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Mention in Brain, Child Magazine

December 29, 2008

Author Melissa Stanton recently wrote an article on the controversial “Mom Job” plastic surgery package in Brain, Child magazine. She mentions this website in the article. Overall, I think the article is mostly balanced, but I would like to take this opportunity to clear up one thing about this website.

The Shape of a Mother is often misunderstood to be a site dedicated to loving the postpartum image – that IS a big part of my hopes for the site, but it is Step 2 for us as women. Step 1 is simply to put the images out there so we know we aren’t alone. Stanton mentions this in her article – the relief of knowing she wasn’t the only mom to face this. I think once we know we are part of a big, worldwide sisterhood, then we can begin moving down our respective paths of of self-love, whatever that may mean to each of us as individuals.

I know the images here are as scary to some women as they are reassuring to others. I think that’s normal – after all, this has been our deep, dark secret for so long. What I want is to let the secret out. If it’s not secret anymore, it will no longer be shocking or scary.

What did you think of the article?

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10 Responses to “Mention in Brain, Child Magazine”

  1. Mina Says:
    December 29th, 2008 at 11:25 am

    The article bugs me for some reason. I feel like the author has taken a bit of a “self-righteous” tone, in that she had only the “necessary repair” without submitting to the upsells.

    Then I felt guilty for having that reaction. I feel like women can be so mean to one another…not necessarily directly, but in silent judgement.

    I also do not understand why articles about plastic surgery always show a photograph of a PERFECT BODY with the surgeon’s markings.

    Then I thought how often I am quiet about my own pride in my body, lest people view ME as self-righteous…so here I go, I’m going to celebrate myself for a moment: I am proud that I have delivered 3 good-sized babies, and that after an interventive first birth, I chose to birth my subsequent babies at home with a competent midwife. I am proud that my breasts nursed all 3 of my children exclusively for 6 months each, then for 1-3 years beyond the 6 month point, and that not one of my children EVER received a drop of formula. I am proud that I am physically fit (although my body doesn’t look like a model’s), and that my children see exercise as something you fit into your day because it’s fun and healthy, and not because of how it makes you look.

    Now…many women would view my comments about myself as “in your face”…and judgemental of those who didn’t or couldn’t breastfeed or chose interventions at birth (or needed interventions at birth). I truly don’t mean them that way. Maybe the author of this article didn’t mean to make me feel bad about choosing against surgery to perfect my body.

  2. Bonnie (SOAM) Says:
    December 29th, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Good for you, Mina. Why is it that we are allowed to degrade ourselves constantly, but any time we say something positive about ourselves it’s taken as snobby or worse?

    As for myself, I am also proud of my two homebirths and nursing my children. I like my overall shape – it’s not the traditional curvy shape, but it’s mine and I like it. My breasts sag, and I love them for it. My legs are shapely and lovely. My body is strong and has carried me far in my life and I hope it will carry me much, much farther still.

  3. sasha Says:
    December 29th, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    you have a right to be proud mina. just because you did your best (and are doing your best) as a mom and a woman. your pride doesn’t have to diminish others. it’s sad that one woman’s happiness at her success at doing something important to her (birthing her way, breastfeeding, etc) has to someone diminish someone else. if we were all more compassionate and less judgmental of each other and our successes and choices, maybe it wouldn’t feel that way.

    i’m proud of my births too (and i also acknowledge the role luck plays) and i’m proud of being able to feed my babies at the breast and i’m proud of every mom i help as a doula, who just plain old does her best (and sometimes they are not so lucky). i think you can be proud and humble at the same time. i try hard every day to love my body and be greatful for what it can do.

  4. I-dra Says:
    December 29th, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    i’m proud of you, too, mina. and i’m proud of me for many of the same things you mentioned. i’m going list a few things i like about my body & i’d love to read others’ good things, too.
    1. i like my waist & that, while it has grown a few inches, it is still shapely & defined.
    2. i like my feet, even though i had an extra pinky toe removed from each foot when i was still a baby & have always been self-conscious that people would stare at them, i like that they are slender & strong.
    3. i like my long neck.
    4. i like my stretch marks & i talk about them to my son. i tell him, “this is where your left shoulder was when you lived inside my belly” & he touches them gently & smiles.
    5. i like my right breast. it’s a little droopy, but it looks like what i imagine i’d want them both to look like.
    6. i like that my left breast produces so much milk & that it’s the one my son wants to cuddle up with, even if i’m not crazy about being lopsided.
    7. finally, i like my vagina. it birthed a good, healthy baby naturally & it stretched without tearing. i’m proud of the work it did.
    i am gradually trying to appreciate being a size 12-14 instead of an 8-9 for awhile. i know it’s temporary & i have to remind myself every day that i’m not fat or lazy, i’m a mom & i am this size because i had a child, not because of some willpower failing.

  5. M.O.M Says:
    December 29th, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    I didn’t read the article, But I wanted to agree with the two posters above. It is a shame that we are “allowed” to degrade ourselves, only to appear smug if we praise ourselves. After my daughter I considered plastic surgery. I couldn’t go through with it. What if the doctor took too much curve off here, or too much curve off there. Not your traditional thoughts when planning to go through plastic surgery. I realised that in the end I wasn’t scared of removing too many curves, I was scared that I would come out of the operating room and no longer be me. These curves, sagging beast and skin are who I am. They tell my story just as well as any word or book could. I just couldn’t part with them, I would be loosing a little bit of myself in the process.

  6. Lucy Says:
    December 29th, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    I love what everyone wrote so far. About the article, I would never have thought about a site like this making women afraid after seeing what they might look like! That part surprised me. If anyone were to look at SOAM at all thoroughly they would find a wide range of bodies and experiences. I think SOAM does tremendous good for our entire society.

  7. Bonnie (SOAM) Says:
    December 30th, 2008 at 8:29 am

    I’m glad to hear you say that, Lucy. Most people tend to find what they are looking for and nothing more. I have been accused of catering to only one type of body or another, to only one age of mother or another… In reality, it’s all about what PEOPLE submit – I don’t turn anyone away.

  8. Mary Says:
    January 6th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I think that artice is amazing, I know many moms that refuse to “submit” themselves to societies ideal image, instead they use anti-depressants to cope with the changes in their life and bodies, I say that is the same thing! Why not fix something that bothers you so much, we do it every day, we landscape our yards, wash our cars, and wear make-up. I do not agree with people who are unable to take the financial jump to risk their families well-being to correct such issues, but if you have the ability, why not?
    Technology has made a breakthrough with the plactic surgery empire and this may be hard for some women to accept, but just think about society when corsets and other shapewear were first mass produced and available to all women, that was the foreign yet great way to help your image. We have just progressed, and everyone is going to accept it differently. I for one plan on having a “Mommy Makeover”, some may think it is vain, but I am sick of sufficating myself with shape-wear and crossing my legs every time I sneeze!

  9. Southern Mama Says:
    January 29th, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    I dont mean to be one of those….but I was offended by the antidepressant comment above. I suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of both of my children. Seeing that birth is a “change in my life” I tried coping without medication. I “coped” for months with exercising, time for myself,etc before my doctor and I determined I needed antidepressants.

    If you’ve haven’t been on antidepressants dont pass judgement to women who have or are currently on them. You dont know what that mother is going through. PPD is a serious issue and antidepressants literally saved my life!

  10. Ash Says:
    August 14th, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Southern Mama…please read carefully and not judge based on your personal situation. Mary’s comment had NOTHING to do with post partum depression and nothing to do with women who have to take medication. Everything is not a personal attack. Be fair to people and really try and hear what they are saying. We are so often silenced because we might offend someone somewhere…It is not right to attack, but we can’t be so sensitive that every comment is an attack, especially if it is not.

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