An Open Letter To My Weird Post-Pregnancy Belly Flap

by Rita Templeton
Originally Published: 

Dear Flap of Weird Abdominal Skin That Appeared After I Gave Birth,

I hate you.

To start, I don’t even know whether to refer to you as a “flap” or a “shelf,” or if you have a more technical term. But I do know what I want to call you: an asshole. No, actually, it would have to be something worse—because at least my asshole didn’t show up unexpectedly and become an unsightly, difficult-to-hide bulge in my pants (thank goodness). But that’s exactly what you did, and I resent the hell out of you.

I remember our first meeting after my C-section, my fingers gingerly probing the newly plowed terrain of my lower abdomen. Wow, that incision site is really swollen, I thought. I naively consoled myself by thinking that it would be less puffy once it healed.

Ha. Hahahahahaha.

My baby hasn’t been a baby for quite some time, Flap, and yet there you are, still hanging out atop my girly parts like a gross awning of flesh. I’ve tried to make peace with your presence, but every time I have to tuck you into my undies or adjust you like a misplaced third boob, I’m reminded how much I despise you. It doesn’t matter how many uplifting articles about positive body image I read. The only uplifting I need is the uplifting via plastic surgery of this busted can of biscuit dough strapped to my pubic bone.

So maybe I didn’t resemble a swimsuit model prior to your appearance, but my post-baby wasteland of a midsection didn’t exactly need your help looking like a hot mess. At least stretch marks can be effectively hidden under clothing. But not you—ohhhh, no. Apparently, it’s your mission to make everyone notice you. When I wear my favorite yoga pants, for example, I may as well also don a glittering neon sign with an arrow pointing right at the odd, Lycra-clad lump in the front. I tug self-consciously at my T-shirt, making sure you’re covered, envisioning people murmuring behind my back, “Wait. Was that a camel toe?”

Just to be a jerk, Flap, you’ve stationed yourself in a place where I can’t even suck you in. You have forced me to spend a small fortune on uncomfortable shapewear. But even when you’re relatively hidden, I know you’re there, waiting to be released from your encasement of Spanx so you can return to your normal agenda of lapping fatly over my C-section scar, like a beer gut over a tight belt.

Do you know how unsexy it is to have to lift you up when I’m shaving down there? It almost makes grooming the lady-garden seem pointless, like polishing a turd. And what’s worse, you’re always kind of numb, which makes you even creepier; the only upside is that at least it hurts less when I accidentally zip you up in my jeans.

Bottom line, Flap, I’m tired of your shit. Nobody warned me you’d show up, and you damn well weren’t invited. But here you are, hanging loose like a freeloading basement-dweller on his mama’s couch. I can’t seem to exercise you away, and the guilt trip doesn’t appear to be working, so I guess I’m just going to have to keep searching the racks for extra-long shirts and try to accept your existence—for now. But you’d better believe that if I ever come across a windfall of cash, I’ll go straight from the bank to the nearest plastic surgery center where you’ll be swiftly and mercilessly evicted.

So be afraid, because I’m heading out to buy a lottery ticket. Or 10.

With no love at all,


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