We need to be kind. We need to be considerate. We need to de-programme ourselves from so-called accepted ‘beauty standards’, and appreciate our bodies for what they are: amazing, life-giving instruments.
This is the call of new mother Kelly Diane Howard, who has shared a powerful response after being offered a weight-loss solution by a total stranger.
Kelly took to her Facebook page this week to share her story. She posted a photo of herself standing in her local Target department store, with her newborn daughter strapped to her chest in a baby sling.
She went on to explain how a woman approached her out of nowhere, asking her about her baby. She then proceeded to ask her if she had ever heard of a product called ‘It Works’ before, and presented her with a card and contact details, if she wanted to give it a try.
To explain, ‘It Works’ is billed as a body contouring wrap for ‘tightening, toning and firming’ specific areas of the body. So, as you can imagine, this exchange left Kelly feeling more than a little put-out.
While’s she’s not upset at the woman trying to sell the product, as she knows she’s only ‘trying to hustle’; she’s angry at the societal norms that made her think it was OK to approach her.
“Let’s not pretend that approaching me specifically was a coincidence…She came up to me – with my baby billboard of being brand new postpartum.
“I don’t think I have to spell out for a single woman the cultural pressure that postpartum mothers face regarding their physical appearance. We know. We all know. She knew. And that’s why she approached me.”
Now, Kelly wants to use the incident as a learning experience for everyone. She is asking people ‘not to perpetuate the pressure, the impossible expectations’ which keep ‘the insecurities that we newly postpartum women face regarding our new and changing bodies’ alive.
“Instead of leaning into superficial ideals imposed upon us, can we PLEASE start bucking the system and instead start praising each other for being the amazing, life-giving, creation-birthing vessels that we are?” she pleaded.
Going by Kelly’s approach, that stranger would have offered up adoration for the miracle she has just pulled off – not a solution for her changing shape. And we could not agree more.
Kelly’s final, rallying message is one that every mother – and everyone, for that matter – needs to absorb and remember.
She wrote: “My body doesn’t need to be wrapped or squeezed or changed. It needs to be valued and revered for the incredible life it just brought into this world. THAT is beauty, and THAT is all it needs.”
Is it any wonder that Kelly’s post has garnered over 34,000 ‘likes’ and 15, 000 shares?