It is the year two thousand and twenty, and yet people who've just given birth are still besieged by unreasonable expectations of how their body should look and feel after expelling a whole other human. Someone with absolutely no time for that? New mom Ashley Graham, who posted a photo of her postpartum body (opens in new tab) on Instagram along with a candid insight into recovery after childbirth.
"Raise your hand if you didn’t know you’d be changing your own diapers too," Graham, who welcomed new baby Isaac with her husband Justin Ervin in January, captioned the photo. "After all these years in fashion I never could’ve guessed that disposable underwear would be my favorite piece of clothing but here we are! No one talks about the recovery and healing (yes even the messy parts) new moms go through. I wanted to show you guys that it’s not all rainbows and butterflies!"
Throughout her pregnancy, Graham made it her mission to dispel harmful myths and unrepresentative depictions concerning pregnant bodies. Back in August, shortly after she and Ervin announced (with an acutely adorable video) they were expecting, she shared a naked photo on Instagram, with the caption "same same but a little different." The post, which featured her unretouched stretch marks, was applauded by her followers; at time of writing, it's got almost 1.5 million likes.
In October, she shared a gorgeous nude video on Instagram (opens in new tab), writing, "Getting bigger and bigger and trying to embrace my new body everyday. It’s a journey and I’m so thankful to have such a supportive community." I suspect there's a lot of people just as thankful for you, Ashley!
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Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.
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