’t because we have this ‘I’m a nobody’ mentality but realizing that no company represents a mother’s body, I just starting doing it myself,” she says.
Commenters on her post seem to agree that a change is needed when it comes to marketing to moms and their bodies:
“The response has been incredible and the message for moms is just because you don’t see a body that looks like yours, it doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you,” she says. “It means companies marketing to you is failing to represent you.”
She encourages fellow moms to be kind to ourselves. The transition from “glowingly pregnant” to “get this baby out of me before I explode” to “I no longer recognize any part of my body” is overwhelming for all of us.
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It's been one week. My accomplishments include: keeping a newborn alive and asking for help from everyone who crosses my path. That last part is the hardest of the two. Blobby does well to demand all that he needs with no regard for what anyone thinks of him. As a result he gets everything he needs and is one happy and thriving baby. Let's all learn to be a little more like Blobby. 💙 As far as my body, I'm just letting it do what it needs to do. Organs are moving back into place. Milk has aggressively come in while my nipples are chapped to hell and hurt like a mother trucker. Still rocking the depends as the bleeding hasn't stopped but is manageable. Showers are the best things ever and I'm happy to be able to touch my toes and sleep on my back. However your body ebbs and flows with the passing of time, let it. It's all temporary anyway. #bemorethanabody #postpartumbody #mombod #stretchmarks #scars #looseskin #effyourbeautystandards #stopcensoringmotherhood #postbabybelly #loveyourlines #scarrednotscared #nonairbrushedme #mummytummy #newmomlife #keepitreal #sundayvibes
“The way you see and acknowledge this transitioning is so important,” her initial post concludes. “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.”