Last week, it was all about the dad bod — the online trend praising men with realistic bodies types. The dad bod is used to describe men who are relatively fit but with some extra weight around their midsection. Think Leonardo DiCaprio, Seth Rogen and Chris Pratt (pre Guardians of the Galaxy, of course) as the poster children of the movement. They may not be ripped or adhere to traditional standards of male attractiveness, but one look at the #dadbod hashtag and you’ll see we still find these men incredibly sexy.
But now, inspired by this movement comes the mom bod, the trend celebrating women’s post baby bodies — proving that moms too, are attractive and beautiful. Women all over social media are posting candid pictures of themselves, showcasing all the unique lines, scars and curves that came after bearing their children.
While we’re lovin’ both of these body positive movements, the #mombod trend is especially important as it addresses the unrealistic beauty expectations women are constantly pressured to live up to. Putting the dad bod and mom bod trend side by side, you see the double standards that continue to exist within society. Men who get older and decide to “let themselves go” are praised and celebrated for rocking their “average Joe” bods — a true example of male privilege that women don’t have the luxury of being able to exercise without ridicule.
A photo posted by Diane (@ahanusmom) on
By now, we all know the physical toll pregnancy has on the female body and yet women are still expected to bounce back and somehow get their pre-baby body weeks after delivery. From celebrities to everyday gals, women are constantly bombarded with these messages and even shamed when they don’t live up to society’s unrealistic beauty expectations.
I missed a Monday! Sleeping in my workout clothes did NOT work this morning, but I am prepared for the day with my meals and plan on getting in a workout this evening after work and bible study. Gotta work on that #mombod! @karenakatrina @toneitup #tiumama #tiuBaltimore #tiuteam #bikiniseries
A photo posted by ToneItUp Christina (@christina1_tiu) on
That needs to change, and #mombod is a good place to start challenging these ideals. While it will take some time until society accepts that beauty and attractiveness comes in all shapes and forms, we applaud the women who bravely showed their mom bods with such confidence — with scars, stretch marks and all. If that’s not beautiful, we don’t know what is!
Recently I was talking with my partner & an artist friend of ours. He mentioned that he had started taking night classes drawing nude models. "Is that awkward for your wife?" My partner asked. "No. I mean… It's not a sexual thing. Like, at all. We're all there just trying to better ourselves at drawing the human form. Shading etc…" That spawned a conversation of hyper sexualization & how the female body is often portrayed to the masses as a coveted sexual object. I started thinking about my own body & the insecurities that I find myself clinging to in a world of endless unrealistic expectations. A few mths ago, I started doing yoga & pilates. I liked the way it made me feel & how quickly my body responded to it. I began to feel how strong my body was becoming & it was empowering. But then I would look down. All I could focus on were the droops of excess skin that no amount of crunches would ever cure. All I could see were the wrinkly stretch marks spanning the body that once grew a beautiful baby girl 11 yrs ago. I couldn't help but feel discouraged. "Maybe one day, I can get this skin removed" I thought to myself. "It's not fair that Im working so hard & still have to feel ashamed of the way I look.” Then yesterday after a workout, I took this photo on a whim. For no one other than myself. For a moment, and probably the 1st time since becoming a mother, I looked at myself & was able to see past the parts of my body that were out of my control. All I could see was the definition & strength that my body had grown. And I suddenly felt so beautiful & so proud. I wanted to share this with others to add to the effort of normalizing society's standard of beauty. I have stark, strong features, because I AM strong. Im a woman. Im a lover. And a mother. Im an independent thinker & can literally produce strength & muscle in physical form, while also crafting a human being. Thats what I see in this photo #selflove #beauty #yoga #pilates #mombod #loveyourself #wisdom #fitness #motivation #stretchmarks #workout #higherconsciousness #positivity #female #body #innerpeace #stretch #namaste #feminist #goodvibes #universe #vibratehigher #esoteric #boho #om #paradigmshift