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The post pregnancy body of a woman may not fit the ideal of beauty - thin and flawless, but it needs to be celebrated too.
If you’re a woman who has given birth, held life within your body, had the satisfaction of becoming a mother, you’ll know that what you see in the mirror is not what you saw before the pregnancies. Your body changes. It has battle scars. It has marks. It’s stretchy and loose and saggy. And it’s a badge to be proud of.
Victoria Beckham has said she’s proud of her post pregnancy marks. A slew of celebrities have talked about their stretch marks and showed them quite unselfconsciously. Kate Winslet, Julia Roberts, Katie Holmes, Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears are just a few of them. Back home, Aishwarya Rai took her time to lose her baby weight and hasn’t talked about stretch marks as far as I know. But then, the media talked a lot about her and in singularly unflattering terms. The western media was kinder to her. It’s rare to read a post that is as insightful as Sujata Reddy’s on Zareen Khan.
What inspired me to write this post was the discovery of a fabulous news item about a photographer, Jade Beall who took photos of her own semi nude body after giving birth. She posted them on facebook without touch ups or photoshop. The photo was hugely popular and was shared all over the internet and given many likes. Delighted with this trend and people’s obvious interest for real bodies as opposed to plastic perfection she started taking photos of women’s post partum bodies. You can view the post here. I would love to hear your reactions to these photos. Please do comment and discuss in the comments section.
I for one was stunned by how moved I felt to see those real stomachs, those proud Mamas. They are absolutely marvelous.
Another thing that surprised me was how much I changed in my perception of my own body. I pride myself on being sensible and intelligent. Also on being unaffected by the way popular media portrays women’s bodies in a perfection dictated by men and a competitive, cruel world. But I know I am also a little vain. I like to look good. What it means to ‘look good ‘is now decided by those who photo shop and by the underage, underfed teen models whom they promote and mould into stick like thinness and who have taken over the ideal of beauty. The fact is – there are many ideals of beauty but women’s body image has taken a nosedive thanks to advertising, Hollywood, Bollywood and, and, and…
After looking at these images by Jade Beall I felt so much more accepting of my own body and how it has changed to accomodate my babies.
I’d like to add that I didn’t let myself go and stop doing yoga or eating sensibly because I do that to maintain good health and an ideal weight. But I did cast a kinder eye over my self. I felt proud to be part of the tribe of mothers world over.
What about you?
Pic credit: Jade Beall Photography
A freelance journalist and teacher, Kalpana is a feminist, an animal rights activist, passionate about the environment and fitness through yoga. She believes in a holistic and sustainable lifestyle and she also happens to be read more...
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I wanted to scream with excitement that my daughter chose to write about her ambition and aspirations over everything else first. To me, this was one of those parenting 'win' moments.
My daughter turned eight years old in January, and among the various gifts she received from friends and family was an absolutely beautiful personal journal for self-growth. A few days ago, she was exploring the pages when she found a section for writing a letter to her future self. She found this intriguing and began jotting down her thoughts animatedly.
My curiosity piqued and she could sense it immediately. She assured me that she would show me the letter soon, and lo behold, she kept her word.
I glanced at her words, expecting to see a mention of her parents in the first sentence. But, to my utter delight, the first thing she had written about was her AMBITION. Yes, the caps here are intentional because I want to scream with excitement that my daughter chose to write about her ambition and aspirations over everything else first. To me, this was one of those parenting ‘win’ moments.
Uorfi Javed has been making waves through social media, and is often the target of trolls. So who and what exactly is this intriguing young woman?
Uorfi Javed (no relation to Javed Akhtar) is a name that crops up in my news feeds every now and again. It is usually because she got trolled for being in some or other ‘daring’ outfit and then posting those images on social media. If I were asked, I would not be able to name a single other reason why she is famous. I am told that she is an actor but I would have no frankly no clue about her body of work (pun wholly unintended).
So is Urfi Javed (or Uorfi Javed as she prefers) famous only for being famous? How does she impact the cause of feminism by permitting herself to be objectified, trolled, reviled?
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