So this week I screwed up in a fairly big way.
I wrote a rather controversial piece about a European fitness blogger (Caroline Berg Eriksen) who posted a selfie of herself in lingerie four days after having a baby.
To say the image and her caption irritated me is an understatement and so STUPIDLY I bashed out a post articulating my irritation.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrongity-wrong. Could I have been more of an idiot?
The post was poorly written (I at one point questioned where Caroline’s new baby was. Hello and welcome to 1956, Rebecca Sparrow!) but the biggest mistake I made was focusing the entire post on one person. Really, I should have broadened the post out to talk about society’s obsession with “post baby body” stories. Singling out Caroline Eriksen Berg was just mean-spirited and unnecessary.
But while I handled the post badly, I stand by many of the sentiments I expressed. I think this trend is obscene and I feel like new celebrity mothers are being forced to publicly compete for the title of “Who Bounced Back Fastest”. What I didn’t acknowledge is that when that pressure is there from the media, it’s hardly surprising women feel pressured to participate.
A wise friend said to me last night that “Of course feminism is about individual choice. But it’s absurd and naive and just wrong to believe that every choice exists in a vacuum.
If there wasn’t a currency for women to have to be hot ALL THE TIME even immediately after giving birth…….then that selfie wouldn’t exist. It’s not just one woman’s choice. It’s about a society and culture that sets the scene for that choice.”
I think that’s spot on. But that’s just my opinion.
And it bugs me that when a celebrity has a baby, the first thing everyone wants to see is a photo of the new mother to see how much post-baby weight she’s carrying.
I’ve been called many things this week: a woman hater, a skinny-basher, a jealous fat bit#h … and I have to take all that on the chin. When you write angry – you get angry back! (Lord, do you get angry back). But I think to reduce this debate to “jealousy” is simplistic and naive.
But again that’s just my opinion. And one I should have expressed better this week without piling on more hate to a fitness blogger in Europe.
And finally I want to thank Dannielle Miller from Enlighten Education who is dedicated to empowering young women across the country. In life it’s easy to talk the talk but not quite so easy to walk the walk. Dannielle Miller conducts amazing in-school workshops on bullying — highlighting the need for by-standers to not just stand-by and watch bullying happen. This week Danni saw me being attacked online and stood up and said something.
I’d say Danni is like Glinda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz but the truth is we all have that strength within. .. we just need the courage to take a stand when we see bullying happening in front of us. (And – NOTE TO SELF – we also need to know when to shut the hell up and not write angry blog posts ….).
I’m not going to approve any comments on this post today. I didn’t write it so that my friends would say “Good on you, Bec!” or for my critics to continue telling me they think I’m stupid. I wrote it because I think it’s important to admit when you got something wrong. And I got it wrong this week.