Friday, May 14, 2010

You look great! (for just having a baby)

Let's face it, if you've had a baby, you've probably heard this at least once or twice from well meaning people. They come over, dote all over your tiny infant, ask how old he/she is, what his/her name is etc., then there is an awkward silence that needs to be filled. This is where the outpouring of word vomit begins. It starts out innocently enough with three flattering words, but once that dreaded phrase is tagged onto the end, you have to wonder.... is it in fact a compliment?

Since I had the Chub Muffin almost 6 months ago I get this every so often, to where I smile and thank them warmly. Inside, however, I have to wonder. What does this mean exactly? Once you give birth to a child, does the attractive meter start to slump? Is there a new standard for what "looking great" means? Like before you were capable of achieving a perfect 10 (I never was, but some people...) but now a 3 is acceptable and a 5 is almost unattainable? It's almost as flattering as the "You don't even look pregnant from the back (but woah, when you turn to the side..yikes!)".

And let's face it, pregnancy does do some mean things to the body: pizza dough stomach skin, stretch marks, spider veins, hair loss, extra poundage, and that stubborn linea nigra that just doesn't want to fade, among other unpleasantness. Some of us were fortunate enough to skip out on most, others were burdened with them all. Does this mean we are uncapable of getting back to our perfect former self? In some cases, maybe. But it doesn't mean we can't try, and it doesn't mean that the new "me" is necessarily worse, just different. And if our hormones weren't already running around like a crazy lady in a mental institute, the last thing we need is to feel like the winner of a lunch lady beauty pageant. So even if it's true that the new measurement for looking great has sunk to a new low, it would be nice if others at least pretended that wasn't the case. So the next time you see a woman who gave birth in the last 12 months, tell her she looks great. Period.


  1. I absolutely hate that "compliment"! I agree- just "you look great" is plenty. No need to add on the tagline.

    I think my favorite thing someone said to me was this: "Wow, you look like a chubby version of Kerri. It's so weird!" This was about 2 days post-partum. My little brother said it to me and since he's usually very sensitive and a sweetheart, I let it slide. But still- not exactly what a woman wants to hear after just giving birth!

  2. Oh my gosh Kerri, that's terrible!!! No one said that to me but I know there were several people thinking it. haha.

  3. Hallelujah! Preach on sista! I totally feel your pain! GG is almost ten months old and I still have about 10 lbs left to lose. Ugh! Not too mention I'm not sure if I'll ever feel or look like I did before I was pregnant. Sure I feel beautiful in other ways, but I'd like at least a smidge to show up on the outside.

  4. I went to have my brows waxed around four weeks post-partum, sporting g my, albeit, snug pre-preg jeans and the woman doing my wax asked when my baby was due. I wasn't upset in the "I'm fat" sense, just surprised she said it.

  5. I just have to tell you...the line of Nigrea WILL go away!! For me it was when my little Austin was 10 months. By his first birthday my "pizza dough" skin had rejuvenated itself (not totally but mostly). Your body did a HUGE (not literally in your sense!) thing! It takes time for that body to get back. All I'm saying is...just when you think you have to get used to your new body, it will bounce back by the time you celebrate her REAL first birthday!