After sharing postpartum bods, four moms clap back at shamers who suggest 'tummy tucks'
Four women shared an honest look at their postpartum bodies to help women feel seen and loved.
Each of the women proudly showed off their postpartum bodies on Instagram with the same quote by Hanne Blanke: “Real women are fat and thin and both, and neither and otherwise."
But not everyone loved the photo.
Body shamers let the women (who had never met before the photo shoot) know it with some stinging comments:
"How about dieting?”⠀
"Is this an advertisement for why women should get tummy tucks?"
"Posts like this bother me. Not losing the weight is a choice.”
Mother of four, including a 9-month-old, Bethanie Garcia, responded to the hurtful posters with a post of her own.
Listing a sample of the comments, Garcia, 24, clapped back. "If you look at this photo and your first thought is 'why are there no skinny women' you have bigger issues to deal with, my friend," she wrote.
She added: "Other body types are absolutely underrepresented in media and it causes women with those body types to feel less than... to feel like they’re not good enough."
Garcia told USA TODAY she responded to the negative comments on behalf of women just "starting their self-love journey."
"I responded to the negative comments because all I could picture was myself a few years ago, and how I would feel if I had read comments like that," Garcia said. "I wanted them to know that they are beautiful."
The four women in the original photo met online, bonding over mutual interests and eventually collaborating on Instagram projects before meeting in person for the portrait . They traveled from different states to Austin, Texas: Garcia flew from Arizona; Katie Crenshaw flew from Georgia; Desiree Fortin drove from California and Meg Boggs drove from Fort Worth, Texas.
In the photo, the women's shirts are rolled up and they stand smiling, arms around each other, in their underwear.
Boggs, 31, mother to an 18-month-old daughter, said they had longed to get together to share a "meaningful" message for a while. And when negative messages started to roll in, they didn't want to stay quiet.
"The negative comments, especially when they are coming in hundreds at a time, can drown out the message. They try and silence it," Boggs said. "Women read those comments and might feel compelled to believe them. They don’t get to silence it. They don’t get to tell us and women like us to sit down and be quiet. We are done with that. We will continue to stand up and celebrate ALL women the way they deserve to be celebrated."
Fortin, 33, said the four friends are passionate about body acceptance and self-love. The mom of 3-year-old triplets said whether a woman has just given birth or her babies are several years grown, the post and the clap back was about encouraging "all women to find the beauty in their own skin."
She said: "Being vulnerable in this way was profoundly encouraging to so many women and that is why we share!"
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