If your body has carried a baby and has endured physical changes because of carrying said baby, then you need to run—don’t walk—to Hunter McGrady’s latest Instagram post about her post-baby body.
The model and mama of 9-month-old Hudson has always been open about her journey to body acceptance, both before and after having a baby. Sometimes it can be difficult to relate to the body struggles of celebrity mamas, because many of us normies don’t have the same privileges they do. Hunter McGrady is one of those celebrity moms we wish we knew in real life, because she not only keeps things relatable, but she’s dedicated to fighting anti-fat bias and weight stigmas for women.
In her latest post, she talks about how looking at her son’s little baby body while he was taking a bath shifted her perspective on her own.
“As I was giving my son a bath last night I was looking at his sweet soft body and was thinking about how that is his body and skin that will grow with him, the same body that was there since day 1,” she writes in the caption. “The body and skin that was formed inside my womb. The body that will take him through every milestone, the body that will fall and get back up, get scratched, bruised, the body that will reset itself at every stage of life and the sweet body that will be with him forever.”
She explains that it would break her heart if Hudson ever looked at his body and thought negatively about it, or wished he could change it. This made her consider her thoughts about her own body, how much it’s changed after having her son, and how much it still deserves to be loved.
“Then this morning as I was getting dressed I looked at my body and was surprised at just how different it looked to me,” she explains. “I had more stretch marks than ever before, somehow they all came postpartum, my stomach wasn’t as tight as it once was, my boobs weren’t sitting so high and one seemed to droop much more than the other, and I began to point out all these things that didn’t look right to me.”
After having my second baby, I noticed my body looked far different compared to how it looked after my having my first. Things are now droopier, less elastic, and it appears as though I have a little more “wear and tear” in some areas than I ever did before. It’s hard to accept these changes, full stop. I am a proud advocate for body acceptance and fighting weight bias and diet culture, but that doesn’t mean I’m free from struggling over what I look like.
That’s why I needed to read Hunter McGrady’s words, too.
“Then my son sitting in that bath last night flashed in my head and I remembered, this body made his,” she concluded. “So, I took a photo to remember how much I need to appreciate this body today.”
Whew. Yes. So much yes. We all need to. Listen, I don’t look like I did at 22 anymore, because I’m not 22 anymore. I never will be again. And while 22-year-old me had a more “societally acceptable” body frame and jeans size, that body didn’t know what it was like to carry two children. That body didn’t know the sensation of rocking a baby to sleep, or feeding a child in the wee hours of the morning. That body didn’t have the sore back that comes from carrying a two-year-old on your hip all day. That body’s knees didn’t crack because I wasn’t bending down to tie shoes, change diapers, kiss boo-boos, or give baths every day.
So if you’ve ever felt down about the way you look after having a baby, well, congrats—you’re normal. But if we all spent as much time reminding ourselves to respect our bodies, the same ones that have taken care of us since day one, we’d probably feel a heck of a lot better about it. And don’t we deserve that?