Hey, you know what new mums love? Being told they look great ... for someone who just had a baby.
Why, yes, thanks for the reminder that we just spent the better part of a year growing a human in our own bodies, then had to birth that human, and keep that tiny human alive through long and often sleepless nights, and now the world is judging us based on how quickly we “bounce back” and OMG CAN WE STOP THIS ALREADY?!
That “and,” though.
Prince Harry, bless his heart, reportedly reassured Meghan, telling her “See I told you!’,” according to Hello Magazine.
We’re sure the compliment-giver (identified as Eve, the mother of an award recipient, 10-year-old Emmie Narayn-Nicholas) meant well. And the facts are true: Meghan Markle looked amazing, as usual, and she did indeed just have a baby. Master Archie Harrison was born May 6.
But this obsession with a mum’s appearance in the postpartum period has to stop. Plenty of media covering the story focused on Meghan’s post-baby self-doubt, and noted that this was the first time she wore one of her pre-pregnancy outfits since giving birth (it was the same green P.A.R.O.S.H. dress she wore when the couple announced their engagement in 2017).
The duchess’ postpartum body has frequently been a topic of discussion. In July, Today praised her for showing off her post-baby body “realness” at the “Lion King” premiere in London. Others took to social media to applaud her for looking “like a woman who gave birth two months ago” and “not hiding her body.”
During the duke and duchess’ recent royal tour in South Africa, several news outlets speculated that Meghan might be pregnant again, noting that she was re-wearing some of the outfits she wore when she was pregnant with Archie.
To defend her, other news outlets pointed out what “real” postpartum bodies can look like.
Again, we’re sure these people mean well, and it’s a nice shift from praising new mums for shedding kilos, but what if we just ... didn’t focus on women’s postpartum bodies at all? Can’t Meghan just look amazing, or happy, or well-dressed, period?
Can’t we all?
A recent study found that new mothers experience a decrease in self-esteem for years after giving birth.
Given everything else a new mum has to deal with (hormones, physical changes, psychological changes, changes to her role, the actual raising of a baby), perhaps we can all cool it on the bod talk.
And let’s try that compliment again: “Oh you look amazing!”