No magazine cover has ever made me as wild as this one.
NW isn’t covering any new territory with it’s ‘Bye-Bye Baby Fat’ headline and the accompanying shot of a bikini clad Kim Kardashian. But, it certainly sinks to a new low when you flick through to page 10 and see that the cover shot was actually taken in 2012 before she had North West.
Why is the narrative in magazines about pregnancy, birth and motherhood only ever about weight loss?
There’s never any mention of the reality of the situation: coping emotionally, healing from labour, healing from c-section, breastfeeding, mother guilt, changes to the relationship with your partner, trying to figure out whether to have a routine or not have a routine, coping with no sleep, a baby that doesn’t stop crying, decisions about work…and crying that ugly cry and wondering what the hell you’ve done.
Instead, motherhood is reduced to one thing: are you skinny again?
Since I’m a realist I know that magazines deal in the currency of images. Images that are beautiful, photoshopped and tightly edited. So, it’s unlikely that honest and relatable shots of post-baby bodies – like the ones Jade Beall is producing as part of her book, A Beautiful Body Project – will grace their covers anytime soon.
But as a mother of two, NW has me seeing red. It’s unforgivable to suggest that your body should actually look the same as it did before baby. It won’t. And that’s ok because it has just done the most incredible, glorious thing. And the sooner this is accepted, and more importantly, celebrated – the better off we’ll all be.