By: Anna Katrina J. Bolivar
Now people, let’s get things straight. It is never okay to body shame anyone, let alone mothers whose bodies have gone through a lot of changes during pregnancy and after giving birth. Mothers deserve so much respect! Not just because of the physical changes that they had to endure but primarily because they are the main caretakers of… humans. Yes, nothing less than humans.
In our present society, social media makes it easy for people to throw unkind words toward other people primarily because the bullying or shaming is done virtually, meaning the perpetrator’s identity can remain anonymous for as long as he/she wants. Furthermore, aside from maintaining anonymity in social media, these bullies are also empowered in such platforms as they also see a lot of other people doing it, so some are also just following others’ lead.
These bullies and body shamers just throw out unkind words to anyone, with no regard to how the recipient of such words will feel. But what they would never know is the severity of the emotional damage that they could cause to their victims. Body shaming is so rampant these days and even celebrities are not spared. Here are a few celebrity mothers who have experienced body shaming first-hand. See how such bad comments have affected them and the best part, also see how each has regained their composure and fought back against these body shamers.
Beauty queen and actress Lara Quigaman-Alcaraz recently gave birth to her second child. In the photo below, she courageously shows her post-partum body with her newborn.
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1 Month Post Partum or 4 months pregnant? . Just a few days after giving birth, some relatives and friends visited me and asked "Bakit ang laki pa rin ng tyan mo?!". I know they don't mean anything bad but people can be so insentive, and all those photos of 'celebrities and models' that seems to look so perfect right after giving birth doesn't help either. I mean, hello I just gave birth, i was cut open and a human being came out of me! Can you just congratulate me? It was really difficult to post this photo, to show what the world sees as 'flaws', but well this is the real deal. My body housed 2 beautiful baby boys and it took 9 months each time to grow them in my belly and I have accepted the fact (trying to by God's grace) that it will take some time for my body to go back to the way it was (if it does go back) And if it doesn't, that's okay too. Don't get me wrong I'm happy for those moms who have flat tummies just a few days after giving birth, but we're all different, our bodies are all different and that's okay and I want other mamas out there who are like me, who look at themselves in the mirror and feel sad because of what they see. I want you to know that you are not alone… So to all the mama's out there who are exhausted, who's not had a proper shower, whose breasts are super sore, (I'm crying typing this- kaya natin to mamas) those who can't recognize their own bodies because of the stretchmarks and the chloasma or the dark patches all over their bodies, to those who still look pregnant after a month or even months after giving birth- cheers to us! We are are all beautiful and unbelievably strong and God has given us such a wonderful gift that's worth all these hardships and body changes… So cheer up Mama You really are amazing! To my Tobias- happy 1 month baby ko, you and kuya Noah are worth every stretchmarks, every body changes, every pain, every sleepless night and wouldn't trade you for anything. Thank You Jesus for the strength You provide, physically and emotionally, thank You for Your love that gives confidence to this mama and every mama reading this. Thank You Jesus!
DJ Nicole Hyala shared one of her pregnancy photos flaunting her very pregnant body. She went on to share that she has a developing umbilical hernia.
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WARNING : LENGTHY POST ON BODY AND FACE SHAMING Before social media, bullying was something that can only be done face-to-face. However now, someone can be bullied online anonymously. These online attacks sometimes lead to deep mental scars. I get these attacks. Everyday. Since I made necessary management decisions in July. I know that there are many more who love me, compared to those who attack me. I am sure of that. Very sure. Face-shaming is horrible in itself, but I think body-shaming a pregnant woman is too much. The nature of my job makes me an easy target for criticism. I understand that. But I do not deserve it. Especially not for the changes that occured as I grow a human being inside my body. Hamakin niyo na ako sa lahat ng aspeto. Wag lang sa pagiging nanay ko. Dahil sumusobra na kayo. When my photographer asked if my belly button should be edited, or flattened out, I immediately answered with, "No." I embrace all my body changes including developing umbilical hernia from my 1st pregnancy. And if having more children will make my body go through more changes, then I will be more than willing to embrace them. Having a baby is a blessing, a miracle in itself. And to you Patrick (even if this is just a poser account), I hope that your mother will NEVER have to go through body-shaming. I pray that you will be careful with your words next time. Because words can kill or heal. Ending with this quote from Dr. Steve Maraboli – "When you judge a woman by her appearance, it doesn't define her. It defines you."
Blogger and social media influencer Patty Laurel-Filart is now a mother of two. In her post below, she shared how badly she was affected with the body-shaming comment she got from a follower.
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So I had to block a body-shamer on IG. Upon reading the comment, I tried to be all "cool and above it" pero hindi ko kinaya, I really got hurt. I hope people realize that I just gave birth 4 months ago and would cut me some slack. 😥 My body has gone through a lot of changes and I am trying my very best to take care of it. I was so bummed by the comment, I wanted to just hide under a blanket all day. But then at the beach today, I saw a senior citizen rocking a bathing suit and having the best time taking silly selfies. She was happy and healthy..and ultimately, that's really all that matters! 👍 I don't have the perfect body now and I will never have the perfect body EVER. But it's the only body I've got so we're stuck together for this lifetime..might as well love it for the next eighty years 😍
Take the words of these strong mothers to heart and let’s all walk proudly with our chins up despite the stretch marks and other body changes. Let’s disregard negative comments and just be happy about our body. We gave birth to humans, what would they expect! As Patty Laurel puts it, it’s the only body we’ve got so might as well enjoy it. Be proud, mommas!
Anna Katrina Bolivar is a first-time mom to a baby girl. She’s a stay-at-home, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and cosleeping mom. She has her own blog at The Everyday Nanay. Despite all the challenges of a stay-at-home mom, she always goes to sleep with a heart that is overflowing with love for the Lord, her husband, and their precious little girl.