Catriona Fielke won’t rage at Erin McNaught’s super-toned, post-baby selfies, but neither will she aspire to the same…being a “model” mum is bloody hard work!
I feel sorry for Erin McNaught.
Not in a pitying kind of way, but in a “thank god I’m not her” kind of way.
Let me explain.
In the past few days, the former Miss Universe Australia has posted selfies on twitter. In said selfies she is wearing a bikini, looks rather skinny, toned and, apart from a little tired around the eyes, absolutely fabulous. This is nothing new for a model. The problem is, however, that these pictures of her near naked, trim, flat-stomached body are 4 weeks post-pregnancy. Cue the outrage.
The wrath Erin McNaught has endured is not the reason for my sadness towards her. She knew what she was doing. She knew it would be “retweeted” over and over, good or bad. She knew that the publicity she would gain from such an unholy act amongst feminists would no doubt see her ranking in Google searches soar and therefore her commodity rise, even when on “maternity leave”.
No, the reason I feel sorry for her is what she has had to endure to look like this in such a short period of time after giving birth and even during pregnancy itself. Mrs Example (she is married to British rapper ‘Example’) is anything but.
There are many issues that a post-pregnancy mother has to deal with. Their stomach will still be bloated, even if their pregnancy weight gain was minimum. Their boobs will be full and uncomfortable. They may still be physically recovering from the birth. They are completely exhausted, still trying to figure out some sort of routine. They chalk themselves up a win if they manage to get showered and dressed before lunchtime. Oh, and there is that small issue of figuring out how the hell they take care of this new entity in their life that, although they love it with every fibre of their being, has turned their world upside down and the formerly tidy house with it.
Most new mothers, who are not Erin McNaught or similar (Kim K, Miranda Kerr – the list goes on), get to do all of this in private. Most women do not have depend on their “hot” body in order to make a living. Erin McNaught and her peers have no choice but to look absolutely stunning weeks after pushing out a watermelon because their careers depend on it.
When “normal” pregnant women are rolling out of bed and taking every chance they get to just sit, these women are up at 6am, meeting with their personal trainer, yoga instructor, dietitian, nutritionist and on the odd occasion, an actual doctor, to make sure they maintain their bodies through pregnancy and beyond. These women live in fear that they will end up incapacitated with a huge scar as this will push back their recovery, and therefore earning potential, by weeks…possibly months.
Whilst reading this you probably think I am a bitter housewife who got fat after having children and feels the need to rant at others to make myself feel better. For the purpose of clarity, I will share with you that I gained a very healthy 9 and 10kg in both my pregnancies respectively and am currently quite slim in the 50 to 60kg range.
I did not look like Erin McNaught a month after giving birth. I do not know anyone else who did either. I got to deal with the shock of becoming a parent in the comfort of anonymity, without having pressure to look a certain way or fit a certain stereotype. I did not have a contract to fulfil or a bikini line that I had to sell. I got to be a mother. And it was bloody hard.
So yes, I feel sorry for Erin. She cannot enjoy and despair at motherhood and all that it brings in those crucial first months. She has to get on the treadmill and push her body to limits that the rest of us are too exhausted to ever achieve 4 weeks post-partum. I do not applaud her, but I do not chastise her either.
I am just glad I am not her.