Hi. I am a young parent of 2 sets of twins. I am 10 months postpartum with my recent set and my other two boys are 9. I need to loose around 2 stone but can’t find the motivation. Wonder will my belly get worse with weight loss or better.
OH FACEBOOK, YOU CRAZY WEBSITE, YOU.
(FYI, trigger warning for sexually inappropriate comments.)
So this woman has been the subject of controversy. Internet commenters (a.k.a. assholes) have accused her of lying, so she bared her stomach for all and showed the world the extra skin she has left from the weight she lost.
I applaud the fact that she had a desire, set a goal, acted on it, and was brave enough to stand up to bullies by exposing herself even further to internet trolls. Thank you, Simone. (Although I feel like I have to add that I don’t condone that rate of weight loss. I am NOT debating or questioning her actions – I don’t know her health history – I AM saying that it is an extreme action that should not be taken without careful consideration and medical attention.) She is an inspiration to women in that she is fighting back against body judgers in the most intimate way, just like we do here at SOAM. <3 But I'm not even really here to write about her. I'm here to write about Facebook's community standards. You know how they're always banning pictures of nursing moms but are totes okay with sexy bikini pics? So today I broke my cardinal rule of Never Reading Internet Comments (except the ones here, of course because you guys are amazing and supportive) and I came across this one:
Ugh. It makes me sick to my stomach. (To “fap”, if you don’t know, is to masturbate to photos online.) Not only does this comment attempt to push the female body back into an archaic place of existing only for the pleasure of men, but I find it rather emotionally violent. And so I reported it. I was torn as to how to label it since general “harassment” wasn’t an option. It doesn’t directly humiliate me or someone I know, and it’s not exactly pornography. Maybe I should have picked “something else” but I went with porn based on Facebook’s own example of “sexual arousal”. This commenter was talking about his sexual arousal (or lack thereof) in regards to this photograph, no?
But Facebook replied thusly:
I don’t know what the best way to address this is. Do you think this should fall under Facebook’s current community standards, or do you think they should be adjusted to protect women from this kind of thing?
Either way, do me a favor and click here and report this picture, okay? And the other picture(s) like it in that thread. DO NOT comment on them because god knows we should never feed the internet trolls. But let’s stand together and let Facebook know this isn’t okay.
Nine years ago when I started this website, it was the only thing like it on the web. It exploded beyond my wildest dreams and within a month I was getting calls from the London Guardian to do a story on it. Over the years SOAM has reached thousands (at least) of new moms every year through news stories, blogs, television shows, and, perhaps most importantly, through word of mouth. And over the past almost decade, many other websites, photography projects, and viral photos have done similar things, spreading the word that the mombod (or any bod) is totally normal and beautiful. I feel like we’ve done some amazing work here at SOAM and I am so proud of what this website has accomplished. <3 But over the last couple of years things have slowed down for SOAM. I've gotten fewer submissions (yet readership hasn't really dropped!) and little exposure in the media. I feel like SOAM can still accomplish a lot - perhaps even more than before as the internet continues to make the world even smaller, and as people hunger even more for the knowledge that they are already normal and beautiful. There are a few things about SOAM that make it stand out from other projects. ~For one thing, I think it's more personal. There are no professional photographers, no fancy lighting or artful poses or depth of field - it's all what you find in your own mirror at home. ~It's more diverse. We've been collecting submissions for more than nine years and with over 2,500 submissions over the years there is literally every type of body represented here. ~Finally, SOAM is a community - if you choose to submit your photos here, you will find mamas all over the world who share your experiences and thoughts. Some of the mamas come back and post updates so we can really get to know them and see how things change for them over the years. And know that it's a safe place; I moderate the comments to keep the trolls out. So I'm asking for your help here, mamas. Let's continue to spread the word that all bodies are beautiful. How can you help? The way I see it, there are three things you can do. You might choose to submit your own story. You don’t have to be nude, and some mamas aren’t ready to share photos at all. That’s okay! We are welcoming to every story. You may point your local media sources to this site to help spread the word to as many mamas as possible. And if neither of those things works for you, you can simply share the link with your own friends and on social media (check out our links at the bottom of the page) and maybe leave some comments for some of the mamas here. After all, without you as the reader, SOAM is nothing.
Thank you so much, mamas, for helping to do this good work in the world. As I said so many years ago when I wrote the blurb on the front page, “I think it would be nothing short of amazing if a few of our hearts are healed, or if we begin to cherish our new bodies which have done so much for the human race. What if the next generation grows up knowing how normal our bodies are? How truly awesome would that be?”