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Thank heaven I gave birth to a baby as an easy excuse to get fat and totally let my body go. Said no one, ever.
And that’s why new remarks made by celeb trainer Tracy Anderson are soliciting a firestorm of angry responses. She told DuJour magazine, “A lot of women use pregnancy as an excuse to let their bodies go, and that's the worst thing. I've seen so many women who come to me right after [having kids] with disaster bodies that have gone through hell, or they come to me years later and say, ‘Oh, my body is like this because I had three kids.'"
It should be noted that Anderson herself only gained 30 pounds during pregnancy and took all of it off within six weeks. But as trainer to Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow, Anderson has -- it's fair to say -- unusual access to resources and funds. And of course, she makes her living through her fit physique, unlike the average mom who is working slavishly after delivery to handle multiple demands and who is not being photographed on the red carpet.
Anderson’s remarks come just after Us Weekly editor Janice Min told The New York Times that she regrets the pressure her magazine has put on women through its pages and covers touting “momshells,” or new moms who seem instantly runway ready. (Hello, Heidi Klum and Gisele Bundchen.) After having her third child, the 42-year-old Min told The Times, “The notion that instantly stick-thin figures after birth are normal is untrue. Sometimes, in my sleep-deprived nights, I ponder our ideal of this near-emaciated, sexy, and well-dressed Frankenmom we’ve created and wonder how to undo her.”
So even though Min is complicit in creating the unreasonable expectations, we applaud her for stepping up to disavow it. (Better late than never!) Here’s hoping more public figures will stand up in support of reasonable, healthy expectations for new mothers -- and indeed for all women -- even as people like Anderson espouse fantasies.
Alesandra Dubin is a Los Angeles-based writer. Follow her on Twitter: @alicedubin.