Much ink has been spilled over the so-called Dadbod, that doughy physique that is—depending on whom you ask—either unexpectedly hot or a lamentable byproduct of lazy middle-aged coupledom. Less celebrated has been the Mombod—especially the postpartum Mombod, which bears all the marks of incubating and birthing a new life.
In our “better, faster, stronger” culture, with its Skinnymoms and Mommyrexics, a non-airbrushed belly is a dangerous thing. Even in the women’s magazines, where celebrity pregnancies are enjoying a fetishized renaissance, baby bumps are either swathed in red-carpet couture or presented as Platonic ideals of smoothness and radiance. No stretch marks, brown spots or C-section scars here.
Now, intrepid Instagrammers are out to show us the real beauty of Mombods. Under hashtags such as #takebackpostpartum and #4thtrimesterbodies, new mothers are sharing pictures of their post-baby bellies. Some are wrinkled, some smooth. Some have piercings and tattoos that have morphed under nine months of pressure. They are all things of wonder. As one poster noted,
“I refuse to be ashamed of my #mombod. Almost a year ago, I birthed one of the raddest humans after carrying, nurturing and growing him for a long 9 months. What’s your superpower?”