‘Fitmom’ versus ‘slummy mummy’

I found out this week that hashtag ‘#fitmom’ is a thing. Far and wide across Instagram you can find photos of mini bumps, six packs, women working out the morning they give birth, and post pregnancy snaps of ‘bikini ready’ bodies.

#slummymummy is also a thing. You’ll find photos of women shopping in their pyjama bottoms, women drinking wine  and women 6 months post-partum who weigh exactly the same as they did 40 weeks pregnant.

These hashtags offer the world a chance to critique pregnant bodies of all shapes and sizes. Behind the anonymity of a computer screen people can comment on women’s lifestyle choices and body shapes. ‘Fitmoms’ are deemed vapid show offs. Slummy mummies are fat slobs with no self control. It’s all part of the same modern shame culture which aims to define how women should look, act and think.

Pregnant bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Isn’t body shaming utterly depressing? The internet makes it so easy.  I can’t remember ever feeling concerned about my shape and size  growing up in the 80s and early 90s. I wonder how girls these days cope with it all. My single mum brought me up to be confident and strong – I didn’t have anyone telling me I was too fat/too thin/too lazy/too fit.Photographs were few and far between and likely to be a group shot of me and my friends in baggy Soundgarden t shirts. I wasn’t photographing my ‘thigh gap’, ‘muffin top’ or ‘hot dog legs’ and inviting the world to comment. I worry about the 2 girls I’m currently growing. Will they be Youtubing their hair straightening adventures in 15 years time?

So, there’s no escape  during pregnancy. I hereby declare that whatever women decide to do with their pregnant bodies is their own choice. If you want to sit around and eat doughnuts, fine. If you want to go to the gym and use your babies as handweights, that’s also fine. Let’s just stop judging one another’s choices.

11 thoughts on “‘Fitmom’ versus ‘slummy mummy’

  1. dubliner in deutschland says:

    so true. I also grew up in the 80s and early 90s and don’t remember caring that much about how I looked growing up or being a teenager. Like you said there weren’t that many photos and people were just too busy living to be so focused on appearances. I definitely think it’s a lot more pressure for young people today.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Courtney says:

    I agree with this on so many levels. This is why I have a completely separate fitness blog… So it’s not put in front of people as an expectation and so they can choose to follow along with my fitness and not be forced to. I have never used the hashtag #fitmom because I think it’s arrogant. Someone else can call you fit mom, but it’s not something to call yourself. It’s a compliment, and you shouldn’t be publically complimenting yourself! It’s like adding a hashtag of #imsohot. No! You don’t do that!

    Some people think it motivates others to be fit. Really? You think you’re that motivating to others because you’re so fit? Ugh! And that attitude stinks of judgment and pressure. “You can be like me if you work hard enough.”. Ugh!

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Babyscienceproject says:

      Good for you for being a secret ‘fitmom’! Seriously though – I think you have a sensible approach. There’s nothing wrong with mums, pregnant women and people in general working out. Everyone should do what they want to do. It shouldn’t be offered up as some sort of heavenly, prescribed way of being though! The whole bodyshaming thing makes me want to puke.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The EcoFeminist says:

    No kidding. I didn’t hear the term “muffin top” until about 10 years ago after I’d recently passed 30 (thankfully too, as I was to the age where those godawful lowrider-barely-hide-your-pubes jeans were trendy and I couldn’t understand who’d want to show their butt cleavage when they sat down), and know if I’d been exposed to today’s level of body shaming as a girl I’d have been a mess. Back in the late 80’s all I wanted was to not be flat-chested when I was 13 and the only girls baring their belly buttons were the heavy metal girls with the crop t-shirts (me? I was the li’l Depeche Mode kinda girl in black back in my day).

    Even my husband was venting the other day about how he hates the term “revenge body” that the entertainment/gossip shows use to describe celebs who supposedly lose weight post-breakup, as if somehow they were horribly unattractive during their relationship.

    It’s repulsive how the media continues and encourages self-hate for women who don’t fit a particular mold, and how so many women feed off of it instead of fight it and support each other. My mother was always dieting during the 80’s and yet was always a nice curvy size 14-16 which we never saw any issue with…and then in the 2000’s she lost several dress sizes at the same time my sister and I were curvy and all she could do was brag about how little she ate and the only compliments she gave were if we looked “slimmer”. I can’t imagine what she’d say now if she saw me or the “tips” she’d give me to lose weight if I get pregnant.

    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Babyscienceproject says:

      ‘Revenge body’ – that’s a new one! Yuck. This time of year it’s all about getting ‘beach body ready’. Well guess what – I have a body – and I want to go to the beach – so therefore I am beach body ready. Weird body shaming terminology is ridiculous. And don’t get me started on ‘toxins’ and clean eating. Grr! All designed to make us feel bad about ourselves.


  4. EmilyMaine says:

    Oh man, it’s brutal. Having a daughter now myself I am terrified about what all this will do to her and not adequately protecting her or preparing her for any of it. It is hard!


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