Lately, we've felt incredibly inspired by mothers who challenge society's expectation that their bodies should immediately return to their pre-baby state after giving birth. In particular, Rachel Hollis, the mother of three who posted a photo of her post-baby body in a bikini, with a caption explaining how she's proud of her "saggy" belly, created massive waves on the internet. Her brave move encouraged other women to challenge these unrealistic body standards and embrace what they've got.
Now, in the most recent issue of Shape, Olivia Wilde opens up about her own post-pregnancy experience.
Despite — admittedly — looking rather svelte on the cover, Wilde concentrates on how she's physically changed since her son Otis Alexander's birth 11 months ago: "I am not in perfect shape. In fact, I’m softer than I’ve ever been, including that unfortunate semester in high school when I simultaneously discovered Krispy Kreme and pot."
For Wilde, life after giving birth is a constant party — and by "party" she means lots of "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," plus pizza and beer — "two ingredients that are not found in the purely fictional book [she] like[s] to call How to Look Like You Never Made a Human: A Guide to Socially Acceptable Motherhood."
She writes candidly — using a healthy dose of humor — about the physical changes her body went through, describing her postpartum belly as a "partially deflated pool toy."
But, what gives? Why can't we see any evidence of this supposed body? "The photos of me in this magazine have been generously constructed to show my best angles, and I assure you, good lighting has been warmly embraced," she explains. "The truth is, I’m a mother, and I look like one."
While the photos may look disappointingly similar to most celebrity magazine spreads, we're impressed by Wilde's candor. We hope it inspires more coverage of postpartum celebrities. That way, we may be able to do away with the myth — particularly amongst celebrities — that everything magically falls right back into place. And we can stop expecting that from ourselves and others.
Plus, it would help if, at some point, we could see what an actual postpartum celebrity looks like.
(h/t New York Magazine)