clockwise: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Vanessa Simmons, P!nk, Christina Aguilera, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Reese Witherspoon, Shakira, Kerry Washington, Hilary Duff, Tamera Mowry-Housley, Jessica Simpson and Kristen Bell, all took their time to shed pregnancy weight gain.
There is tremendous pressure on women to get back to pre-pregnancy size after having a baby. Celebrities who make their living by looking a certain way are under even more pressure. Many succumb and take extreme measures to peel off the weight. We’ve heard rumors about post-C-section liposuction, stomach stapling and other tactics being used. It doesn’t help that many gossip magazines love to flaunt post-baby celebs on their covers, sort of tauntingly telling other women they should be able to do the same.
Then there are those who do not buckle to the same exceptions and take their time. Christina Aguilera embraced her post baby curves but then was slammed heavily by the public and critics who were used to seeing her 100 lb frame from when she first launched her music career a decade earlier. She eventually dropped most of the weight but still remained an advocate for women to take care of themselves first.
“Mothers are constantly expected to be the nurturers, the givers, the providers of a comfortable home,” she told Women’s Health magazine. “We’re expected to be pregnant, have the kids, breastfeed once we have the babies. And we’re expected to look amazing after baby, right? Keep our husbands and boyfriends interested – because we’re supposed to get back to sexy and keep things exciting in the bedroom. There’s such a long list.”
The platinum-album selling powerhouse singer added that deprivation is not the thing.
“I’m not into deprivation; I’m not into suffering into getting a great body or the body that you want,” The Voice coach said. “I’m into enjoying life, being conscious and aware, but also breathing into yourself and owning what you got.”
It was not the first time she had to get active and defend her weight.
Before she even became a mother, back in 2002, during the promotion of her album “Stripped” in 2002, she told Billboard magazine,” I got tired of being a skinny, white girl.” She added after gaining 15 pounds and returning for a break browner and with piercings, the label lost it and told her if she didn’t lose the weight people, some people would be out of a job because she wouldn’t sell albums any longer. Aguilera buckled but later, older reclaimed her confidence and didn’t let them control her body any longer.
“I am Ecuadorian but people felt so safe passing me off as a skinny, blue-eyed white girl,” the Daily Mail reported her saying. ‘You are working with a fat girl. Know it now and get over it.’They need a reminder sometimes that I don’t belong to them. It’s my body…My body can’t put anyone in jeopardy of not making money anymore—my body is just not on the table that way anymore.”
Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt also didn’t rush to shed the baby weight. She acknowledged it takes a lot of time to recover after a baby.
“I’ve been doing Zumba, and I’ve worked it out so the baby’s been doing Zumba with me,” Hewitt told US Weekly in 2014. “We dance together, and I carry her as a weight so we’ve been having fun that way. The body takes about six months to fully come back so I haven’t wanted to injure myself so I’ve been swimming because it’s low impact on my system.”
Hilary Duff kept it real with her fans when she shared how tough she had it trying to get back into shape. “’20 minutes on the elliptical seems like an eternity!!! What the hell…’,she shared in a tweet.
Kristen Bell famously told Redbook magazine after giving birth to her first child, daughter Lincoln, in 2013.
“I’d like to get back down to where I was before the baby,” she said. “But if this is where my body wants to be, so be it. I’m not going to make myself miserable for the rest of my life trying to get back to where I was before.”
In 2011, Tisha Campbell-Martin opened up about working hard to unpeel 40 extra pounds she gained during her second pregnancy. Her post baby weight gain was actually worked into the plot while she was on My Wife & Kids.
In 2015, P!nk too had to call out social media critics of her weight gain. “I feel beautiful,” she clapped back at them. “So, my good and concerned peoples, please don’t worry about me (sic). I’m not worried about me. And I’m not worried about you either. I am perfectly fine, perfectly happy, and my healthy, voluptuous and crazy strong body is having some much deserved time off.”
Last year, Kerry Washington also opened up about not rushing to get back to pre-baby size. “I’ve been really focused on not being ‘back’ to anything, but being the best version of myself right now,” she said in an issue of Self magazine. My body is the site of a miracle now. I don’t want to be pre-miracle.”
Jessica Simpson, Tamera Mowry-Housley, Reese Witherspoon and Vanessa Simmons all looked beautiful carrying the extra pounds and didn’t let the noisy body-shaming critics get to them. Bravo ladies! It’s wonderful to see influential women being healthy body role models.