Real Women Support Each Other

“Real Women Have Curves” 

It’s been the bain of my life that phrase, the one thing which really gets a rise from me for a whole number of reasons. I remember years ago in my early twenties, struggling with my mental health, I saw a psychiatrist who looked me up and down and told me, “I don’t know what you’re worried about. Men prefer women with meat on their bones.” And it had completely taken me by surprise, like a punch in the stomach, as I had gone home plagued with thoughts that I was failing as a woman, and as a wife, when men preferred women with curves.

Obviously as I recovered I realised that what men preferred really wasn’t the issue here, nor those cliched sayings about “real women” at all. The stronger I became as a person, and the more I learned to love my own body, I focused solely on how I felt in my own skin, on being healthy and happy, and I pushed that memory to the back of my mind.

Last month I saw something on social media which took me back to that moment. A moment of surprise inadequacy and actually, a sense of failure.

“Real Mums don’t bounce back.”

A new Mum on Instagram, the girlfriend of a reality TV star, had posed in a sports bra, just ten days post-birth, with a completely flat stomach. And no surprise, she was lynched. The comments I read were vile, “You look anorexic!”, “Clearly dumped her newborn baby to go to the gym?”, “Bet she starved herself throughout the whole pregnancy!”, “What a bad example you are to other Mums”.

And I guess you could say that when you’re in the public eye you leave yourself open to those kind of comments, to the keyboard warriors who are filled with such bitterness and hate that comes spilling out every opportunity they get. I guess you could say that photos like this are setting a bad example, that they may cause other Mums to feel inadequate about their own bodies, to feel the green eyed monster come and bite them on their post-pregnancy ass.

I mean, do I think it’s irresponsible to be posing on social media ten days post birth with a stomach flatter than most women will ever achieve? Perhaps I do, a little.  Do I think it’s irresponsible to promote weight loss supplements alongside those photos? Absolutely. Do I think it was irresponsible that her douche of a boyfriend leapt to her defence by shaming women who don’t bounce back? Hell yes.

But its equally irresponsible to be shaming other women, even more so a new Mum.

Because it feels like everywhere I turn at the moment there are Mums posing with their post-natal bodies, with rounded stomachs and engorged breasts, wearing their stretch marks with ferocious pride, stating “This is what a real mum looks like.”

And I get what they’re trying to achieve, I really do. But at the same time, if I don’t look that way after having my children, am I not a real Mum??

Just because I didn’t have a bump in the same way as others, or because my body sprang back before I’d even left the hospital, doesnt mean that I deprived my body of nutrition for nine months, or that I was slogging it out in the gym every hour god sends. Just because I’m not carrying a few extra pounds, or that I don’t have battle scars  to show for it, doesn’t mean that my scars don’t run a little deeper in ways you can’t see.

Just because I may not look like someone who has given birth doesn’t mean that I didn’t push five children out of my vagina.

Believe me. 

And maybe, in the same way that others feel the need to stand up for those who struggle to lose their baby weight, who face a backlash on the opposite scale, I want to stand up for those ladies who do bounce back.

Maybe I know that just because you haven’t piled on the pregnancy weight, or even made it out of your regular size 8 jeans, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not eating double cheeseburgers three times a day, or lying on the couch for nine months watch re-runs of Friends.

Maybe I know that some women struggle very much with pregnancy, feeling out of control with the changes happening to their bodies. Maybe I know that some women are still lifting weights and running marathons at thirty weeks pregnant, passing up pizza for protein shakes and lounging for lunging.

Maybe I know that some women are just made that way, that bodies can just spring back, that, due to genetics, good luck or something else entirely, you can have a baby and miraculously look like it never happened.

I know, because that was me. 

And whilst I admire those women who are taking a stand, baring their sanitary clad big knickers and posting selfies with their Mum tums, I think there are better ways to make those who don’t bounce back feel better about themselves than by shaming those who do. It’s so important to realise that a statement said, even with the best intentions of empowering others, can actually cause a huge percentage of women to feel incredibly isolated.

I think as women, as Mums, it would be far more empowering to say hey, guess what, it doesn’t matter how big your bump is, how flat your tummy is, how many stretch marks you have, if you’re in sweats or skinny jeans, a size 8 or an 18……..we are all of us amazing!

We grew a bloody human for Christ’s sake!! 

Because whilst it’s easy to slate these celebrities, to make bitchy comments about the new mum at school or an old friend on Facebook, you really have no idea what they have been through, or are still going through.

You don’t know that the new Mum posing in her underwear doesn’t have low self esteem and simply needs reaffirmation that she still looks good at a time when she feels her worst.

You don’t know that the Mum with a full face of make up, fresh highlights and a French manicure isn’t struggling with post natal depression, and simply needs a boost to get through the day.

You don’t know that the Mum who has left her newborn to slog it out in the gym for an hour hasn’t been up all night, losing the will to live, focusing on getting as mentally and physically strong as possible to get through another week.

You don’t know that the size 8 Mum with abs of steel isn’t just extremely lucky to have bounced back or actually, and here’s food for thought, just wanted to get her figure back, make an effort to look nice, and feel half human after nine months of feeling like crap!

There really should be no shame in that. 

But can we just stop with all the talk of real women, real mums, what’s normal and what’s not.

We are all real women.

And real women support each other. Surely that’s the point right there.

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270 Comments

  1. February 20, 2018 / 8:11 am

    So beautifully said. Ultimately I think a lot of the root cause of the problem is the assumption that many of us make that we all should look a certain way at different stages of pregnancy and post pregnancy. There needs to be a much broader understanding that we all have different bodies, different genes, different DNA and therefore each of us should be expected to look differently. If we can get to that point, then surely it is only a small step further for people to realize how stupid it is to criticize others, especially when you don’t really know them, their bodies or their circumstances. Food for thought.

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:47 pm

      Yes!! Absolutely that!! I think we have to be mindful too that these celebrities are under a hell of a lot of pressure to appear to have bounced back for fear of missing out on the next opportunity or acting role. I think society holds a lot of blame here but as women we should be supporting each other to be comfortable, whatever our size. xx

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:48 pm

      Thank you Maria, it’s sad isn’t it? I don’t think men would ever bat an eyelid! xx

  2. Hannah | MakeDo&Push
    February 20, 2018 / 9:00 am

    Hell yes! I think we have it ingrained in us to be negative and judge other women because of the generation above us – my mum often makes negative comments about women, and I find myself constantly correcting her now, but when I was younger I just thought that was how women treated other women. With my daughter, I’m very conscious about teaching kindness and the message of women supporting women xx

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 7:14 pm

      Yes! I think women have long been negative towards each other, and still are more so than men. I know my husband often says to me you would never hear a man say those things, and I think he’s right! We need to care far less about other womens choices and simply support them! xx

  3. February 20, 2018 / 9:48 am

    Oh I completely get this. Such a honest post. I have been made to feel bad for ‘bouncing back’ and I hated it. I am currently 27 weeks pregnant and get comments like ‘you just look like you have football stuck on the front of you…’ em… that’s my unborn child! I also get ‘oh I bet you are one of those cows who doesn’t put on any weight, pops them out and can wear there old clothes the next day!’ Well, not quite but what do you even say to that? I have got used to it I think, and have even come to expect it. Thank you for writing this, I completely agree. We are all unique and shouldn’t be slammed no matter where we lay in the post birth body stakes.

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 7:13 pm

      YES!! I have heard the same comments throughout my pregnancies with all five of my children. I find it really hurtful when people say, you don’t look like you’ve had five kids….even more so as one of those babies isn’t here. It feels like I have nothing to show for it at all? We are all different, and I’m sorry you have faced some thoughtless comments. You carry on doing you. xxx

  4. February 20, 2018 / 9:55 am

    I think you’re right because real women come in all shapes and sizes and all have different strengths and weaknesses but supporting each other is something we should all be doing x

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:48 pm

      Thanks Rhian, that’s the main thing isn’t it? Just accepting we are all different. xx

  5. February 20, 2018 / 9:56 am

    This is a very inspiring post. Women, regardless of whether they personally know each other or not, should respect one another. +1 to being kind!

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:49 pm

      Yes!! I hate that people feel public figures are free game, it’s very cowardly! xx

  6. February 20, 2018 / 9:59 am

    Love love love this. Shared it. It’s hard enough to contend with our own sour thoughts about ourselves, without having to face the battery of articles, photos, and updates, that make us feel even more inadequate.
    When will people realise that we’re all different, and that differences are to be appreciated, not mocked?

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:50 pm

      Thanks Justine, that’s exactly it. I hate that it feels more acceptable to skinny shame someone, especially a new mum, than to publicly shame someone at the opposite end of the scale. Neither should be acceptable, words can be so harmful! xx

  7. robin rue
    February 20, 2018 / 10:25 am

    I could not possibly love this more! I agree- let’s stop all the judgements and do our own things. We should take care of ourselves and our families the best way we know how. There is no right or wrong.

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 7:12 pm

      Thanks Robin, exactly that. There is on right or wrong, let’s just accept we are all different! xx

  8. February 20, 2018 / 10:55 am

    We all come in different shapes and sizes and it took me months to get back into my pre-pregnancy clothing. My sister-in-law could fit into her pre-pregnancy jeans the day she left the hospital after giving birth. It is what it is and like you, I wish women would just support each other. It’s not a competition.

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 7:08 pm

      Yes!! That’s exactly it, it’s NOT a competition at all but we need to be accepting that it’s okay to want to get back into shape, or not. Entirely our choice! xx

  9. February 20, 2018 / 11:34 am

    Love the message here Laura. We women are our own worst enemy. So sad but true.

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:50 pm

      Thank you, we really are! xx

  10. February 20, 2018 / 11:59 am

    Great post as always Laura. I actually wrote a post after the 10 days and putting it sown to Herbalife daft Instagram post. Some women don’t gain much weight and will ping back quicker but either way it was irresponsible knowing how many people look up to them. I completely agree that we all need to be a little kinder to ourselves as mums and to others. xx

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:51 pm

      Yes I totally agree attributing it to that was irresponsible, and probably entirely untrue. I loathe these diet fads, but that’s a whole new post entirely, haha! Being kinder and being more accepting is the way forward. xx

  11. Annreeba
    February 20, 2018 / 12:04 pm

    This is a very inspiring post. Lovely to read! Sad but true is known to that “we women are our own worst enemy”.

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 1:14 pm

      I totally agree. I wish it wasn’t the case though! xx

  12. February 20, 2018 / 12:09 pm

    I don’t understand why people are so mean to each other online and say things they’d never dream of saying to someone’s face.

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 1:14 pm

      I totally agree, I doubt any of these people would be so critical to another persons face. xx

  13. February 20, 2018 / 12:10 pm

    Amen to all of this! It’s one of those tricky subjects because whilst it’s all done to support other women, there’s always going to be some who are offended. We all have different bodies pre natally and the same goes for post natally too. Because someones stomach goes flatter after giving birth quicker than somebody elses it doesn’t mean she’s been neglecting her baby and putting her own body first. It’s just one of those things. It depends on muscle tone and all sorts of other things! and good for you for standing up for yourself! x

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 1:13 pm

      YES! I absolutely understand that all this talk of “real mums” is done to try to make others feel better, but it’s very isolating to those who are made to feel they have somehow failed because they bounced back or they actually worked hard to regain their figure for their own personal reasons. Everyone is different, it’s a real bug bear of mine and perhaps my only one! xx

  14. candy
    February 20, 2018 / 12:21 pm

    Women have never stood up for each other. Look at the protest on tv. If you don’t agree with them they attack you. Really gotten out of control and so unnecessary

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 1:12 pm

      No I agree, and I wonder why that is? I think that’s why I surround myself by strong, supportive women. It’s the only way to survive! xx

  15. February 20, 2018 / 12:38 pm

    This is well said! I think that we as whole need to support each other and not break each other down. I love this post! It is a great reminder!

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 1:12 pm

      Thank you Jeanette. I think it’s important to remember that our words can isolate others, I know I have felt that I’m not a “real mum” when I read all of these posts about what we should look like! xx

  16. February 20, 2018 / 12:43 pm

    Why is it that people assume that I’d you have a new born as a women had to be with a baby 24/7. In this day and age you can do both o would of thought X #dreamteam

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 1:11 pm

      Yes! I just think we should all focus on the fact that everyone is different, I hate all this talk of what’s real and what’s not. xx

  17. February 20, 2018 / 1:17 pm

    I agree! Supporting each other is important. It took me ages to lose the baby weight. I do like the photos of women in the huge underwear though. I remember laughing hysterically when I had to wear them.

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:44 pm

      Haha yes me too Amber, keep them coming I say – just don’t label it as “real mums”, as though those who don’t look that way aren’t real. xx

  18. February 20, 2018 / 1:23 pm

    An inspirational post! Positivity and kind words go a long way towards helping us to value ourselves for who and what we are.

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:43 pm

      Thanks Emily! xx

  19. Marie
    February 20, 2018 / 1:42 pm

    Completely agree! I’ve always been naturally slim and find this phrase hard. I was lucky I didn’t get any stretch marks during my pregnancy but read on a forum the other day that “real women have stretch marks” ok then…..

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:43 pm

      Yes, I hate that Marie. I actually felt like a failure for not having them! How ridiculous that is, but it’s how I was made to feel! xx

  20. February 20, 2018 / 1:52 pm

    YES YES YES YES YES!!! I love this. I like to think that after 10 years together the amount of meat I do or don’t have on my bones holds little interest to my husband. And yes, I admit, I am the mum with full make up, fresh highlights and pre-baby weight. But I worked so hard for that! I get up early to do my makeup for the school run because it makes me feel human and normal. I go to a salon to have my hair done because it is the one small amount of me time I get every 3 months. And I worked hard to loose any baby weight over time (I didn’t bounce back) because I wanted to. I am very proud that I grew my babies but my body is mine and theirs is theirs. I love the small changes they have made, the marks they have left; however I have to live in this body and I felt like I wanted to reclaim as much of it as I could.

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:43 pm

      Good for you Kirsty!! And there really is no shame in that, although sometimes we are made to feel as though there is!! I was VERY lucky to bounce back, but I lost count of the number of people who told me I must have starved myself or slogged it out in the gym day and night to get there – as though that was somehow a negative. But so what if I did? Why is wanting to feel good about yourself so bad? xx

  21. February 20, 2018 / 1:59 pm

    Yes mama! They say that those that are quick judge are usually the ones that judge themselves the worth so perhaps if we were all kinder to ourselves then that would lay the path for us being kinder to other women what do you think hun? xx

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:40 pm

      Absolutely! I stand by the fact that being pregnant and having a baby is the hardest job in the world, and the last thing anyone needs is negative comments about how they look – be that too small or too big. Everyone is so quick to defend those who are carrying a few extra pounds, but often by shaming those who do bounce back! xx

  22. February 20, 2018 / 2:03 pm

    I think it’s terrible that women are judged so much on what they look like. We’re all different, we look different, we think different, we’re our own awesome selves that should be enough.

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:38 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth, absolutely!! xx

    • Deanne Howarth
      February 20, 2018 / 9:15 pm

      Laura…. i love love your blog…. this BY FAR is my favourite piece ever. Seriously…….YES!!!!! Agree wholeheartedly. ??? if and when I get back on fbk…. i’m sharing this. Xx

      • Laura Dove
        February 21, 2018 / 9:02 pm

        Ahh thank you so much Deanne. I was a little nervous about sharing this as I know not everyone feels this way. I just hate that everyone is so quick to defend those on the larger side but think nothing of skinny shaming. Targeting new mums is such a low, just let them be, nobody knows the reasons why they do the things they do, or are the way they are. And we really shouldn’t be casting judgment! xx

  23. February 20, 2018 / 2:19 pm

    I love this. It’s important that we don’t put too much pressure on ourselves when it comes to losing weight especially after giving birth. It’s as if people expect us to all have the same bodies and metabolisms and be our old selves right after. That’s totally wrong. And we shouldn’t condemn moms who workout and try to lose weight after giving birth either. I love that you mentioned supporting each other instead, because that’s exactly what we should be doing.

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:38 pm

      Thank you Alison. Absolutely! I think the main point is that we are amazing because our bodies have created an actual human! That’s pretty wonderful isn’t it? You aren’t a better Mum for having a flat stomach, or more “real” for having stretch marks, everyone is different! xx

  24. February 20, 2018 / 2:26 pm

    I have thought this for such a long time. Why do we feel the need to put down someone else in order to feel good about ourselves? We have all been through it, we’re mums and do it in our own way with our own bodies and we recover in different ways. Our bodies are all different, our genetics are different. I wish we could live in a world where women supported women, no matter what they look like or what they’re going through. Great post hun. xx

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:37 pm

      Thank you Morgan, I was actually a little worried about sharing this, there aren’t many things which bother me but this really does. I hate that there seems to be this one size fits all, be that small OR large, we are all different and all this “real women” talk is just nonsense! xx

  25. February 20, 2018 / 3:12 pm

    I agree – each to their own I say! I’ve got two children to look after, so prefer to spend my time focusing on that rather than what, who or how others are doing after giving birth 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:33 pm

      Yes!! I get that others feel they are empowering women by saying this is what real women look like, but actually that statement is isolating to so many! xx

  26. February 20, 2018 / 3:49 pm

    Yes! I have a feminist shirt that says “Empowered Women, Empower Women” and I love it! Us women need to support each other!

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:32 pm

      Oh I love that!! I so need one the same! xx

  27. February 20, 2018 / 3:51 pm

    I don’t know why we have to find the negative in everything. Why can’t we all just support each other. No one knows anyone’s story, the truth behind those eyes and I hate seeing attacks on people. Especially new mums who are often feeling at their most vulnerable x

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:32 pm

      I totally agree. I do think celebrities have a responsibility to their followers to be sensible about their choices, but at the same time we have no idea why they feel the need to share these photos baring all. I guess they have insecurities just like the rest of us? xx

      • February 27, 2018 / 12:01 pm

        They definitely do! Just popping back to say thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove, Loved this post xx

  28. February 20, 2018 / 3:58 pm

    This is such a great post and I completely agree that real women encourage either – they certainly don’t criticise each other. We have, as a society, become so very judgemental of people and it such a hard space to live in. What happened to lifting each other up and celebrating our differences?
    C x

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:31 pm

      Yes I agree Charli, I think society is very quick to skinny shame these days where as we have learned to accept that the average woman is more voluptuous. I struggle with that as calling someone out for being slender is just as harmful as saying they are overweight. xx

  29. February 20, 2018 / 4:09 pm

    You, know I never understood why women want to tear down other women, but support men. Maybe it’s fear or jealous, but whatever it is, we should all stand up and support one another.

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:30 pm

      Yes! I think sometimes it is jealousy and I also think there is nothing wrong with that whatsoever, as long as you don’t show that negatively. I had friends say to me I am so jealous you just popped back afterwards, but it wasn’t said with malice! xx

  30. February 20, 2018 / 5:08 pm

    This post shares such an amazing message for women. We should support each other and lift each up. Celebrating who we are as people.

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:28 pm

      Thanks Sarah, I completely agree. xx

  31. February 20, 2018 / 5:26 pm

    You can’t deal with the haters honey! Whatever you do, whoever you look people with a keyboard behind a monitor will judge you! They have a deep psychological problem and I feel bad for them…

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:28 pm

      Yes I agree, it’s sad really isn’t it? xx

  32. February 20, 2018 / 6:39 pm

    This is an inspiring post. I wish we could change this culture of comparison. Like another comment said, we are all different before we have children so why would we be different after we’ve had our babies? Also all pregnancies are different so just because you spring back after one, you may not after the next. I had very different pregnancies and afterwards felt very different too. I think because these comments are ‘behind a computer’ people don’t think twice about writing horrid things! It’s just so mean. Well done for writing this post Laura. #mg

    • Laura Dove
      February 20, 2018 / 6:54 pm

      Thanks Sophie. Yes! Everyone is different, and every pregnancy is different. We just need to stop comparing, stop being so judgmental and open our minds to the idea that “real mums” includes a whole range of shapes, sizes and people. xx

  33. February 20, 2018 / 7:44 pm

    This is a great read and did make me question my own views and opinions on the subject. I had never, before reading this, even thought about how women who do have bodies that bounce back, or don’t get any scars must feel when they read these types of comments online. As a woman who has had one baby and is pregnant with the second, my body is covered in stretch marks – my armpits, stomach, boobs, backs of my knees…everywhere! And so often I have looked at women and thought I’d love to look like them and assumed that I don’t because I just don’t have the time to invest in the gym or the money to invest in all those organic shakes. I never thought about the women who’s bodies are just made that way and that reading those comments shaming them for having a body like that must be terribly upsetting. At the end of the day, we’ve all been new mums once and we have all had hormonal shifts and body image issues. I really love this post and I think it’s a wonderful read that many people, not just mums, should read!

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 9:10 pm

      Ahh thank you Rachael, I’m so pleased that it made you see a different side to things. I think a lot of people feel the same way as you did and don’t realise that these comments can make those who did bounce back, or didn’t have a big bump, feel very isolated. I found it incredibly hard that when I lost Joseph, even at full term, I didn’t really have a bump at all, and so to a lot of people who hadn’t been made aware of my pregnancy, he never existed. I had nothing to show for it, no stretch marks, no tummy, no baby. I’d have loved a huge bump, even just once, but my body simply wasn’t made that way. Thank you so much for reading. xx

  34. February 20, 2018 / 7:48 pm

    Yes, we really should be supporting each other and celebrating differences instead of trying to plug a single ‘ideal’ – lie would be so boring if we were all the same, and I don’t understand why it seems so hard to celebrate difference. I don’t think the media helps, they seem to want to set us all against each other over the slightest thing, but that’s an rant for another day!

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 9:07 pm

      Yes I agree Jenni, I have my own opinions of the media and how they contributed to my own previous mental health issues. That’s why as women we should be supporting each other even more so! xx

  35. February 20, 2018 / 7:53 pm

    This is a great post. Our bodies were all different before we had babies so they will change differently after we have had all manor of shaped and sized off spring. Unfortunately we are able to compare ourselves to others far too easily and when we are tired with hormones zipping everywhere this is such a bad idea

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 9:06 pm

      Yes! Negativity towards new mums is just the lowest isn’t it? Surely that’s a time we should be supporting each other more than ever! xx

  36. February 20, 2018 / 8:02 pm

    I’m so sick of the term real women. As if somehow there are fake women running around out there pretending to be us. We should all support each other. Flat stomach or not.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 9:06 pm

      Absolutely! Thanks for reading Lisa! xx

  37. February 20, 2018 / 8:06 pm

    I agree we are only here once I wish people were kinder. Easy said than done but let the haters hate

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 9:05 pm

      Yes, I actually feel sad for them Jenni, it’s crazy how many people are sat at home just waiting to bombard social media with negativity! xx

  38. February 20, 2018 / 8:10 pm

    Absolutely!!!! That green eye monster is ugly. It’s funny how you can’t win the battle either way. Do perfect bodies post to show off? Show its possible? Or are just rude and inconsiderate? Do you show off your stretch marks and roar your proud or roar to overcome self consciousness? I don’t see why either is necessary. Women struggle enough with perfect pictures of homes, rooms, toys, kids, clothes and style. Social media encourages you to share but we as society can’t handle it.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 9:05 pm

      YES!! It feels like we just can’t win doesn’t it? I see so many posts on social media every day of people who have lost a lot of weight and share after pics, and they get thousands of supportive comments, “Well done you!”, “You look amazing!”. A new mum posts a photo in the same way and suddenly she’s free game for abuse? It’s crazy! Yes we all have a responsibility to be mindful of other people, but there is nothing at all wrong with wanting to look good, either naturally or by working hard at it. I hate that others are so preoccupied with bringing others down! xx

  39. February 20, 2018 / 9:27 pm

    Oh I love this. I mean, I was not a woman who bounced back straight away (although breastfeeding did help me out massively in the end!) and I was nodding along with you. We spend our lives as parents saying that all children are different and yet we don’t seem to be able to take this and apply it to ourselves. We all have to compete in something that needs no competition. Wonderful post you gorgeous lady 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 9:00 pm

      Thank you Lisa. Yes! As someone who doesn’t have a competitive bone in my body, I find that really alien! Just be kind and supportive, it’s not rocket science! xx

  40. February 20, 2018 / 9:49 pm

    Very well, said. It is terrible just how much shaming goes on about absolutely everything. I personally don’t like women in the public eye losing so much weight as it does mean that other women who perhaps don’t bounce back, do feel inadequate. However, you can’t label someone as “not a real woman” just because they do that. People are always going to have an opinion but they should keep it respectful – if you wouldn’t say those things to their face, don’t sit behind a keyboard and do it!

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:59 pm

      I totally agree, I think women in the pubic eye do have a responsibility to be mindful about not making others feel inadequate. BUT if they do bounce back, which evidently many do, there’s no shame in that! We can’t expect women to hide it, and pretend to be struggling with the extra pounds, it’s just not real life. The main thing is just about accepting that we are all different, being mindful of our words and actions, and trying to be supportive towards each other! xx

  41. February 20, 2018 / 9:52 pm

    Very well said! I always think that we should be doing this in all aspects of motherhood (as I’m sure you do too). We never know what the other person is going through when we judge. Thank you for reminding us all of that important fact, and thank you for linking this to #DreamTeam.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:57 pm

      Thank you, and absolutely! It doesn’t end there does it, the judgemental comments continue through parenting choices too. I hate that, I wish we could all just focus on our own lives and being supportive. xx

  42. February 20, 2018 / 10:05 pm

    This is such a gorgeous beautiful post, so well written and with such raw emotions. We women are the hardest on ourselves and the give ourselves such a hard time. Big hugs x

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:56 pm

      Thank you so much for reading. xx

  43. February 20, 2018 / 10:16 pm

    This is so true, I don’t know how there can even be any comparison to how anyone looks after giving birth when every woman is completely different before and during pregnancy. Their mental and physical health should be priority not how they look! #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:56 pm

      Exactly! I don’t know why everyone is so fixated on it! xx

  44. February 20, 2018 / 10:55 pm

    This is such a powerful post encouraging woman to be who they are and not conform to what society wants them to be. Talk your time and love your body for what it is. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:55 pm

      Thank you for reading! xx

  45. February 20, 2018 / 11:00 pm

    This is such a great post. I’m overweight I wish I could loose the pounds – I can’t thanks to my mobility, meds and urgh. However, I spent my teens in hospital alongside some people who sadly suffered from anorexia, so while I will never know what they went through it made me very aware of what any kind of shaming can do to a person and I hate it – I just want to bump peoples heads against the wall and say you know what just shut up! You don’t know how this could be affecting someone, what they might be thinking.

    we are all human and we all have feelings. So you know what lets love ALL sizes no one is better than the other.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:55 pm

      Thank you Sarah. Yes, and I’ve been there, as one of those people you talk about, grossly underweight and very poorly indeed. No surprise, the majority of girls I met in the hospital had spiralled into anorexia through negative comments about their weight and appearance, and that’s so sad isn’t it? A throwaway comment can really impact on someones life, and even lead them to a point where they end it. xx

  46. February 20, 2018 / 11:19 pm

    I love this! I was watching comments on one of my favorite bloggers Instagrams where people where judging the outfits she put her new baby in and saying she must not be a very good mom to do that. It broke my heart. I wish people would realize they shouldn’t ever put down a fellow women, it is so important to build each other up. You nailed it.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:51 pm

      Ahh that’s sad. I think it’s awful to shame any woman, or man, but a new mum really doesn’t need that level of negativity at a time when she is already juggling the whole world! xx

  47. February 20, 2018 / 11:54 pm

    I have a lot of feelings about this topic. I am genetically skinny, I can’t help that. I’ve always been the skinny girl, I always heard I need to eat or “real women have curves.” It’s hurtful and offensive. I also birthed two kids.

    I had to sure up my self esteem at an early age. I won’t hide my shine because it makes people feel a certain type of way. All women should be confident with their body no matter what it looks like.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:49 pm

      Yes, that was me, and is me, and I think that’s why sometimes I can’t bite my tongue and have to speak out! Nobody seems to stand up for slimmer women do they? But they all leap to defend anyone who is fat shamed! Good for you! xx

  48. February 21, 2018 / 12:04 am

    I don’t understand why women are so catty. I am friends with someone who is overweight and she is constantly ripping on slim moms at school pick up and drop off. Maybe it’s jealousy? Insecurity? But seriously–it’s ridiculous. We all need to support one another.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:48 pm

      YES! I hear conversations like this every single day! But also if that were the other way round, and slim women were to rip larger women to bits, they would be LYNCHED! Both is wrong, but it works both ways! xx

  49. February 21, 2018 / 2:01 am

    Thanks for writing so candidly about the lack of sisterhood. We preach it but are we really living it? Why are we critical of each other when much more is gained from a kind word, a smile, a loving touch? We are beautiful no matter what size or whatever so called lack we have, but we must remember to remind ourselves of this rather than absorb what others say as our truth, it isn’t, we are much better than words could ever express.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:47 pm

      Thank you for reading! I think the most we can do is be kind, be supportive and be open to the possibility that no two people on this planet will ever be the same! xx

  50. February 21, 2018 / 2:02 am

    i do not have any kids but i love your title! in the fashion world, women are competitive more than being a camaraderie! however real women friends are always there good times and bad, slim or not!

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:46 pm

      Yes, that’s why I keep my friends close always! xx

  51. February 21, 2018 / 2:37 am

    Okay, I have been hearing “real women have curves” all my life and feeling like I am not in the “real women” category. I have been skinny all my life, and people keep telling me to “gain weight so you are more attractive to men. Real women have curves” as though I was less than for having a fast metabolism. And it is true that the “media ideal” is to be skinny so it shouldn’t be much of an issue, but you don’t need to bring up a certain group of people by putting down another. We are all different, we are all beautiful and we were born this way. I am all about women supporting women!

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:46 pm

      YES!!! Exactly this!! For one, nobody should have to change the way they look to suit a man anyway, but more than that, “real” applies to every single person on this planet, regardless of their size, their sex, their age, their race….it’s crazy that people throw the term “real” around as though half of us are walking androids! Thank you for reading! xx

  52. February 21, 2018 / 3:48 am

    I really feel bad whenever I read shaming on social media especially for new moms. Either they criticize her parenting style or her body.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:43 pm

      Yes! There is always something isn’t there? it feels like we can’t win! xx

  53. February 21, 2018 / 4:26 am

    You know you have my support girl. Different things effect different people, I don’t think that should be news to anyone.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:43 pm

      Thank you Sara, it really shouldn’t even need pointing out should it? Sad times! xx

  54. Lauren
    February 21, 2018 / 6:10 am

    What an amazing blog post. Shaming and degrading women for having a flat stomach soon after pregnancy or because she gained some weight etc, is so wrong. Where is the decency to treat people with respect and kindness and love? We are all human and women should be supporting other women. Not tearing them down

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:41 pm

      Thanks Lauren. There seems to be way more women who will leap to the defence of someone who is “fat shamed” than someone who is “skinny shamed” and that’s something I feel strongly about. I think it’s actually seen as way more accepted to shame someone for being slim or losing the weigh too fast, and it’s wrong on both measures! xx

  55. February 21, 2018 / 6:42 am

    I’ve never given birth and I don’t have children but I do understand the pressure that society gives women these days. And it also pains me to see women going against each other. I think it’s all about self acceptance and self love. Aside from that, it’s also important to show compassion and kindness towards other women. Seriously, it wouldn’t hurt to support each other.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:29 pm

      Exactly Carol, and that’s how it should be. Just be kind, be supportive, be mindful…it’s not rocket science! xx

  56. February 21, 2018 / 7:13 am

    As someone who is firmly in the flabby and floppy post-baby body category even *I* get annoyed when I see people baring their lumps and bumps after a baby. I know its not easy to share your body when you dont feel 100% happy with it but whenever I see a lumpy body I think of how there are always people that don’t have one and how it might make them feel, and now I know! Thank you for sharing x

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:28 pm

      Thank you Lauren. I think that’s the thing here, it doesn’t matter what we look like, or even what we share, but if we label it as “real” it implies that those who don’t look that way aren’t real at all. We are ALL real, it’s just that we are all different. xx

  57. February 21, 2018 / 7:45 am

    Oh I want to clap you right now! I did not bounce back after any of my 5 pregnancies. In fact, I’ve now got a massive hernia due to my 2nd emergency section. I feel judged regularly as I look like I’m 6 months pregnant (Anwen is only 9 months). I watch people look at me and then down at my tummy and back to my face in disbelief.

    I am trying to lose wait in preparation for surgery but I also accept that I won’t be bouncing back.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:26 pm

      Oh no bless you! I hope that gets sorted for you, that must be so hurtful when people do that. They just don’t get it do they? I will never EVER understand why other people care so much about the appearance or weight of others! xx

  58. hannah
    February 21, 2018 / 10:06 am

    I really hate how judgemental some people can be, especially what people were saying about that mum on instagram

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:24 pm

      Yes I had to stop reading them in the end Hannah, they were just vile. Yes it probably wasn’t the best move, but she clearly shared that for her own reasons. If you’ve nothing nice to say, just keep scrolling! xx

  59. February 21, 2018 / 10:07 am

    I think most of us that are parents already are sympathetic to the struggles of others. Its ones that have yet to experience the process that don’t understand and are more critical of others

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:23 pm

      Yes I agree actually, this who arent parents seem to the first to criticise us for our parenting choices!

  60. February 21, 2018 / 10:36 am

    I honestly think that women are too critical of each other. Women are beautiful and they come in many shapes and sizes

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:08 pm

      Yes, it’s really not difficult to open your mind to that is it? xx

  61. February 21, 2018 / 11:38 am

    What a great post! Women are so hard on each other and I don’t think we need to be, we should all be supportive and hold each other up x

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:06 pm

      I agree, when we can’t rely on each other it’s a pretty lonely world to live in! xx

  62. Jemma
    February 21, 2018 / 12:11 pm

    Great post and an important message to get out there. I think it’s so sad to see women pull each other down when it’s far more powerful to build each other up.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:05 pm

      Thank you Jemma, me too. It’s so sad that so many do. xx

  63. February 21, 2018 / 12:15 pm

    Damn straight. I’m figuratively air punching right now. I hate the way that some people want to just tear each other done, particularly on social media. Are you pledging to the #SayNoToShiny Campaign on the 8th March?
    I think you’d like it. Jaki’s posted about it on the #TriumpantTales linky.

    • February 21, 2018 / 12:15 pm

      That should have been #TriumphantTales . Clumsy fast fingers.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:05 pm

      Yes! Count me in!! xx

  64. February 21, 2018 / 1:57 pm

    I truly believe people who say these kinds of things have a serious deficiency in their lives. It is so important for them to knock someone off their feet so they can hold on. Great post, but wish it was different.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 8:02 pm

      I totally agree Terri. I actually feel quite sorry for those who gain pleasure bringing down others! xx

  65. February 21, 2018 / 2:56 pm

    So beautifully said. We’re damned if we do spring back and damned if we don’t. But it should never be for someone else to form an opinion on us.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 7:42 pm

      Thank you. Exactly that, and whatever we do, in pregnancy, birth, as parents or just as women, we should never feel we have to answer to anyone about those choices! xx

  66. February 21, 2018 / 3:03 pm

    We need to remember that we are very different to other people. I put on a lot of weight during my first pregnancy, over 3st, but somehow lost over 4st within a few months of giving birth!

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 7:42 pm

      Wow yes, everyone is different! I didn’t get a bump with mine, just carried them in my back somehow, but if you’d told me years ago that was possible I’d think there was no chance! I guess we just need to be open to the fact that no two people are the same. xx

  67. February 21, 2018 / 3:35 pm

    I absolutely love this post! I know the photos you’re talking about with the celebrity’s girlfriend (I use the term celebrity loosely!) and I hated everything about it; I hated that she was shamed by other moms criticizing her, I hated that she responded by promoting weight loss supplements, that her boyfriend jumped in and instead of just defending her sought to make other moms feel worse – and I hated other moms trying to turn the whole thing into a competition. Who cares what you look like after you’ve had a baby – let’s just celebrate the fact that we’ve just created a human! My first pregnancy I barely gained any weight and had a tiny little bump – and I bounced back really quickly. With my second I had a much bigger bump thanks to non-existent tummy muscles, and nearly two years later my tummy still doesn’t look the same, I don’t think it ever will! Both times I was criticized, so apparently moms can never get it right. This post is exactly the supportive message we need to be spreading, that how you look does not define you as a mother. Good for you 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 7:38 pm

      Thank you Kate, you’ve got it exactly right there. You just can’t win! Regardless of if you’re too big or too small, with some people you just can’t ever get it right. I was worried about sharing this in some ways so it’s reassuring to know that others relate. Thank you. xx

  68. February 21, 2018 / 3:45 pm

    Well said Laura. I’m so sick of women berating each other when, as you said, we should be supporting one another, especially in those early New Mum days. I bounced back, better than before I feel pregnant. I was 1.5 stone lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight just a few days after giving birth and I’ve no idea how it happened. But I’ll take it and be proud of that fact!

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 7:36 pm

      Yes Cath! I actually felt embarrassed that I had bounced back so fast with all of mine, I was made to feel as though it was something I should hide away and not acknowledge! I received so many negative comments over it, in a passive aggressive way of course, and seeing others being publicly shamed like that really got me! xx

  69. February 21, 2018 / 4:52 pm

    This is a great post! I’m all for women supporting one another and definitely think that we need to do better at this.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 7:31 pm

      Thanks Bianca, me too! xx

  70. February 21, 2018 / 6:06 pm

    Exactly… “We grew a bloody human for Christ’s sake” xxxxx #DreamTeam

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 7:23 pm

      Haha exactly that! xx

  71. February 21, 2018 / 6:11 pm

    I totally agree with what you are trying to say about looking different from other Moms because I do too. Women should be supporting each other and not put each other down.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 7:23 pm

      Thank you, I think a lot of people don’t fit into that stereotype and it can actually be quite isolating! xx

  72. Kiwi
    February 21, 2018 / 6:23 pm

    Being a woman is hard enough, but worst if you get shammed by other women. We need to uplift each other not judge.

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2018 / 7:22 pm

      Absolutely! That’s what it should be about! xx

  73. February 21, 2018 / 8:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing this thought provoking post. My first horrifying thought while reading was ‘OMG I am so relieved I don’t have kids because I would be one of those women who took forever and a day to lose the baby weight’.

    I think that very often we are our own worst enemies and sometimes forget that everyone is different and unique in their very own ways. What works for one person may not work for another but that doesn’t make either of them less real or amazing.

  74. February 21, 2018 / 8:24 pm

    Nail on head. You’re so brave Laura. I’ve been wanting to write something along these lines but was too scared in case I got a roasting. I was like you. Literally went back to skinny me not quite before I left the hospital but a few months later and my clothes were falling off me in fact. Did I look particularly good? No but I didn’t have any control over what my body had decided to do. It could just have easily have not lost the weight. The point is, you get dealt the body you’re dealt and there are certain things you can do to change that but it’s not a dead cert it will work. So why does everyone have to judge? Totally out of the blogging loop for months but such a treat as usual reading your words.

  75. February 21, 2018 / 8:52 pm

    We can’t win… and since we can’t, we might as well support each other! Wonderful post! #kcacols xoxo

  76. February 21, 2018 / 8:56 pm

    I read this yesterday and haven’t stopped thinking about it ever since. Beautiful writing. I’ve never really understood why women post these sorts of things anyway. The “look at me, I gave birth a few days ago” on either extreme, whether they’re blessed with a body that bounces back right away or not. Maybe it’s the social media world we live in now filled with (personal opinion) TMI. Not everything needs to be shared. If you’re thin, woohoo, carry on soldier. If you’ve got some weight to lose, we’re all rooting for you girlfriend, but really carry on and do what works for you. At the end of the day, I’m like you. There are so many cool and amazing women out there doing great work, it seems a shame if we’re not as supportive of each other as we possibly can be. xx

  77. February 21, 2018 / 9:06 pm

    Yes, let’s me kinder to each other and ourselves. Being a Mumma is a wonderful thing and we should embrace that more than body size and perfection. Lovely read.

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 8:29 pm

      Thank you for reading Elinor. xx

  78. Ann F. Snook-Moreau
    February 21, 2018 / 9:51 pm

    This is so powerful and perfect! People are always trying to find something to nitpick about others and it’s time that stopped. Everyone is different and we should embrace that!

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 8:27 pm

      Thank you Ann. I totally agree! xx

  79. February 21, 2018 / 10:04 pm

    I 100% cannot wait until Western society shifts from focusing on the female appearance and that men and women are held to the same standard. There’s no reason anyone should put themselves through that much intensity over what they look like. Focus on growth, development, family, friends, survival,… the stuff that actually matters. You only get one life.

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 8:27 pm

      Yes Roby! That’s so true!! I can’t see it happening any time soon, especially not with social media playing such a huge part, it’s sad really! xx

  80. February 21, 2018 / 10:12 pm

    I’m thinned framed so my body was back to normal right away. Plus I walked every day of my pregnancy which helped too. I’m so glad I didn’t post any photos post baby bump because women can be so mean to each other. We do need to lift each other up.

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 8:25 pm

      Yes I was the same. I had some quite hurtful comments made about my lack of bump, even voicing their concerns over the health of my baby! Just best to focus on being supportive isn’t it? xx

  81. February 21, 2018 / 10:47 pm

    Pregnancy is such a beautiful thing. God put us here to bring people to him and I am so glad he let us create people to serve him. I started off a little on the thicker side now I’ve slimmed down and am 145 pounds. Every women is beautiful in their own way.

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 8:23 pm

      I agree, we should be focusing on our own pregnancies, and our own babies, not the size of another womans bump or how flat her stomach is! xx

  82. February 21, 2018 / 11:07 pm

    Here here! I’m all for women uniting and supporting each other. I’ve never understood why some women don’t and see other females as competition. The world is much happier when everyone is kind. Girl power!!!

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 8:21 pm

      I totally agree, I think the competitiveness is the root behind a lot of this negativity! xx

  83. February 21, 2018 / 11:25 pm

    I honestly believe that theres not enough women out there supporting other women. Its as though the aim is just to cast opinions on others. I’m a big believer in you do you and I’ll do me 🙂 xxx

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 8:19 pm

      Yes!!! Exactly that, why do we all care SO much? xx

  84. Jeanine
    February 21, 2018 / 11:28 pm

    So well said. Too often we see women and moms going against each other when we should be sticking together and standing up for each other. It’s sad.

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 8:17 pm

      Yes! I have no idea why we do that. Very sad! xx

  85. February 22, 2018 / 6:26 am

    I love this post so much, every woman needs to read this. It is so important for woman to stand by eachother and support one another. They should stop judging and start living!

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 8:02 pm

      Thank you Kusum, exactly that. We waste so much time on negativity! xx

  86. February 22, 2018 / 8:24 am

    Well said! I don’t get this whole mums shaming each other thing. We should be supporting each other all the way!

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 7:54 pm

      Thanks Jenni, nor me. It’s so alien! xx

  87. February 22, 2018 / 10:26 am

    I hope more and more women read this. We should all stand together not apart: no matter what race, clothing style, or anything! We should help each other not hate each other, thanks for sharing.

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 7:42 pm

      Thank you so much. Absolutely, what a happier life we would all lead. xx

  88. Dannii
    February 22, 2018 / 10:55 am

    Well said! I am all for body positivity, but we shouldn’t be shaming any one.

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 7:39 pm

      Thank you Dannii! xx

  89. February 22, 2018 / 11:36 am

    You are spot on! I honestly feel people think they can say what ever they want about thinner women and men, if someone is naturally thin they are criticised and told they are anorexic, as you know anorexia is a serious illness not something that is a fashion choice! I actually weighed less after my pregnancies than before just due to how well I ate and looked after myself which I did for my babies, I didn’t starve myself, I took my vitamins, I ate plenty and I ate healthy. People can be so cruel, no one has the right to ever comment on another persons body, that should just be off limits. Real Thanks for sharing this with #mg Have a fabulous week lovely lady xx

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 7:38 pm

      Thank you Mac, and I totally agree. If you reversed this and shamed women for being larger, there would be a national outcry!! I think skinny shaming is far too common in todays society, it really saddens me that people think it’s okay. To use anorexia as an insult is such a low blow, I will always fight anyone’s corner who is shamed in that way! Thanks for hosting lovely xxx

  90. Bryanna skye
    February 22, 2018 / 12:01 pm

    Seriously brilliant post! I have to agree with you 100% – there is a wide range of experiences, and no one should put the other down. I have a friend who ‘bounced back’ who got shamed in the same way, but she was struggling hard with pp and excerising was her way of coping and staying present. No one else knew this and they were so nasty via social media.

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 7:34 pm

      Yes!! Exactly that Bryanna, I have no idea why people feel the need to make others feel bad, especially when it’s for looking good! I honestly think there is so much jealousy which is just wrong. I bounced back, and my friends used to say you’re so bloody lucky, but they never once said anything negative! xx

  91. February 22, 2018 / 12:37 pm

    That is completely true. I know my ex had the same problem when she had our son because she bounced back immediately and would also feel offended when people would make certain comments. Great post.

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 7:33 pm

      Thanks Mike, people can be so judgemental can’t they? xx

  92. February 22, 2018 / 1:31 pm

    Well said Laura, and the mums shaming the bouncing back mums should be ashamed. we are all different. and we all have our sh*t going on. behind that lens may well be a diff story. on a different note, i cannot believe your psychiatrist (SP?!) said that to you! #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 7:28 pm

      Thank you Emma, I hate any kind of shaming but it will always get my back up at skinny shaming! I know! I was so young and completely shocked by it, looking back it was so unprofessional! xx

  93. February 22, 2018 / 2:13 pm

    This is awesome. So very well written indeed Laura – well done. Sarah D #sharingthebloglove

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 7:27 pm

      Ahh thank you Sarah. xxx

  94. February 22, 2018 / 4:39 pm

    Growing up I struggled massively with what others thought of me, i suppose I do still a little. But we should all be there for each other, build each other, help one another if we struggle. Life isn’t a competition 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 7:27 pm

      Yes Lynne, I did too. I battled with my body image for years, and ended up very poorly from it, but now I refuse to let others make me feel that I should look a certain way to be “real”. xx

  95. February 22, 2018 / 6:27 pm

    I would not worry about weight loss so soon after having a baby, this time is emotional, a new mum needs rest and time to bond with baby. The weight will drop off in due course.Everybody is different and so are their bodies.do not allow others to dictate that.

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 7:24 pm

      The fact is that some women DO worry about weight loss, and many simply want to get their figure back and feel good. I think there is no shame at all in that. xx

  96. February 22, 2018 / 7:05 pm

    I totally agree with this, but sadly some do not which is such a shame. Building people up is important and not putting them down – love this post x

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 7:23 pm

      Thanks Melanie, it’s a real shame isn’t it? I really wish everyone could just be supportive, and if you can’t….scroll on by! xx

  97. February 22, 2018 / 7:07 pm

    So very true! We need to support each other. But frankly, if I had her body 10 days after giving birth, I would proudly show it off as well. But promoting weight loss products just seems wrong to me.

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 7:23 pm

      Haha yes Mira, and there’s nothing wrong with that either! But yes, promoting weight loss products was a really bad move, and poor judgement from her management too. You live and learn. xx

  98. February 22, 2018 / 8:51 pm

    It’s so true Laura – well said, as always. I saw some of those comments and in all honesty never stopped to think of the other side, but I’m glad I read this as it’s completely made me realise how hypocritical the whole thing is. Ultimately, who are we to judge anyones decisions, and if only we could all celebrate each other and ourselves a little more, the world would be a better place.
    Hope you are well xx

    Thanks so much for linking to #coolmumclub

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2018 / 10:16 pm

      Thank you lovely. I’ve had lots of people say the same to me this week, that they never considered it from the other side before. I was nervous about sharing this so it’s been great to hear some positive feedback! Thank you. xxx

  99. February 23, 2018 / 12:15 am

    My best friend is like you. After her first baby she was back to her normal slim size straight away, and I’m sure when I see her for her second’s christening next week she’ll be as slim as normal 5 months after having her. While I, who managed to put on 5 stone while pregnant despite dancing and walking lots up til 8 months pregnant, is now heavier than when I gave birth.

    I’m jealous of people who do it easily. However, I can’t understand why people shame others. Everyone is different, some are lucky to lose the weight, others struggle (and others like me struggle and are little (or big) piglets!).

    I think self confidence and ignoring what people say is what helps. I had a csection (unplanned), ended up bottle feeding, went back to work full time, found having a baby easy, and didn’t feel any mum guilt. But I’m certainly not going to listen to what others say about ‘real mums’ or join in the judgements.

    Great post Laura.

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:35 pm

      Thank you Emma. I love that you say you are jealous of others who do it easily, I think that’s a completely natural feeling for those who struggle, and being honest about that instead of shaming those who bounce back is so much healthier. I think jealousy is behind a lot of negativity, especially when it comes to appearance, and that’s really quite sad. I always think it says more about a person who makes these comments than those on the receiving end though! Thank you for reading. xx

  100. Agentszerozerosetter
    February 23, 2018 / 1:07 am

    Love this! Real women must support each other, completely agree! Everyone of us is different, inside and outside, for different reasons, why we have to judge?! We must be confortable in our skin and hearth, no matter what other people think!

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:32 pm

      Thank you, I totally agree! xx

  101. February 23, 2018 / 11:44 am

    I always find it fascinating how critical women can be of other women. I know I would never mean anything bad by saying that men like women with curves, because I know it’s my preference. Just didn’t think how that could affect someone else and their body image. But I really like what you said here. It’s about having a positive view of self that makes comments like that less traumatizing and when you love who you are, you can deal with whatever anyone may say.

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:29 pm

      Thank you David. It’s been great to hear that this post has alerted some of you to another view point. xx

  102. February 23, 2018 / 3:04 pm

    I totally agree we should all support each other and stop bringing each other down. We are all built different and we should celebrate the fact. x

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:26 pm

      Yes, definitely! There is nothing positive that will ever come from bringing down others. xx

  103. February 23, 2018 / 4:15 pm

    Very well said. Oh this world of ours, discrimination and being judgemental is a always a common thing. Let’s just hope for a better world for our kids.

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:26 pm

      Absolutely! Surely we need to be setting a better example! xx

  104. February 23, 2018 / 5:02 pm

    Firstly, thank you for writing about this. I was discussing with a friend how society set up these “standards” and you ‘keyboard gangsters’ who take it upon themselves to troll those who don’t fit into that box. It’s quite sad. I tend to think HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE and the folks online who speak ill of others are simply hurt/ill.

    Real women aren’t defined by our abilities, disabilities, beauty, shape, or etc. It’s defined by the contents of our heart and how that aligns with our moral compass.

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:25 pm

      Thank you Debbie, you are so right. We need to stop with all this talk of “real” and realise that everyone is different and that doesn’t make anyone less of a woman, or a mother! xx

  105. February 23, 2018 / 8:17 pm

    Back again with some genuine blogger love and appreciation, from #mg xoxo

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:24 pm

      Thank you Lisa! xx

  106. February 23, 2018 / 10:34 pm

    Perfectly written Laura! I do think that sometimes people don’t think about what they are saying. They try to defend one person and the comments they make can isolate the next. It’s done without thinking. Growing a human is an amazing thing and everyone’s body will react differently. We need to unite in this crazy parenting world rather than shaming!! #TriumphantTales

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:21 pm

      Thank you Jo. Exactly that! We need to be more mindful of the things we say, whether to bring down or support others. Being open to the fact that everyone is very different is the main thing! xx

  107. February 24, 2018 / 7:00 am

    I always support girls and power them to grow stronger and always support each other to grow. My mother is my inspiration she is the strongest women I know I never hear her saying girls are lower then man . Nowadays girls really hate each other in many ways I really don’t support that. This is really great article.

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:19 pm

      Thanks Kartika! Good for you, it’s great to support other women isn’t it? xx

  108. Hannah Denton
    February 24, 2018 / 7:31 am

    Im loving all of this women empowerment! Such a powerful and inspiring post!

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:18 pm

      Thank you Hannah! xx

  109. February 24, 2018 / 3:01 pm

    There is so much to love about this online world but it never ceases to surprise me how there are a minority who have to exploit the security of a faceless keyboard to be so venomous. They are ultimately weak and deserve only to be ignored whilst the rest of us continue to offer support and encouragement to those that need it. #mg

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:15 pm

      I totally agree, it saddens me to see so many people so ready to attack others for their appearance especially. Wouldn’t it just be easier to say nothing if you have nothing positive to say? xx

  110. February 24, 2018 / 3:45 pm

    I don’t think there should be any concept of ‘real women are XXX’. What makes a woman a ‘real’ woman? I hate how society defines what we should define as a ‘real’ woman or as beauty. You make very good points in your post. We should all support each other. You never know how hard or easy the other person has had it.

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:12 pm

      Thank you Nadine. I really hate the concept of “real”…we are all real! I appreciate you reading. xx

  111. February 24, 2018 / 5:47 pm

    Well said. You are a mother whatever shape or size you are. #mg

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:08 pm

      Thank you Helena, exactly that! xx

  112. Khushboo
    February 24, 2018 / 6:09 pm

    That’s a beautiful read.. Loved it.. I agree women should support each other.. Thanks for sharing

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:08 pm

      Thank you so much. xx

  113. February 24, 2018 / 6:40 pm

    What a great post, we are all different and we just need to learn to be a bit kinder to each other and stop judging ?. #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:07 pm

      Yes! It’s really not rocket science is it! xx

  114. Bobbi
    February 24, 2018 / 7:12 pm

    This is such an amazing post that is so relatable. Not all moms bounce back quickly but we do what we can for our kids.

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:06 pm

      Thank you Bobbi, exactly. And no two women are ever the same! xx

  115. February 24, 2018 / 7:50 pm

    Great post Laura, why are people so quick to judge! Social media can definitely bring the worst out in people #sharingthebloglove

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:05 pm

      Thank you Natalie. xx

  116. Kitty
    February 24, 2018 / 8:15 pm

    I hate when people judge others… I keep correcting my people when they try to judge people… I would definitely teach my kiddo to respect people for who they are and accept them…

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:03 pm

      Good for you Kitty. If we can raise our children to be more accepting then maybe we can reach a point where there is less negativity in the world. xx

  117. February 24, 2018 / 8:20 pm

    I think this is one of the things that makes me sad about women in general – we seem to be so quick to want to judge and take each other down. I know my friends and the women I seem to know aren’t like that, but you see it in social media all the time. I think it’s ingrained in us to judge women more than men, and I really do think the tide is turning on that. I really hope so anyway – it certainly is in my experience! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:02 pm

      Yes I totally agree Katy. The majority of these attacks on other women are from WOMEN. That’s just so sad isn’t it? xx

  118. February 24, 2018 / 10:29 pm

    This is so wonerfully said. With my first I went straight back to how I was pre pregnacy, with my second, I struggled with the weight ( I still do now). Our bodies are amazing things whatever shape they are. We should be supporting one another, not shaming.
    #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 6:01 pm

      Thank you Ali. I totally agree, we are all so different too, that doesn’t mean it’s the right or wrong way though! xx

  119. February 25, 2018 / 12:15 am

    I agree real women should support and promote wellness of other women too. I also didn’t get it that there so many people out there who so brave enough to throw hurtful words just like that.

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 5:57 pm

      Thank you Eliza, I think we should all take more responsibility for our words. xx

  120. February 25, 2018 / 10:38 am

    A great post, I totally agree that we need to focus on supporting each other and recognising that everyone is totally different.

    • Laura Dove
      February 25, 2018 / 5:54 pm

      Thank you, if only we could all just do that! xx

  121. February 25, 2018 / 6:30 pm

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES! It never ceases to amaze me how much negativity there is surrounding all of what you’ve written about. Whatever happened to just being nice? Every person is different. We all make different choices. What works for one may not feel right for another and that doesn’t matter. We should all raise each other up not knock each other down. Love this post. Thanks for sharing it with #TriumphantTales. Do come back next week.

  122. February 26, 2018 / 3:12 pm

    I always call my bumps, trophies of motherhood! loved this post and agree completely. Angela x

    • Laura Dove
      February 26, 2018 / 4:45 pm

      Thanks Angela. I didn’t have a bump so I never had that. I often felt as though I had nothing at all to show for my pregnancies other than my children! xx

  123. February 26, 2018 / 10:40 pm

    Im always glad to see people always supporting other peopl, as women do to other women. Just like in the blogging world, I’m still glad to see that there are other people out there who are supporting my blog, even though that my niche is for gay or LGBT people, which is a group that I am having a hard time to find.

    • Laura Dove
      March 1, 2018 / 8:34 pm

      Yes I totally agree. I think as women, or as bloggers, or just as human beings, we should all be supporting each other far more than we do! xx

  124. February 26, 2018 / 10:45 pm

    Yes I really agree we do supporting each other and I realize that every women was different

    • Laura Dove
      March 1, 2018 / 8:34 pm

      I wish everyone would just accept that no two of us are ever the same! xx

  125. February 28, 2018 / 7:10 am

    I couldn’t agree more with you. I never ‘bounced back’ after having my daughter and weigh more than I ever have done currently. But I have no problem with women who do at all and why should I? Women need to stop tearing each other down it really drives me mad and I hate all the negativity as you literally cannot do right for doing wrong. and as for the girlfriend of the reality star – good on her fro regaining her figure so quick but I do agree it shouldn’t have been used to promote weight loss supplements at all (plus I have never liked him anyway). Thanks so much for linking to #KCACOLS. Hope you come back next time.

    • Laura Dove
      March 1, 2018 / 8:21 pm

      Hahah yes Tracey I’m not a fan of him either, and I personally think she deserves better than him, BUT as an individual I think it was so unfair how she was targeted. She looks amazing, she is clearly naturally very slight, and, although none of us know why she wants to post those photos, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t to be told she looks anorexic or to be called a whole range of abusive names. It saddens me that other women can be so cruel! xx

  126. March 1, 2018 / 8:42 am

    Fabulous post and I agree whole heartedly. I sprang back after my first, but it took me longer after my second. Who are we to judge each other?! Love and support are the way to go. x

    • Laura Dove
      March 1, 2018 / 8:12 pm

      Thank you Marial I totally agree, it’s not rocket science is it! xx

  127. March 1, 2018 / 8:43 am

    This reminds me of being unintentionally humiliated in a personal branding class. We need to raise each other up and celebrate our differences
    #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Laura Dove
      March 1, 2018 / 8:11 pm

      Absolutely! That’s what it should all be about! xx

  128. March 1, 2018 / 10:50 am

    People being in the limelight makes them an easy target – it doesnt make it right though. I wrote a post about “celebs” flashing their weightloss within days of giving birth, more for the fact that it gives an unrealistic expectation to new mums who might not realise that there are weightloss programmes/experts being used. But what really got my goat was the way the boyfriend started slagging off mums who struggle to lose the weight immediately. I also think my issue was that using weightloss products within days of giving birth isnt going to be healthy in the long run.
    I loved Georgia Jones and the unmumsy mum who showed the “real” truth of the first few days post-baby. I think for those who’ve just had their first child, or are young mums who live on social media – it shows that its ok if you dont snap back into shape and its ok to have wobbly bits and to love your new body as that was what carried your child safely into the world!
    I want to support all women, and I do sympathise to those who get trolled – I hate the keyboard warriors, but I must admit, those who give unrealistic ideals just frustrate me, but this isnt just with regards to post-pregnancy photos, its all “perfect” perception photos. (I think im just jealous that I dont have millions in the bank and can swan off to a Caribbean island every month hahah!) #sharingthebloglove

    • Laura Dove
      March 1, 2018 / 8:06 pm

      Yes I agree to some extent, I think it is wrong that celebrities may not always be honest about their weight loss, or even try to say it was due to whatever weight loss product they are promoting at the time. The boyfriend wading in was a really stupid move, and I think that escalated the abuse further, but I stand by the fact that verbally attacking a new mum, or a woman in general, is just so wrong. 99% of those comments came from other women, which is the case time and time again.

      I know that as someone who didn’t get a bump and who did snap right back, I find this whole “real mum” thing really hurtful as I am still a mum, whether I have stretch marks or spare pounds….or not. xx

  129. March 1, 2018 / 1:06 pm

    I agree that we should all be supporting one another. Women can be incredibly powerful when they support each other and incredibly damaging when they don’t. Like you say, we’ve made humans! It’s amazing and really scary! We need the love and support of each other to get through the wonderfully crazy world of parenthood.

    • Laura Dove
      March 1, 2018 / 8:00 pm

      I totally agree, as women we would be so much better off supporting each other instead of trying to tear each other down! Thank you for reading. xx

  130. March 1, 2018 / 4:26 pm

    AMEN! Between social media, cyber bullying, and the media, all support has gone out the window and people feel the need to bash each other for no reason at all. I often wonder where the tides turned… or has it always been like this? I prefer to think that the world wasn’t always so ugly and hope that this post and others like it can turn a bully around! Thank you so much for sharing this!
    #Sharingthebloglove

    • Laura Dove
      March 1, 2018 / 7:55 pm

      Thank you Sara. I feel the same, did things change with the introduction of social media? Or did it just become acceptable to write vile comments to others as long as you said them from the safety of your keyboard? It’s mind-blowing really, but it happens every single day. Let’s just all be nice!! xx

  131. March 2, 2018 / 10:51 am

    Spot on. I personally have found the mums showing their mum tums and stretch marks inspiring, in that it’s nice to finally see people that look like me! That said, there is no such thing as a “real mum”. It’s insulting and divisive. We’re all real! #blogcrush

    • Laura Dove
      March 2, 2018 / 12:41 pm

      Absolutely. It’s great to support each other and to show all sides of motherhood, but not at the danger of making other women feel less “Real” should they not look the same way. xx

  132. March 5, 2018 / 8:33 pm

    Yes that’s totally the point – we should all support each other! After baby number one I was slimmer & had a smaller waist 10 days post partum than I had pre-pregancy…it was the breastfeeding I think. Sadly it’s not the case after baby number three though! #DreamTeam

    • Laura Dove
      March 5, 2018 / 8:59 pm

      I know I was very lucky to snap back so fast with all of my five but I do feel as though I am made to feel that is a negative amongst other women. I’m sick of hearing other mums say that nobody should be back to “normal” straight after having a baby and if you are then you’ve clearly been neglecting your baby/starving yourself/slogging it out in the gym. I get quite defensive about it as actually, I would have loved to have a bump. I’m just not built that way. xx

  133. I agree with you, and I don’t quite see how people find the energy to go online to shame others. To show you weaknesses and stretch marks etc I understand, that can be a really good thing. But to say it’s the only right way to be, and shaming those who are different, is not x #sharingthebloglove

    • Laura Dove
      March 7, 2018 / 12:41 pm

      Yes I agree, it’s not really celebrating women when you are causing others to feel lesser. xx

  134. March 7, 2018 / 3:32 pm

    Brilliant piece. There’s too much negativity out there at the moment, and too many people trying to create fake standards for everyone else to live up to. It’s all nonsense. We should accept each other as who we are and learn to love ourselves. Thanks. #ThatFridayLinky

    • Laura Dove
      March 7, 2018 / 11:06 pm

      Thank you! It would be so much easier if we could all just think that way! xx

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