I will preface this by saying that I am 33 years old and I have had subscriptions to People and US Weekly, a.k.a. my “picture pages” (as my husband calls them), for longer is probably healthy to admit. I love my celebrity gossip – even though they are decidedly not “like us.”
When I read an article about celebrity moms and body weight by Janice Min, former editor of Us Weekly, I was more than a bit flummoxed. Was she both attacking and defending the glamour mom persona she helped publicize? It seemed she was.
I have always found it sad that moms, celebrity or not, are put under immediate pressure to lose weight it took 40 weeks to gain. As the mother of a four-month-old son (and someone who can only painfully squeeze into my pre-pregnancy pants), I find it especially discouraging. I classify it as yet another sub-battle in the always frustrating “mommy wars.” Who looks good? Who doesn’t? Who cares?
It is true that most of us do not make our living based on our looks, and most of us do not have the disposable income to hire a stylist to camouflage our problem parts, a chef to cook perfectly balanced meals, a makeup artist to hide our eye bags and that all-important trainer to burn off the pounds. So maybe the women who have the means and have to depend on their looks for a career have different rules. But they shouldn’t. And we shouldn’t feel the pressure to conform to those same standards. And yet that is how it is.
This passage particularly irritated me:
So what are we Pudge Island inhabitants to do? Of course, I am all for looking great, feeling good and getting skinny. There is no virtue in letting oneself go after giving birth. And let’s face it: celebrities aren’t always terrible examples; many eat well, exercise and dress far cuter than we do. They’ve learned how to pull it together, so much so that I wrote a new book filled with simple advice from their stylists, makeup artists and trainers.
We all can learn a little from people whose profession is to be attractive. If our livelihood depended on wearing a swimsuit in front of millions, we’d probably put down the doughnut too.
It irritated me because she claims to want something better than that for her daughter and herself, yet she feeds right back in to the idea that doing something one way or having the means to do something another way makes one woman a better mother than another. And that is simply not true. Residents and non-residents of “Pudge Island” should strive to be one thing, and one thing only: good mothers. Because at the end of the day, isn’t raising a good person what parenthood is all about? And I’m sure celebrities feel that same way, too. And why shouldn’t we allow them to?
As for me, I gladly take off my ill-fitting pants at the end of the day and slip into some yoga pants because it’s more comfortable when I’m sitting on the floor playing with my baby. I’ll always pick a leisurely stroller walk with my son and husband over a run by myself. After a long day of work and too many short hours with my child, I’ll pick up the phone and deliver a pizza because it gave me some quality time with my family. And if that means I carry a few extra pounds for a few (or more) months I don’t care. I am not at war with anyone. I am a mom, and my priority is to be the best one I can be.
So, although I will keep subscribing to my picture pages, I will keep skipping the articles about how Kate Hudson lost all her weight and how Beyonce looks just as awesome as she did before. Instead, I will stare at the photos showing Kate with her kids having fun on the beach and Beyonce taking a quiet moment to feed her child while on tour. I will look at what a fun mom Jennifer Garner appears to be instead of wondering how on earth she fit into a certain dress months after giving birth to her son. Because, in the end, these women are mothers, and they deserve to have us see and appreciate them as such first. That’s what I hope people do for me – whether or not they glance at my stomach while doing it.
Elizabeth is an attorney by day, entertainment blogger by night, and a new mom to an impossibly cute son. When she’s not fending off the paparazzi who think she’s Tina Fey, she enjoys sleep, wine, exercises in elaborate procrastination, invoking her acerbic wit, and using words like acerbic. She’s written for the entertainment sites SqueeTV, Xfinity, and Snakkle, and her posts have been featured on the Huffington Post, Wet Paint, Good Morning America, and (it is rumored) her parents’ fridge. Elizabeth can be found working on her night cheese in Chicago where she lives with her husband, baby, and two beautiful DVRs. You can follow Elizabeth on twitter.
Image Courtesy of TMZ