30 July 2013

ignorance about women bodies

Apparently a hot question right now is "Why does Kate Middleton still look pregnant?" It's possible some who ask the Internet this question wonder why the duchess doesn't act like a superhuman celebrity and have an insane body that doesn't follow the standard conventions of biology, but I think most people might just be ignorant.

I don't consider myself desperately ignorant, but I honestly did not know before I was pregnant that after commuting my spawn from fetus to newborn (surprise! a baby!), my weight would only regress about three months at first. I really didn't know!

And, honestly, I still know so few facts about women bodies. There is something very wrong-seeming about that. It might be just that my poor observation skills, as I'm sure I was exposed to hundreds of realistic postpartum figures even if not in my immediate household. But perhaps my attention was also drawn aside to more unrealistic models of womanliness as portrayed in the media I consumed. I don't know that I considered authenticity in those portrayals much at all before surrendering my body to pregnancy, birth, and my child's suckling lips. But these days I think about it a lot, and I wonder why there isn't more open and honest conversation about bodies and how they are made. 

I haven't really followed the press on Kate Middleton, but my impression is that she is authentic in the way she presents herself, unlike many other celebrities out there. It seems a shame that it takes more courage to be natural than to kill yourself (almost literally) to fit some crazy ideal that I'm not sure anyone, male or female, really believes in wholly.`Though we don't adopt such views wholesale, I imagine we all buy in to some degree. 

The older I get, the more I think that our bodies are way more interconnected with every other aspect of our lives than I ever imagined, especially women bodies. Since it's on my mind more these days, I feel like I'm slowly learning things that I really wish I had known and learned about a long, long time ago. And I just have to wonder: Why didn't I know?

Me, 7 days postpartum:

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