Skinny Celebrities Who Just Gave Birth

She just had a baby a month ago.  Claire Danes at the Golden Globes.  Photo by
Steve Granitz/WireImage.  Found here. 

Is it just me, or are we constantly pummeled with pictures of celebrities in skinny dresses?  Not only are they thinner and taller and more beautiful than average people like me, but they look like this within moments of giving birth.  

I truly believe that women should take care of themselves.  I find happiness and increased positive feelings about myself when I exercise and eat well.  I don't think that motherhood is an excuse to throw away all of our self respect or our makeup or nice clothes or heels.  

But seriously?  Exact same pre-baby body just one month after giving birth?  That is not realistic.  

Women of the world- it is NORMAL and EXPECTED for birth and pregnancy to change your body permenantly.  

Men of the world- please, please, please, please- DO NOT expect the mother of your child to be slipping into her size 4 skinny jeans before she walks out of the hospital.  

For the love of all that is normal in this world, WHY oh WHY do we perpetuate this image over and over again?  Every time I turn on the computer there is a picture of a half naked celeb strutting down the red carpet (baby-free I might add) in her evening gown just a month or two after giving birth.  

This sends a strong message- YOU CAN DO IT.  You can look the same almost immediately after giving birth.  

Normal people (even those of us without chefs, nannys, or personal trainers) CAN lose the baby weight.  They can feel good about themselves.  They can be beautiful.  But it is not normal to do this right after we have had a baby.  Nor is it normal to leave a newborn for hours on end to attend a party.  Even a big party.  (Date nights are important.  But seriously, 7 hours at an award show when you just had a kid?  Why is this the magical standard that we should all live by?)  

This is the image that is promoted:  
A mom shouldn't look like a mom.  (Looking like a mom would be awful.)  

A woman who spent 9 months pregnant should look like she was never pregnant.  (EWWWW- pregnancy is gross.  And fat.)  

A woman who has children, shouldn't actually have to spend time with them or allow them to interrupt her life.  (Hanging out with kids sucks.  Why should our lives change after we have them?  Who wants to lose their freedom?!)

I will tell you the truth. 

Pregnancy and birth change your body.  Probably FOREVER.

There is nothing wrong with that.  

Pregnancy is not gross.  

Proof on your body that you experienced motherhood, is a BLESSING not a CURSE.

And kids.  They are SUPPOSED to change your life forever.  There is nothing with change.  It isn't always easy.  It isn't all roses.  But at some point we are supposed to stop obsessing over ourselves, our thighs, and our hair and spend a little time THINKING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE.  Maybe even sacrificing some time and energy for them.

They call that motherhood.

And there is nothing wrong with motherhood.  It is AMAZING.  And guess what?  If you pretend it never happend to you, you miss out on a lot.  If you spend motherhood trying to look like a celebrity in an evening gown you will end up feeling pretty miserable about yourself and pretty resentful of your kids.

When we promote the image of the "woman who looks like she didn't just give birth a month ago!"  we de-value mothers.  We tell them that they will be the same when they won't.  We tell women that there is something wrong with them (they are lazy, stupid, fat, and/or dumb) if they can't look like they have had a baby.

It takes nine months to gain the baby weight.  It often takes about nine months to lose it.  That "extra" fatty tissue helps with milk supply and protects your reserves in case of famine.  It helps feed your baby.  The changes that happen in your body when you are pregnant help you and your child survive.  

It isn't ugly to be a mother.  

And it isn't "ideal" to look like you have never had a child.  

Let's stop starving ourselves, beating ourselves up, wondering what is wrong with us and comparing ourselves to an ideal that isn't even ideal.      

It might also help if WE stopped bashing on celebrities who actually DO gain weight when they have children.  


It's called shapewear! I had tons of it after I gave birth and it helps to feel and look more normal right after you have a baby... A lof of us can't help but gain a lot of weight when we get pregnant, but celebs make it a priority not to let that happen. It CAN be normal to look like that 4 weeks after giving birth, but most women just don't have the resources or energy to do so.
Erica said…
On the upside, Adele looks lovely this evening, and she just had a baby not too long ago either. But she was never a stick to begin with.
Deborah Nicole said…
Hi Mama Birth! First, I love your blog :) For some, I think it CAN be normal to look like this a month after birth. Every woman's body is different and responds differently. It's not fair to assume that she's starving herself or a workout freak while she should be spending time with her baby. She could have a super quick metabolism or be burning many calories nursing. We just don't know. I am sure she does not have the exact same pre-baby body underneath.
kayleigh. said…
Yeah I don't really think it's quite fair to say it can't be normal, I think it definitely can. Everyone is as different as can be!
Anonymous said…
I really don't agree with this post at all. I know maybe it's not normal to bounce back so quickly after birth for some women, but this post sounds hateful, and I usually love what you post. Within 2 weeks of giving birth, I was back to my pre-pregnancy size and weight. And not because I was crazy dieting or working out, but because my metabolism is high and I was breastfeeding. Claire looks great, as did Adele. Not all women will bounce back right after birth like that, but some do and they shouldn't be chastised for it. I also get really upset over women telling other thin women they "look anorexic". Some probably think that is a compliment they are paying, but it's just as bad (if not worse, since you're implying an eating disorder) as saying "Gosh you got fat" I'm not saying you do that, but this post is along those same lines, unfortunately. We need to lift each other up, no matter how we birth our babies or what our dress size is.
Red said…
I just want to say that I've loved a lot of things you've posted before but this made me mad. Super mad. I'm not skinny by any means. And after two kids I am way heavier than pre-kids. I love Claire Danes, I think she's a great actress and if you'd not made the snap judgement you'd made about her newborn for 7 hours I probably wouldn't be as irritated as I am right now.

As she said in her speech tonight (yes, it was after you posted this but seriously, who are you to judge this woman?) her son was upstairs with her parents, I assume so that she could go to him if he needed her at any point to nurse. It's not like he was hundreds of miles away, hell he wasn't even a car ride away. He was a few floors above her.

Get your facts right before you go around spreading crap.
momto5 said…
good night. don't get your undies in a bunch people. maybe claire is wearing "shape wear" maybe she has a super fast metabolism, maybe she doesn't. the facts are that a lot of times celebrities are held up as who we all should be. the reality is that most women do not bounce back super fast, do not need to "feel normal and like they were before they had kids" by getting into clothing that makes it look like they never had a child. how is that normal? what is normal about not looking like you had a baby when you did? yes, every woman is different, many can cover up body changes with clothing. i mean we have no idea what claire looks like minus the lovely dress. but we are just messed up to hide our babies, think it is "normal" to wear undergarments that hid any flaw. not that having a baby means you have to be a slob, claire doesn't need to show up at the awards in a t-shirt, sweat pants and slippers, all covered in baby spew to prove she just had a baby.
but really, our society likes the idea of babies, but not actual babies. they like the idea of pregnancy, just not people being pregnant. we want everyone to be skinny, and have no kids... but actually have kids. very weird.
Tori said…
It's interesting to me that some ladies who have commented before me are angry with you for this post... especially in saying it isn't normal for women to be very small in such a short time after giving birth.

The problem I see with their comments is that it truly is NOT NORMAL. Normal is determined by averages, right? So, there are folks who are abnormal to either side of normal. There are those who lose weight super fast without resorting to detrimental/difficult practices and there are those who either cannot lose or gain weight no matter what they do. All of these thing CAN be 'normal' for the individual. However, normal for a wide variety of individuals involves information from the peak of the curve as well as either side of it. Given what 'normal' for a group is, it is NOT NORMAL to be back to pre-pregnancy size/weight within a month to six weeks after giving birth. It simply is not "NORMAL".
Mama Birth said…
Woah! Howdy! Didn't expect this kind of response. And I will give you (KKEEHJTIHDHGIGHREH whoever you are) that it was rude of me to assume that she dumped her child somewhere. I don't have anything personally against any celeb who has babies. My point (which apparently I failed to make clear) is not that women CAN'T do this or are KILLING themselves is they do snap back into shape (yes I realize it happens, and easily for some)- My point is that it isn't typical and literally EVERYTIMEITURNAROUND there is a tabloid or news story with pictures of a celebrity almost immediately post baby who looks like they never even had sex much less got pregnant.
I don't think that is a healthy image. I don't think it is reality for most women. And I happen to think that it sets unrealistic expectations for many, many women. Not to mention their partners who, if they looked at magazines, could easily believe that if she "tried harder" she could look like Angelina Jolie or Claire Danes or Heidi Klum does at 5 weeks post-partum.

Holy crap people- that soon postpartum I am still sore and I am still BLEEDING.

For the record- I have gained 40-55 pounds with every baby I have had no matter how I ate or how much I exercised. (Though I admit, the 55 pound one ...well, I ate too many donuts).

I was 124 pounds less than a year postpartum with my third baby and I am 5'5''- I don't hate skinny girls- I am even one sometimes.

Go ahead and hate me, whatever. I don't actually hate Claire Danes- but the image- that this is TYPICAL is a big fat LIE. And I stand by that.
birthMOM said…
i did literally nothing remotely weight loss related, i also didnt breastfeed dt extenuating circumstances, and i had a flat firm tummy 9 days after the birth. then i went on to lose all the baby weight and then some over the course of another couple weeks, pretty much all i did was lounge around and eat crap.

so whos to say what normal is or isnt, cuz everyones 'normal' is as unique as they are, and i think that remembering THAT as a post partum moma is whats important.
Sara said…
Well, I say good for her! She obviously took care of herself during her pregnancy. Plus she has stylists whose job is to make her look fabulous. We all know that, so why should we expect her to look like a slob on the red carpet?

There's nothing wrong with wanting to look good after having a baby. Looking good=feeling good. I gained 45 lbs with my first pregnancy because I didn't take care of myself. I ate way too much junk, ice cream, cookies, etc. And I was not happy with myself for a long time because of it.

I'm due in 8 weeks with my 2nd baby and have only gained 20 pounds and can still wear regular pants. I've been very aware of what I eat because I don't want extra "maternal fat" hanging around for a year after giving birth.

And I have plenty of friends who are naturally thin and do bounce back shortly after giving birth. There's really nothing unusual about that. It's just that everyone is different.
Trbobitch said…
I thought this was a good post. I got your message without overthinking and looking for some way to be offended by what you were saying ;-)

I think it's truly sad that some women are so caught up in this (and probably partially because their husbands are too) that they beat themselves up and forget to enjoy their babies because of it.
Unknown said…
I don't know why it posted my name as that weird number, I tried to use the AIM identity. Anyway, it IS typical for some women. Not all, but we all have different body types so of course we recover differently. I was not exercising or doing anything weight-loss related at 2 weeks postpartum because, like you, I was still incredibly sore and bleeding. The second she came out of me, my belly was GONE. I remember watching it "deflate" as she slid out, and it took me by surprise. I gained 35 lbs during my pregnancy, a healthy weight. What little weight was left over after my delivery and my "doughy" stomach, was gone within two weeks. Maybe before, that's the first time I had stepped on a scale. I was with my baby constantly, not in a gym as some might think, I suppose. I don't have stretch marks either. So I don't look like a typical mom, I suppose? I still have bags under my eyes from the many sleepless nights, my breasts and vagina are changed forever, as is my life. I don't think you need to have stretch marks or extra baby weight hanging around to look like a real mom. I don't think everyone should expect to have a similar experience, but I don't think that talking about those real life experiences needs to come with the disclaimer that the results aren't typical. I feel like this way of thinking discredits moms with thinner body-types. It's just as normal as gaining a ton of weight during pregnancy and never being able to lose it. We are normal. And for the record, I don't hate you. I actually read and enjoy a lot that you post. I just really disagree with this one, and so felt I needed to say something.
melissa v. said…
Yeah, I stay fat for awhile after pushing my babies out. Pics like this piss me off, and I think celebrities have an important role in pop culture and the formation of feminine measuring sticks for what is "normal." Which is why Rickie Lake's BOBB follow up series with celebs who had home births is so important. These women do shape culture in some ways (not all ways, but some significant ways) and how they look a month after birth will affect society's view of what is possible, normal, or expected of women post partum.

I did read on twitter that Claire took her baby to the Globes and breastfed her there. FWIW. But y'know, that's just twitter so who really knows.