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Sex and the Suburbs: Why Celebumoms Make Us Feel Bad—And Why We Allow It

Sex and the Suburbs:  Why Celebumoms Make Us Feel Bad—And Why We Allow It Logos by Melanie Amorim
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Why has the once-cherished mom-bod become something to be looked upon with disgust and disdain, rather than revered as the happy result of something natural and beautiful?

  Why Kelly Clarkson May Not be a Mom, But is Definitely One Bad Mother—

Raise your hand if you like to thumb through copies of Star and People while standing in the checkout line. Okay—now raise your hand if what caught your eye are pictures of celebrities sans makeup or with enough cellulite on their bikini-clad figures to fill an industrial vat of Cream of Wheat. Mm-hmm. I thought so.

Now, flip to the women’s magazine rack. Also known in the publishing industry as the Girls R Dumb rack. Ooh, look—it’s the new issue of Self! (LINK TO COVER) Wow—that Kelly Clarkson sure got skinny real fast, didn’t she? Of course she did—but she lost hers the easy way—via a digital nip-n’-tuck.

And raise your hand one more time if herSelf made yourSelf think, wow, that must mean I am a complete cow.

Right. I don’t know about you, but I would KILL for that cute, curvy bod of hers—and I mean the non-Self version.

Back to the magazines! Give me a high-five if you also check out celebu-moms such as Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry and Nicole Ritchie. Give me another high-five (after washing), if you feel the need to vomit when you see them four weeks out from giving birth with their perfect, stretch-mark-free, non-saggy, flabless bodies that don’t look remotely like they just had a baby.

Do you torture yourself by feeling envious, bitter and resentful—even though you don’t have a full-time personal trainer, nutritionist or nanny to watch your offspring while you work out five hours a day? Well, you’re not alone. Somehow, the media has taken it upon themselves to demonize real bodies as “ugly”—and we moms have not only allowed it—we play right into it.

Admit it. It’s mostly moms who buy the magazines and check out Perez Hilton 40 times a day to see the latest crucifixion of the so-called “perfect” celebrity who was found to shockingly(!) have wrinkles, cellulite, or some other atrocious mortal faux-pas. Why do we do it? Because it makes us feel better about our less-than-perfect bodies. Then, when we click over to E!Online to read the Nicole Kidman interview in which she reveals that she lost all her baby weight within two weeks of giving birth—we burst into tears because we are still carrying the baby weight THREE YEARS LATER.

What? The? Fuck?

It’s a bi-polar stuck at the wrong end of the pole: we worship celebrities, as if they are somehow the ultimate über beings that we should all aspire to be, and at the same time, the only reason celeb moms look they way they do is that, well...IT’S THEIR JOB. They’re forced to defy everything real women are fundamentally engineered to be, because Hollywood is about selling FANTASY.

I’m not a doctor, but I can tell you that women are supposed to gain more than 10 pounds while pregnant. More of us get stretch marks during pregnancy than don’t. Post-birth breasts weren’t made to look like those of a Playboy centerfold—they were made to GIVE MILK. And that usually creates some significant changes in our breasts’ ability to defy gravity, unlike the Hollywood version of motherhood, in which Heidi Klum struts down the runway a month after giving birth with her perky, rock-hard rack. (I don’t know about you, but my breasts looked like something out of a science fiction movie a week after childbirth. And Victoria’s Secret does NOT make a full-coverage nursing bra. Boo, hiss.)

God forbid a celebrity mother—or any female celebrity, for that matter—actually puts on a few pounds or shows up in public without her game face on. Either the tabloids serve up damning photos that mock and ridicule her, or women’s mags Photoshop her twelve ways from Sunday to remove unsightly excess bulges, extra chins or skin imperfections. I must be slacking; I just use Photoshop to erase the snot off my kids’ faces for Christmas cards. But if even the beautiful people aren’t good enough for the cover of a magazine without enough CGI to make 10 more Star Wars movies, where the hell does that leave us?

Chasing an unrealistic goals and feeding a billion-dollar industry that continues to encourage our insecurities, that’s where. I say it’s time to stop the insanity. If the mainstream media, the advertising companies, and manufacturers want to make us feel unworthy, unattractive and lazy—if they don’t want us to look like moms—like women, even—then I think it’s time we got off this bus.

Besides. Walking is good exercise.

  The Part Where the Rest of the World Bends Down and Kisses My Mom-Butt

I don’t know about you, but I look like a mom—belly pouch, stretch-marks, thunder thighs—and most likely, unless I invest in thousands of dollars into plastic surgery, even with all the working out and eating right in the world, I would still look like a mom. (Okay, maybe a thinner, tighter, plastic mom, but a mom all the same.) I am a mother, and I am proud to be one. Besides, we have more important things to worry about than regaining our six-pack abs.

Instead, let’s take a good, long, hard look at what realistically makes a hot mommy instead.

Sure, you’re all nodding your heads in agreement with me right now, but I know the second you’re done reading this, you’ll be clicking over to TMZ to pounce on any new pictures of celebrity cellulite sightings in order to make you feel better about your own cottage cheese ass.

And the more we let these mixed messages manipulate us, the less happy we are going to be with who we are—real moms with real bodies and real lives. Stretch-marks and C-section scars are a fact of life. These are things that make us who we are, women who have had babies—who are still sexy and attractive. In fact, we are the same beautiful women we were before we had children, just a different, more powerful, mature versions of ourselves.

What we need to realize is that the constant stream of images we eat up is not—I repeat, NOT—reality. The celebrities’ lives we see—and somehow feel we are supposed to live up to or emulate—isn’t day-to-day reality—it’s a PR fantasy. And an ad agency’s wet dream turned dewy reality.

So cancel the subscriptions to women’s mags that preach loving ourselves for who we are, yet Photoshop their cover model’s imperfections and shave 10 pounds off her thighs. When you see a smiling celebu-mom holding her newborn baby wearing a size 2, turn the page. And when you look at your mom-bod in the mirror, realize that that is what you’re supposed to look like.

Today, it’s my turn. I am going to stand in front of the mirror naked, and take a long, hard look. Truth be told, it’s not all that easy. But I’m going to do it. And instead of telling myself I’m an unattractive, lazy fatass who’s let herself go, I’m going to embrace my curves—and all the other things that remind me that I am a mother. I may be no Heidi Klum, but I am still pretty damn sexy. Could I lose a few pounds? Sure. Could I work out more and get toned? Absolutely. I know I’m never going to have the “perfect” body. But maybe I can have the perfect mommy body—and that suits me just fine.


Oh, and by the way—this column was NOT brought to you by Self. Self—the magazine that tells you to love yourSelf; as long as yourSelf maintains less than a 2% body-fat ratio.

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