Post-partum bodies, fat-shaming and freedom from clothing sizes

All good things come to an end, including Body Positive January. It’s been a fascinating, dare I say, positive, month for me and I wanted to end it all with some final links and a round-up.

A photo posted by @bbarineau on

Coming to terms with post-partum bodies Funnily enough this is something I haven’t struggled with; perhaps because I was lucky (lost all the weight, no stretchmarks) or because the tiny drop of post-partum changes had no effect on the ocean of body image insecurity already there. I do know that post-partum body image is an issue for so many mothers and my two fellow contributors from World Moms Blog illustrate that this really s a global issue: To-Wen, originally from Taiwan but now living in the States plans to embrace her post-partum body in 2016 and Susan from Singapore writes about how she learnt to love her “mum bod” from her daughter. Crazy thing is, both women look beautiful to me, and not just “for a mother”.

The stigma of being fat I’ve written about gynecologists continuously harping on about my borderline BMI without asking any questions about my lifestyle, fitness level etc. Once you open your eyes to it, the amount of fat shaming and body obsessions surrounding us is crazy. Just the other day I was watching a YouTube video (that was totally unrelated to weight or body image) and the presenter led the conversation with “No woman wants to be filmed in profile”. Seriously? Because what, if she has a stomach no one will care about what she has to say? Because it denotes some kind of weakness of character?! Anyway, as fate would have it, the geekiest blog I follow, the BPS Research Digest features research that looked at how much fat shaming women really face on a day-to-day basis. The answer is of course “an awful lot” but click through to read the whole thing…

A photo posted by Julie Dutra (@juliegdutra) on

I’m thoroughly sick of taking pictures of myself. If you’ve been following the #realhappymamas tag on instagram you might have noticed that I haven’t actually posted a picture every single day this month. Fear not, it was not out of embarrassment at the darkness of the rings under my eyes or a bad hair day – I just figured my followers couldn’t handle yet another picture of me in my pyjamas. Turns out that I just don’t have the energy to get my phone out for that “instagrammable moment” every day. The whole experience was totally worthwhile though as boredom led me to push my boundaries, post silly pictures, a feet selfie (felfie?!) and more…

In one of my last pictures I mention that I’m wearing a cardigan from Mango’s plus-size range. Now, one of the many joys of pregnancy was that it released me from the tiranny of clothing sizes – I’d just grab anything L or XL off the rack. It was bliss. Since I’ve realised that plus sizes and pregnancy wear tend to cater more to my curves, I’ve completely thrown sizing to the wind. I know this is a sticky issue for many women (I have a friend who would NEVER buy anything over a size 38 even if she knows the brand is usually small) so here are two articles for you to chew on: Seamwork Magazine has an interesting review of the origins of pattern sizing and I also dug out this fascinating link on why vanity sizing is a myth: turns out not everyone is out to get us.

And let’s not forget the final amazing guest posts:

6 ways I’m going to love my body A lovely positive list written by Kat from Eat.Love.Live London that reminds me there are more than one way to self-acceptance (mine just happens not to include cutting out sugar)

The consequences of going grey Trust Brynn in Brazil to see the funny side of Body Positive January with a tongue-in-cheek look at her husband’s prematurely greying locks.

Making friends with your body Happy Mama Happy Baby’s first every guest VIDEO by the lovely Fiona from TrimTabTao about befriending your body, the disconnection between our minds and physical selves as well as insights from the massage table.

Body Positive January is over but you can still sign up to my newsletter to get a review of what happened over the month.

Attention bloggers & writers! Advice from the heart will return in February with a new theme!

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