All over the Western World something terrible is happening, every week another selection of z-list celebrities give birth (this debatably isn’t the awful bit- unless they call their newborn Declan) and their bodies disappear. Yep, just like that, their whole body is gone- I’m imagining some magician style smoke with ‘poof!’ sound effects- until all that is left is a floating head of peroxide hair pushing a bugaboo/ paying their teenage au pair to push it for them because they are too busy planning their ovulation calendar for baby number 2.
Of course, their bodies don’t really disappear, therefore these rather misleading headlines can seem quite confusing, instead they are simply celebrating all the weight they’ve lost 4 days after leaving the maternity ward.
Looking at these covers, I’m sorry Teamales I couldn’t resist you know how much I love a good cover analysis, we can see a clear theme forming- starting with Kim Kardashian. Because let’s face it, most things start with Kim Kardashian.
Just in case anybody cared, Star magazine are giving us a nice rounded update about all the things Kim did in order to get her body ‘back’ including eating less (cough personal chef cough) and three hour workouts (wink personal trainer wink). So not only does she look way too good for someone who’s just pushed the equivalent of a small pumpkin out her vagina, but she’s done it all with excessive help that the average woman doesn’t have. Or NEED. At the end of the day, you’ve just had a baby- is that not magical enough? I can’t imagine the pressures new mums face these days, not only do they have to consider if they want to be the type of parent that give their 18 month old an iPad or pretend they enjoy socialising with their local breastfeeding group, but now they also have to do it all without looking ‘Mumsy’. Because it’s not just Kim, her sister’s at it too (at least I think that’s her sister, I care more about the future of Toby Carvery than I do their family tree), obsessing over her weight to such an extent that she’s put it before spending time with her children. Of course, she looks wonderful and confident in her bikini, but why is this type of body more valuable than any other type. When you say ‘I got my body back’ what you’re really saying is ‘Thank God I’m not fat anymore’ as if fat is something undesirable- more on that later.
It’s not only pregnancy that gets this kind of treatment, here Britney and Christina (first name terms, I know) celebrate going from human sized to a different human size and encourage you to do the same. Remember: it’s so easy to lose weight-when you’re a millionaire!
In all seriousness though, the problem comes in modern society when the body stops being viewed as an incredibly evolved mothership that carries you through everyday life and starts being an accessory. Of course you can dress it up- or down, cheeky- but when did we start abusing it in order for it to look the way these celebrities are airbrushed to?
Let’s take a moment to appreciate biology here because the human body is quite possibly the most amazing thing ever. For example, when you’re not getting enough blood to your brain you body forces you to faint because when you lie down blood distributes in the style of a spirit leveller. Or how when you touch a hot object, the electrical impulses travel so quickly they bypass your brain and move your hand away via the reflex arc. Our heart beats continuously, we breathe effortlessly, we can talk, move, see, hear, smell, yet it only seems to be the people who are denied of these that appreciate them. The body is not a clothes horse, it’s a machine and it needs to be cared for. Equally, being unhappy with your weight isn’t healthy so I’d support anyone trying to create the best version of themselves, but straight after you’ve had a baby? Or because you’ve been influenced by the media? Or your peers? It seems ridiculous. Ridiculous that a fear of fat has turned us into a diet-mad, pregnancy belly-busting, size 6 aspiring society of people too shallow to prioritise anything other than how we look. Fat. Fat faT fAt fat Fat FAT. Fat has become the way we single people out (“She’s so fat“), the way we judge people’s lifestyle (“Maybe if he ate less he’d be less fat“) and the way we assure people they’re higher on the hierarchy (“Seriously Sue, you are NOT fat!”)
It begs to ask the question- when did fat stop being okay? When did we suddenly forget anything above size 14 existed? If we can love our chubby grandparents and overfed cats, why do we feel the need to pull apart women with cellulite, fat rolls, bingo wings, double chins (all time favourite feature) or men with a beer belly instead of a Hollister six pack? The body is too valuable to be degraded into a single word. You are worth more than a label.