Isn’t it great that models can work while pregnant and then return to the runways after having babies? After all, for decades many models’ careers ended once mommy-hood began. NY Magazine‘s article “For Models, Pregnancy is In” waxes poetic about this new trend.
But seeing fewer waifish teen models in fashion spreads and more mom models doesn’t reduce my body anxiety in the least. Instead of saying, “Boy, am I fat compared to those skinny teens,” now I can say, “Wow, I’ll never get back to my pre-baby weight as fast as she did.” In other words, this trend could lead to us putting that much more pressure on to ourselves. There’s no excuse not to be thin and gorgeous a month after you’ve pushed out little Joey or Janny.
It’s kinda like the trend of 40 year-olds looking like they’re 25. Think Demi Moore and Courtney Cox. It’s inspiring to see older hot ladies. I think maybe I’ll look like that instead of some old hag. BUT, it adds pressure too. Now I HAVE to look 30 even if I’m 45!
You can view it another way though.
In an earlier post I wrote about the power of the essential (“What’s Behind the Pleasure of Beauty”). Knowing and valuing the essence of something — a painting’s history versus just the pure artistic skill depicted or a beautiful person’s personality versus just seeing his or her body — makes that something more pleasurable to have or be around.
Perhaps that’s the appeal of mommy models. We see them as more than just beautiful specimens. We realize that they have essences, they have their own stories, they are multi-dimensional.
Now, if I can only stop the instinct to compare myself to others. Then maybe I can start appreciating these models for who they are: real women.