Why Emily Ratajkowski's Post-Baby Body Pictures Are Being Scrutinised Online

Why Emily Ratajkowski’s Post-Baby Body Pictures Are Being Scrutinised Online

Earlier this week Model Emily Ratajkowski, posted a video and photo of her post-partum body. The clip, which was uploaded a little over a week after giving birth to her first child, Sylvester Apollo Bear, has garnered over 63,000 likes and hundreds of comments. The discussion in the comments section has been incredibly divisive, and […]

by | Mar 23, 2021

Earlier this week Model Emily Ratajkowski, posted a video and photo of her post-partum body. The clip, which was uploaded a little over a week after giving birth to her first child, Sylvester Apollo Bear, has garnered over 63,000 likes and hundreds of comments.

The discussion in the comments section has been incredibly divisive, and here’s why.

Many users were quick to point out Ratajkowski’s flat stomach so soon after giving birth.

“???????? come on. Seriously though this is not a typical post pregnancy body. Most women, like me, have to work very hard after birth. Don’t get down ladies if you don’t look like a supermodel after birthing a human. We are all beautiful. Flat stomachs or soft ones. Now I’m going to try and not look at my post pregnancy body after seeing this for a solid week lmao.”

“Im sorry but where’s the post-prego tummy? ????”

“Okay but where’s your uterus?”

Even Pretty Little Liars actress Claire Holt joined the conversation on her Instagram, sharing a clip on her stories: “I try not to be the Grinch on here, but I really wanna say something cos it’s annoying me. If you post a picture of your completely flat stomach 10 days after having a baby and call that body positivity, to me that’s the same as posting a picture of the millions of dollars in your bank account and calling that success positivity.”

Holt added, “It might be true, but it makes other people feel shitty about themselves, and it’s not normal, and you’re an outlier, and you’re lucky. So maybe don’t show that part?

Can we just use Instagram to try and make people feel included and not feel sh*t about themselves?”

While the sentiment remains that it shouldn’t be anybody’s business what her body looks like after birth (besides hers) – and that Ratajkowski should to be able to share whatever photographs she likes of herself, without having people tell her she’s right or wrong for doing so- the fact that her flat stomach is an anomaly, and ‘flaunting’ it so soon is making other women feel bad, is completely valid.

And it makes sense that the images have kickstarted a wider conversation about the pressure put on women to ‘snap back’ after giving birth: the issues of beauty standards, body confidence and post-partum bodies affect so many people personally.

Popular body positivity champion and anti-diet activist Alex Light weighed in on the discussion, asking her audience to consider the systems in place that make us so fixated on a woman’s ‘perfect’ or ‘not perfect’ body after giving birth in the first place.

“I understand why [the photos of Ratajkowski] make so many women feel bad… seeing someone just 11 days after birth looking like a supermodel, for lack of a better term, might very well be detrimental to your mental health,” wrote Light in a recent post. “Do I also think what [she] shared is helpful to issues around post-pregnancy bodies and the pressures surrounding new mums? Not necessarily.”

She continued, “I think it’s important to account for the wider impact this picture will have and I do, unfortunately, think it will be negative. But, crucially, she never tried to be part of a conversation around post-pregnancy bodies. This was projected onto her.” ⁣

Light also added that she strongly disagrees with the shaming that Emily is receiving after posting her images. “She is allowed to celebrate her post-pregnancy – or pre-pregnancy, or during-pregnancy – body however she wishes. It’s her platform, her space and she shouldn’t have to be ‘relatable’ to be accepted, or appreciated, or not shamed.”

Ratajkowski has yet to comment on the conversation.

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