31 July 2007

Baby Bump Project lands in Canada

I was interviewed by Globe and Mail, the Canadian national newspaper a few weeks back for a story on baby bumps and celebrity culture...and here it is in today's paper..

Hot Hollywood moms set the bar too high

Welcome to new Canadian readers! Thanks for visiting and feel free to send me your stories about pregnancy, baby bumps, body image, celebrity rants and any pictures you might like to share with other mothers of the world. This site is for you..

Mylene Klass and the white bikini

It seems that if you live anywhere remotely near the UK, Mylene Klass is a household name. Since falling pregnant, her public presence has grown enormously. There is one bit of her story that I find particularly intriguing. Before she was pregnant, she famously modeled for Marks and Spencer in a white bikini. The 'white bikini shoot' was famously reprised when she was 5 months pregnant. The bikinis flew off the shelves and so much so that Marks and Spencer got itself out of it's looming financial demise. It didnt seem to matter that a pregnant woman was modeling a bikini for ostensibly non-pregnant women. Fast forward and Klass has posed naked on the cover of UK Glamour and is currently appearing in the Marks and Spencer autumn ad campaign at 8.5 months pregnant. In the words of one jouralist, Klass has done for pregnancy what Kate Moss did for heroin chic.
Pregnancy has also been a major turnaround in Klass' muddled career which has been riddled with weight issues. When the baby is born, she says there will be "no faddy diets, none of that nonsense." "I'm as prey as anyone to images of super-skinny women, but it's important that women see someone who's normal. I'm 5ft 5in and I've got boobs and a bum. I'm never going to be tiny-tiny but the best things have happened to me when I've been at my heaviest, including meeting my fella when I was size 16. He pointed out to me last night when he was rolling me into bed - we live by the Thames, so there are a lot of whale jokes in our house - that I was heavier when we met than I have been while I'm pregnant."

Marcia Cross back in fine form

Apparently, Marcia Cross is back into fighting form according to Sky News. They have even gone so far as snapping her postbaby belly in all of its flat glory to prove their point, that indeed, six months since she gave birth to twins, her body has returned to tight and trim.

Additionally, there is also another cringe worthy but equally as entrancing slideshow featuring celebs and their rapid postbaby body transformations... http://showbiz.sky.com/showbiz/picture_gallery/0,,50001-1174702,00.html

Gwyneth Paltrow: her post-baby body 'nightmare'

People magazine has annouced that Gwyneth Paltrow is back on the big screen with Robert Downey Jr.

"I was like a post-baby nightmare," she says of her shape when son Moses was born on April 8 2006 (daughter Apple is 3). "So I worked really, really hard. I had an amazing trainer and I worked out twice a day and did dance cardio and felt like a complete nerd and I just really worked hard. I got into shape. And there you go. I was ready to go."

I think 'nightmare' is a bit harsh. Wasn't Gwyneth the one saying how much she loved motherhood? But at least she admits she worked hard to lose the weight and it certainly wasn't due to just 'pilates'.

Source: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20048795,00.html

29 July 2007

Nicole Ritchie does a 'Paris': preggers and off to jail

According to Us magazine, this courtroom sketch shows Nicole Ritchie 'thrusting her baby bump forward for the world to see'.
PUHLEASE. Thrusting forward? She is so bloody skinny the only thing thrusting forward are probably her hip bones.

Shanna Moakler blogs about the 'secret' to losing baby weight

Former Miss USA and wife of Travis Barker (Blink 182) uses MySpace to talk about her body after babies:

"I will say this...THERE IS NO HOLLYWOOD SECRET to getting thin after babies! Most "starlets" have plastic surgery, they use pills, drugs, or they live in the gym for 4 to 6 hours a day, they are airbrushed, photoshopped ( including myself on the photoshop) , stop beating yourself up!! It will all go back!! It took 9 months it might take a year getting back! I'd rather be called Shanna porker and be a healthy average WOMAN , then do what most do, to get that thin...I look at my children and I am thrilled that my body will never be the same after having them....they were worth it!"


27 July 2007

Chinese mums to be bare their bellies

This is an intriguing photo of Chinese women baring all in a pregnant belly colouring contest of sorts that you would be more likely to expect to come out of America (after all, there are pregnant beauty/bikini contests all over the US!)

"Mostly born in the late 1970s or the early 1980s, these women have never missed an opportunity to show off their natural beauty, even when they're pregnant," a cameraman said.
This image actually surprises me because from my own research into maternity wear, Asian cultures tend to view a naked pregnant belly more conservatively. When I was looking at maternity clothes in Japan, for example, I noticed that women are still relegated to covering up their bellies for the most part. Maternity frocks are more pinafore than plunging and you are more likely to find tops with puppies and kittens over tight and Lycra. None of the maternity magazines show exposed pregnant bodies/bellies and the majority of the information is illustrated with cartoons. Since I started this research I have been under the impression that publicly pregnant bodies are still very taboo in a number of Asian cultures, however, this must quite apparently be changing given this image of Chinese women. Moreover, I do get alot of Asian readers on this blog (mostly Singapore, Japan, China, Malaysia) which indicates that there is a similar level of interest and/or fascination with baby bumps and pregnancy weight gain which I suppose does not necessarily surprise me given the global nature of the mass media.
I find the cameraman's comment above interesting as well. He implies that because the women are of a certain generation, they are more 'liberal' perhaps in their views about exposing their pregnant bellies in public; that somehow women in their mid-late 20s are exhibitionists in a way that their mothers and grandmothers are not. The use of 'even when they're pregnant' also suggests that despite the cultural sentiment that women should hide their bellies, these younger women clearly are challenging social mores but are behaving almost as expected of their generation.

New research says losing pregnancy weight too quickly is dangerous

Finally, the research that all new mothers need to hear. Two studies from the British Medical Journal indicate that losing weight too quickly after birth can put your next baby at risk (and gaining too much weight in between pregnancies is also dangerous).

Women are encouraged to try to maintain a healthy weight before, during and after pregnancy to give their child the best start in life, say two doctors writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

"Women of reproductive age are bombarded with messages about diet, weight, and body image," they said.

"There is growing concern on the one hand about an epidemic of obesity, and on the other about a culture that promotes 'size zero' as desirable, irrespective of a woman's natural build.

"With at least half of all pregnancies unplanned, women need to be aware of the implications of their weight for pregnancy, birth, and the health of their babies."


26 July 2007

Milla Jovovich: rounding it out for Jane

Speaking of celebrities getting naked, model Milla Jovovich is in latest issue of Jane magazine preggo and in the buff. She says:

'Now that I'm pregnant I love my boobs. The way my body has changed is crazy for sure. Last summer, I had muscles and my arms were all cut and strong, and now I look like this healthy Russian farm girl. I'm really curving out and becoming feminine- 25 pounds later'.

Milla J is so cool. Not only is she gorgeous but she's not whining about her weight despite being a model...

24 July 2007

Maggie Gyllenhaal: the new face of Agent Provocateur

Maggie Gyllenhaal, one of my favourite celebrities, has just signed to become the new face of saucy British lingerie company, Agent Provocateur. Replacing Kate Moss, Gyllenhaal will appear in the next ad campaign starting in September of this year. Maggie is, of course, gorgeous but with a more subtle sexiness in comparison to most mainstream actresses.

However, I am particularly intrigued that in every piece of copy I've read talking about her signing, everyone seems to find it necessary to mention that Maggie will be the face of AP just nine months after giving birth to her daughter Ramona. However, Kate Moss is also a mother but no one ever bothered to mention that when she was the face of AP! In fact, when the video of Kate Moss in AP lingerie was released last year, the website was so overrun it actually crashed. At 31, post-pregnancy, Kate looked not much different than she did at 14, when her unsettlingly thin body defined the term 'waif'.

One one hand, it's fantastic that a successful company such as AP thinks that mother's bodies are beautiful. After all, they do have a nice, but limited maternity range (and on the pricey side). They also previously did a campaign in which some of their real customers were featured. On the other hand, would they have chosen Maggie to be the new face if she was still holding on to a bit of her pregnancy weight? I'm highly doubtful.

Jessica Rowe 'ashamed' to admit to her battles with PND

Interesting. Yesterday I was posting about how non-chalant the media has been in portraying Jessica Rowe's battle with PND as something she just sort of 'got over' without any substantive insight into just what exactly her experiences entailed. Thankfully, the picture becomes a bit candid in the Herald Sun today.

However, I am perplexed as to why Jessica Rowe suffering silently with PND is a 'stunning admission' or that this is her 'baby shame' according to the journalist. PND is definitely not uncommon and I can only applaud Jessica Rowe for sharing her experiences, not pretending to be a perfect mother merely because she is a recognisable face in the Australian media, and admitting that motherhood is life-altering. I can only imagine how much pressure Rowe felt having to talk about her pregnancy constantly when she was hosting Today, speaking about her IVF treatments and being a good mother.

On why she decided to share her story:
'I had to be true to myself and admit I'd suffered. At first I had planned to put it behind me. I'd recovered and wanted to move forward'.

On when she knew something was wrong:
'I was getting very anxious. I felt out of control. I worried about everything, like whether she'd get a cold - but beyond normal levels. I also had trouble breast-feeding. It also shocked me that I felt so ashamed of admitting it. Of not coping'.

How failed attempts at IVF contributed to her depression:
'I felt ashamed. How could I feel like this when I finally had this beautiful treasure? It's hard to fess up to'.

On when she felt she had recovered:
Rowe says she suffered for a month when Allegra was six weeks old before 'suddenly feeling like I was breathing fresh air again'.

Sources: http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22125703-5012974,00.html
Herald Sun, 24 July, p.15

23 July 2007

Jessica Rowe talks about postnatal depression

I was wondering what ever happened to former Today host Jessica Rowe. Since she was blatantly booted from Channel 9 following her maternity leave, there haven't been any photographs or mentions of her or her baby. Low and behold, she reveals in this week's issue of New Idea that she has been suffering from postnatal depression since the birth of her daughter, Allegra, in January. Now Rowe is back in the spotlight with a gig reading the news on Channel 7 and will be appearing in the next installment of Dancing with the Stars.
According the Sydney Morning Herald, Rowe says:
"I suffered postnatal depression, not for long, but I did have it. At first I didn't want to acknowledge it. I knew it wasn't right and that it was more then being sleep deprived. I pushed it away for a few days."
Upon visiting her obstetrician, Rowe says, "I remember talking to her and sobbing".
My only complaint is the New Idea headline shouting that Rowe 'beat' depression implying that somehow if she hadn't overcome PND she wouldn't have been as marketable or she would have been a less successful mother. I have yet to read the actual story but I wonder if Rowe talks about the dark times or if instead she glosses over it and just talks about how great it is to be back in action. I think women really need to hear that they aren't the only ones suffering in silence and that there is support out there if they need it.

22 July 2007

Thanks from Hot Milk!

I was so pleased to receive this comment in response to my recent post about the 'soft porn' debate surrounding maternity lingerie company, Hot Milk:

'Hi everyone, Lisa here from HOTmilk! I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who is supporting us, which can I say is like 99% of the world! The feedback we are getting is amazing and we are so proud of what we are doing and how our lingerie is making mums feel. thank you again, Lisa'

20 July 2007

Elisabeth Hasselbeck bares her belly on 'The View'

According to TMZ, Elisabeth Hasselbeck bared her belly on 'The View' after hearing that Barbara Walters was unable to reveal her own pregnancy whilst hosting the 'Today' show many years ago. Hasselbeck, lifted her top and revealed her bump to Babs' surprise..and said:
'You don't get naked when you're not pregnant. You're pregnant all of a sudden and you're nude walking around, showing the belly. I definitely feel different. I feel like I'm more comfortable with my body when I'm pregnant. I see my body as a vessel of someone else. I feel more comfortable in my own skin'.
Hasselbeck also randomly talked about incontinence in her pregnancy with a very bizarre story involving her daughter's nappies!

Jaime Pressly tells it like it is...pregnancy was 'a killer'

I've posted about My Name is Earl star, Jaime Pressly, a bit over the last few months and I found this article from The New Zealand Herald really interesting because Pressly gushed about how much she loved being pregnant in every article I read about her and this new one paints a completely different picture of how she felt about her body (assuming she actually said the things that have been quoted!). In fact, I am sceptical that she actually did say half of this stuff because most celebrities tend to censor what they say, especially with regard to pregnancy, so they appear as though they are the epitome of idyllic motherhood. It's like no matter how bad they feel about themselves, they all say gaining weight never bothers them, motherhood is amazing, blah blah blah. In this article, Jaime Pressly says she thought pregnancy 'sucked' and she 'hated being fat'. If that's not being candid, well, I don't know what is!

On her pregnancy:
'As a new mom I'm supposed to go on about how wonderful it was to be pregnant. Well, I don't buy into that. The truth is that I love my baby to bits, but the rest of it sucked. Pregnancy was the biggest killer for me. I hated it - I hated being fat'.

On mood swings:
'My hormones were all over the place and I acted like some lunatic, picking fights with my boyfriend over how he made my coffee'.

On her skin:
'On top of that I had this hideous 'pregnancy mask' skin discolouration which completely covered my face. You can normally use creams to disguise it, but not when you're pregnant, so I had to walk around looking like I was horribly disfigured. This may sound arrogant, but I'm used to looking hot. I just wanted to cry all the time'.

On motherhood:
'Nobody tells you this stuff when you talk about having a baby - it's all kept as one big secret. The only amazing thing is when your baby pops out and you have this little thing that is going to be part of your life forever'.

On losing weight:
'I'm having a party and then a holiday and I aim to be in a super-slutty outfit for the first and a swimsuit for the second. I love being a mother, but I want to be a super sexy mother with a better body than ever before. When I pull on my spray-on jeans for my party, I want to look in the mirror and like what I see'.

On her postbaby body:
'People may think it's mad but it makes me happier to see my body coming back'.

On celebs who adopt:
'Some women just skip having babies or adopt because they don't want to get fat or they haven't put in the time to find a partner. It's great to adopt, but a lot of adoptions are motivated by vanity and laziness'.


Tori Spelling embraces her new curves

When she was pregnant Tori Spelling gained 40 lbs (18 kg) and in only 4 months, she has lost 22 lbs (10kg) so she is well on her way to making it to her pre-pregnancy weight of 115 lbs (52kg) as a result of her NutriSystem diet (which I've written about previously). In this week's Us magazine, Tori talks about her weight loss and motherhood. Apparently, it was a rude shock to discover that breastfeeding did not make a significant dent in her pregnancy weight gain.

On her body a few weeks post birth:
“I thought I looked heavier after I had the baby. [The bulge] left the stomach area and shifted into areas that I didn’t know could gain weight…I was like, Uh-oh”.

On exercise:
To supplement her healthy diet, Spelling started working out with trainer Sam Levine two months after giving birth. Two to three times a week “we do a lot of kickboxing, work on the abs, squats and lunges,” she says.

On her postbaby body:
“I like my curves. I’m happy with the way I look. I don’t think about getting down to a size 0 or a size 2 because that was before. I’m a mom now!”

I think this is a strange statement. It just reinforces alot of sociohistorical associations of motherhood as un-sexy, meaning that the mother's body sort of becomes a function of her child's needs and not a desirable sexual 'object'. I think it's interesting that she says this because celebrities are the ones that have gone out of their way to make motherhood overtly sexy and glamorous.

But then in the next breath she says her goal is to lose another 10 pounds and then flaunt her knockout figure.

On being a sexy mum:
“I’m going to put on a bikini and walk proudly down the beach!”


19 July 2007

Empowered pregancy or just good marketing?

As my last post spruiked the merits of retail therapy, particularly when it comes to fancy breastfeeding bras, and more importantly the joy in purchasing a maternity bra that isn't a heinous shade of beige, I attempted to make the point that it is bizarre that proudly pregnant women in bras are somehow offensive given that we see scantily clad or naked women on a daily basis in the media. After all, plenty of celebrities parade around naked and pregnant and plenty of everyday women get photographs taken of themselves as a keepsake of a beautiful time so what's the big freaking deal with women having a bit of fun? If cherry print French knickers from 'Hot Milk' make you feel a little bit better in your 40th week, you go girl!

So then I found this commentary on pregnancy and in particular, the 'Hot Milk'/soft porn debate. Rosemary McLeod writes:

"Since I was pregnant last there've been big changes in lingerie, too. Once you could only get white or flesh-coloured maternity bras, magnifying the size of your watermelons. Now you can actually get black – and even colour. The only drawback to buying the latest lingerie for pregnancy, designed to make women feel sexy at an un-sexy time, is the brand. In the case of a new local company producing a catalogue for breastfeeding and pregnant mothers, it's "Hot Milk". You'd have to rip the label off your bra rather than admit you'd succumbed. What if you were run over by a bus, and the nurses in casualty saw it?

Women who've received the catalogue, which features real pregnant women as models, have complained that the images are "soft porn". This sounds like wishful thinking on their part, poor darlings. What they ought to be objecting to is a jokey label that defines lactating women as some kind of cappuccino machine for infants. Rather than cheering you up and making you feel good about the experience, it'd have you wondering why your breasts weren't chrome like the rest of your yuppie kitchen, and whether they came with a lifetime guarantee".

This bit really annoys me because the writer is doing exactly what she sets out not to do. Her article is based entirely on the premise that pregnancy isn't always fun and games; not all women feel hot and happening and no one should feel pressure to meet cultural expectations. I agree with this. However, she instead suggests that just because she didn't feel 'sexy' in pregnancy, somehow it's not on for other pregnant women to enjoy breastfeeding or pregnancy with a great bra. She says pregnancy is categorically 'un-sexy'. Is she living in a bubble? Pregnant bodies are sexed, sexual bodies (which is not really surprising given that being pregnant is basically an announcement that you have had sex!) And what exactly are women 'succumbing to' as she suggests, by buying a bra?

Since when is it a bad thing to proud of being a mother?

The Horrors of Maternity http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/4133172a1861.html

16 July 2007

Maternity lingerie is apparently 'soft porn'

Ironically, I was doing a brief for a pregnancy company in London about hot products from around the world and I just so happened to mention that Kiwi maternity lingerie company, Hot Milk (http://www.hotmilklingerie.co.nz/), was the only way for pregnant mums to save their chests from nine months of sheer boredom. For those in the know, Hot Milk is hot these days and the sexy but completely functional designs are by far the most desirable underthings a preggo could ever want (and in a range of sizes that do not begin and end with XS). The ‘Cherry Bomb Chic’ bra and matching microfibre French knickers are so amazing you would want to get pregnant just so you could wear them.

Anyway, back to my point. One of my secret sources sent me an article this morning explaining that the ladies of Hot Milk have been accused of pedaling 'soft porn' in their latest catalogue as beautiful pregnant bellies dazzle the glossy pages in black satin and bows, looking all feminista and fabulous. Apparently, online store Breastmates sent out the new catalogue to their database of women in New Zealand, many of whom complained of 'explicit' images tarnishing their pristine in-boxes.

I find this so fascinating. Everyone in the media (and I'm guilty of it myself) rants about how fantastic it is that pregnant women can show off their bellies proudly, that celebrities can accessorise with a baby bump instead of a Balenciaga, that because of Demi Moore and her infamous naked pregnant photo shoot, doing a 'Demi' on a magazine cover is like Starbucks in America. And yet, a few pregnant women in bras celebrating their bodies are branded as porn? Did I mention that Demi and Britney and recently, Mylene Klass, were NAKED on the covers of magazines and everyone gave them three cheers?

People are strange. If anything, I hope that Hot Milk gets a boatload of publicity and in turn, sells more bras.

Full article:

14 July 2007

Wet-nursing: is your own breast best?

Apparently wet-nursing, the age old practice of paying women to feed other women's babies, is back and Americans have been talking about it (alot). News obviously doesn't travel as fast this far down under so this is the first I've heard of this borrowed boob revival. Not only are everyday mothers sharing their milk (known as cross-nursing) but celebrities are also hiring wet nurses from a few agencies who make their profit in the 'outsourcing' of milk, a side effect of stars being too rich, too busy and having one too many breast augmentations.
See http://www.certifiedhouseholdstaffing.com/

So what is the problem? If a mother is unable to feed her child, is it wrong to have a friend feed the baby for her? Some sociologists suggest that the reason people are so weirded out by sharing around breasts is the idea that breasts are culturally erotic and somehow feeding someone else's child is tantamount to paedophilia or even child abuse. Some critics argue that breastfeeding is solely the responsibility of the birth mother and if she can't feed she is missing that essential bonding time with her baby.

I do have a problem with the fact that the Australian Marie Claire article (link below) suggests that a wet nurse is the latest celebrity 'accessory' on par with elective caesars, drivers or dog walkers. Sure celebrities have alot of people that are paid to run their lives but I think the suggestion that the modern day wet nurse is as frivolous as a dog walker is irresponsible. I think there are plenty of women in the world who are unable to feed and have finally found a plausible solution to avoid formula. There are also plenty of women who want to go back to work and probably can't be bothered to feed for very long (and I'm not here to pass judgment). On a totally different level, wet nursing carries alot of historical weight particularly in America during slavery when black women were co-opted into feeding white women's babies pretty much by force or out of necessity. As slaves, black women had to abandon their own children to feed white babies. Really, when it comes down to it, wet nursing isn't 'new' at all and in fact, women have been engaged in the practice of feeding other women's babies for hundreds of years. Why should we stop now?

Further reading:

13 July 2007

Bikini bods after baby: photos that will make everyday mums want to cry

I was just perusing the world of celebrity and salacious gossip as I do and came across this little beauty from Us, my favourite trashy American rag. Entitled 'Bikini Bods After Baby', you can perve on stars like Jennifer Garner, Angie Harmon and Brooke Burke who regained seriously fit bodies following the births of their children. Whilst truly amazing, I'm not suggesting that these celeb bodies are something mothers everywhere should be aspiring to, quite the opposite.

I think these pictures demonstrate just how crazy Hollywood has become considering Brooke Burke, for example, felt so much pressure to 'bounce back' she dropped more than 15 kilos in less than 6 months. She says, 'I started working out a week after she [her daughter] was born'. Denise Richards posed for Playboy only 5 months after her daughter Sam was born in 2004 thanks to 'pilates'. Yeah bloody right. She must have been doing alot more than pilates to drop 15 or so kilos in 5 months.

Have a squiz at the photos yourself and you be the judge.

Suzy Preston: on gaining weight

After losing 43kg on The Biggest Loser (America), it was hard for Suzy Preston (she is married to the winner of the same series, Matt Hoover) to see the weight creep back on when she got pregnant.

On her pre-pregnancy body:
'Four months before I got pregnant, I was in the best shape ever. I’d got all the excess skin removed and was feeling the best I ever had'.

On gaining weight during pregnancy:
Her anxiety about gaining weight got so bad that she was having panic attacks during her regular weigh-ins with her doctor. “I had to stop looking at the scale,” she says.

On being pregnant:
'This pregnancy thing is overrated, but I am really excited about being a mom'.

On post-baby weight loss:
'I got a jogging stroller. My goal is to be able run the five miles a day I was doing before I got pregnant'.
Suzy gave birth to Rex Timothy on 23 June.

11 July 2007

Maggie Gyllenhaall: weight loss and the wonder of motherhood

I love Maggie Gyllenhaall and I think she has proven that it is entirely possibly to be famous and pregnant and not be photographed obsessively. Anyway, if remember from a few weeks back she was snapped in a Manhattan park feeding her daughter and because her breast was exposed she was criticised all over the internet. She spoke to the Guardian about her new life as a mother and slams suggestions that she dropped her baby weight immediately after the birth:
On motherhood:
'It has changed my life in the most incredible way'.

On her baby weight:
'Totally ridiculous. I was really shocked that they would write that. At that point I was 25 or 30lb heavier than I had been before I got pregnant. I had literally just given birth! It's so unhelpful to everybody, to print stupid stuff like that'.

On pressure to be slim and fabulous:
'It would be dishonest and unhelpful to say I haven't felt that pressure. I do feel it - just not enough to change what I'm doing very much. I mean, I still go out to dinner all the time'.

Full article: http://film.guardian.co.uk/interview/interviewpages/0,,2120688,00.html

09 July 2007

Penny Lancaster loses baby weight 'naturally'

Rod Stewart's model missus, Penny Lancaster, spoke to Ok! magazine about becoming a mother and gaining weight. She says she feels more 'womanly' and loves her postbaby body.

On her body:
'Rod prefers my body since I gave birth. I'm more confident. Having had a baby I feel more womanly. Obviously I put weight on, but I honestly didn't care. I loved getting big! I was determined that my baby's health came first'.

On losing weight:
'It's only now that I feel I have got my figure back. But I've done it the right way, the natural way. For the first nine months while breastfeeding, I kept up my calorie intake and my exercise routine consisted of pushing Alastair in his pram'.

Why do I find it hard to believe that her weight loss was solely the result of breastfeeding? Interesting, she told the Mirror a different story last year just five months after the birth...I'm not trying to imply that it's wrong to want to work out post-birth, I just HATE IT when celebrities lie and say they did nothing to lose weight when they obviously do exercise and eat healthfully.

Some highlights of her exercise regimen..and it wasnt just breastfeeding that knocked the weight off...

'I couldn't cycle at first, it was still too painful with the stitches, so we went to our house in Palm Beach where I used the swimming pool."

'When I tried to speed up my cardio workout, my milk started running low, so I had to slow. Now I walk on an incline on the treadmill instead of running'.

'It's important to exercise the core muscles afterwards pregnancy because your belly just turns to jelly. I used to be able to do 30 press-ups but after I could do only one. I do Pilates and yoga-style exercise now'.



Cindy Crawford: on being a wife, mum and business mogul

Cindy Crawford, the new face of Omega watches, has been hanging out in Sydney to promote the new Omega store and had some time to do a few interviews in between. This is from the Herald Sun Sunday Magazine pp.15-18

On her body:
'I'm like any woman. I have good hair days and bad hair days. I have parts of my body I like and parts I'm less keen on now that I'm older. By at 41, my body has changed. I've had two kids, so my waist isn't as small as it was, but I'm comfortable in my skin and that's a great thing about getting older. Once you turn 40, you learn to like who you are and where you're at in life'.

On motherhood:
'I love it. I have a great relationship with my own mother, so it's fantastic to be able to build something similarly strong with my own children'.

On size zero:
'Models have taken a lot of the blame for that look. We have to look a certain way to do our job properly, but fashion goes in cycles. When I was starting out, I did well because I was fit and athletic and then, in the 90s, the super-skinny thing began. Nowadays, it's more often the celebrities who are size zero, but models get the blame for that trend.

On not being a size zero:
'I was never very thin and I never will be. But particularly, having a young daughter, I'm very aware that she sees that I eat, that I enjoy my food and that if I want to have something, I'll have it, but that I also exercise by playing tennis, hiking and swimming to stay healthy, too'.

Here's a flashback of an interview when she was pregnant with her daughter from Fit Pregnancy:

You’re famous for being a total babe, but do you have any body insecurities?
Oh, absolutely. I’ve posed nude in Playboy, and I posed nude on the cover of W while I was expecting Presley, but I won’t even wear bikinis when I’m pregnant. I don’t mind wearing tight stuff, but I feel too naked if I have my tummy showing — I wear a tank and a sarong. It’s weird, huh?

Any nude posing this time?
Not yet. Some days I feel better about this silhouette than on other days. I’m not one of those women who feel their most beautiful and feminine when they’re pregnant.

04 July 2007

How in the world did Nicole Ritchie get knocked up?

Is anyone else confused? How does a girl (and I call her a girl because she looks like one) who fluctuates between 38-45 kilos become pregnant? Surely, Nicole isn't having regular periods!

Women who are very underweight before they become pregnant are 72% more likely to miscarry in the first three months of pregnancy. Given that Ritchie has a sort of sketchy history with eating disorders, I wonder how she will cope with the inevitable weight gain associated with pregnancy. In my own research, I have found that women who have long-standing obsessions with their body weight pre-pregnancy find it very challenging to grow bigger in pregnancy. In more extreme cases, such intense bodily dissatisfaction can lead to antenatal or postnatal depression.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, eating disorders that are not looked after properly during pregnancy can lead to:

Premature labor
Low birth weight
Stillbirth or fetal death
Likelihood of Cesarean birth
Delayed fetal growth
Respiratory problems
Gestational diabetes
Complications during labor

Let's hope Nicole can make it through safely (if she is indeed pregnant and not avoiding jail time!)

01 July 2007

Kate Winslet: proud of her stretchmarks

I hired a fantastic film, Little Children, this weekend (only just released in Australia) featuring Kate Winslet as a bored and particularly uncaring mother who has an affair with a married father played by insanely attractive Patrick Wilson. When it was first released, Hollywood was all abuzz not only because of a few fairly graphic sex scenes but more importantly because Kate Winslet was bold enough to show off her stretchmarks. I read some of these articles prior to seeing the movie and, I have to say, the critics' overwhelming praise for Winslet's acceptance of her post-baby body motivated me to hire the movie specifically for this reason. After all, how many times in your life will you get to see a beautiful actress portrayed as a 'real' person? And why does everyone assume that Winslet should be embarassed or ashamed of her body? An article from the Telegraph titled 'Why Winslet bared body and soul?' implies that she should justify her 'womanly curves'. I still find it funny that even though Winslet is perhaps a bit more curvy than most skinny bitch celebrities, she's still thinner than most women, and yet her weight is a constant source of debate.

"Not to put down other women in movies or movies in general," says Winslet, "but I do have an issue with this kind of image of perfection that a movie can put across. You want to say to people 'Stop! Stop! It's not real. We've been in makeup for 212 hours. We don't really look like that.' I mean, I'm living proof that we don't really look like that."


"I've had two kids, and every woman out there knows that when you've had a child your body just doesn't go back to normal," she says. "I have lots of stretch marks and all the rest of it, and I'm sort of proud of all my battle wounds."

"I just thought to myself, 'You know what? I am playing a woman who is a mother and therefore it doesn't stand to reason that every part of my body would be perfect – which, by the way, it's not. Who is perfect?"

"It was important for me to just be a real person and be in the position where I can stand up and say, 'Hey, look, I'm normal. I have these stretch marks. I'm not perfect,' " she says. "The notion that women in films are perfect and beautiful and have some kind of secret beauty that nobody else has is just so ridiculous to me, because we're all normal."

This all sounds great, doesn't it? Finally, an actress admits that it's okay to be a mother and not have a 'perfect' body.

So, I watch the movie. NO STRETCHMARKS TO BE SEEN! There must have been some serious post-production magic happening because Kate looked perfect, her skin flawless and you would never have any inclination that the state of her body in this movie could have sparked such bizarre dialogues about her courage to expose her 'battle wounds'.

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The Baby Bump Project by Meredith Nash is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.