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Celebrities’ post-baby bodies do affect women’s confidence

 
  • Some 46% feel self-conscious and blue when seeing their post-baby bodies
  • Researchers believe celebrity mothers set unrealistic expectations for women
  • Women are less likely to feel self-conscious if they have supportive husbands
  • Understanding bodies respond differently to pregnancy is helpful for women
  • Social media can make women feel judged and guilty for not losing the weight 

Alexandra Thompson Health Reporter For Mailonline

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Nearly half of women feel frustrated and hopeless when they are unable to lose pregnancy weight as quickly as celebrities, new research reveals.

Some 46 percent of women also report feeling self-conscious and depressed when seeing celebrities such as Halle Berry and Abbey Clancy rapidly recover their pre-baby physique, a study found.

Researchers believe celebrity mothers who lose their baby weight in just a matter of months or even weeks set unrealistic expectations for ‘real women’ and do not account for the stress of caring for an infant.

Women are less likely to feel negatively about their baby weight gain if they have supportive husbands and understand that bodies respond differently to pregnancy, the research adds.

Although social media can be a good way for mothers to support each other through their body confidence issues, some report feeling judged by others and even guilty for not losing the weight quickly enough, the study found. 

Halle Berry, 50, gave birth to her and Olivier Martinez's son in October 2013

Halle Berry, 50, gave birth to her and Olivier Martinez's son in October 2013

The Oscar-winning actress quickly regained her pre-baby body (pictured in March 2014)

The Oscar-winning actress quickly regained her pre-baby body (pictured in March 2014)

Halle Berry, 50, gave birth to her and Olivier Martinez’s son in October 2013

 

Abbey Clancy has two children - Sophia, 6 and Liberty, 2 (pictured pregnant with Sophia)

Abbey Clancy has two children - Sophia, 6 and Liberty, 2 (pictured pregnant with Sophia)

Abbey recovered her svelte figure after both pregnancies (pictured August 21 2015)

Abbey recovered her svelte figure after both pregnancies (pictured August 21 2015)

Abbey Clancy has two children – Sophia, 6 and Liberty, 2 (pictured pregnant with Sophia)

Alex Gerrard has four children with ex-England and Liverpool captain Steve Gerrard

Alex Gerrard has four children with ex-England and Liverpool captain Steve Gerrard

The WAG is still very slim after four children (pictured in June 2017)

The WAG is still very slim after four children (pictured in June 2017)

Alex Gerrard has four children with ex-England and Liverpool captain Steve Gerrard

CURVY MODELS SUCH AS ASHLEY GRAHAM GIVE US A MENTAL HEALTH BOOST 

Curvy models such as Ashley Graham and Candice Huffine’s refusal to conform to ideal body standards is good for us, research revealed back in June.

Women experience a mental health boost after seeing plus-size models compared to underweight ones, a study found.

They are also more likely to pay attention to, and remember, models who reflect realistic body shapes and sizes, the research adds.

It’s a point the fashion industry – often criticized for pedaling unrealistic body images – should take on board, according to the researchers from Florida State University. 

Celebrities ‘do not account for the realities of giving birth’

Researchers from the University of Illinois interviewed 50 women who were at least 20 weeks pregnant.

The study’s participants were asked about celebrities’ pregnancy and post-baby bodies, and how this makes them feel about their own figures.

Most of the women found celebrities’ postpartum physiques to be unrealistic for the average woman to achieve.

Lead author Toni Liechty said: ‘Participants felt that media portrayals of women “losing all their baby weight” in a short time frame set unrealistic expectations and did not account for the realities of giving birth, such as hormones, physical healing and the stress of caring for a baby.’

Of the women who aspire to look like famous mothers are giving birth, most make a conscious effort to avoid images of celebrities that may affect their self esteem.

Kate Middleton stayed slim during her pregnancies with Prince George and Princess Charlotte

Kate Middleton stayed slim during her pregnancies with Prince George and Princess Charlotte

Less than two months after Charlotte's birth on 2 May 2015, Kate was back in her skinny jeans (pictured 14 June 2015)

Less than two months after Charlotte's birth on 2 May 2015, Kate was back in her skinny jeans (pictured 14 June 2015)

Kate Middleton stayed slim during her pregnancies with Prince George and Princess Charlotte

Model Candice Swanepoel, 28, gave birth to her son Anacã on October 5 2016

Model Candice Swanepoel, 28, gave birth to her son Anacã on October 5 2016

The Victoria's Secret angel quickly regained her pre-baby body

The Victoria's Secret angel quickly regained her pre-baby body

Model Candice Swanepoel, 28, gave birth to her son Anacã on October 5 2016

Post-baby selfies create competition and guilt

Although some women find social media posts detailing body confidence issues help to support ‘real women’, some feel judged by other users.

After uploading selfies, some feel competition between other new mothers and even guilt if they fail to have the same weight loss success as others.

Women appreciate images that show realistic images of others while pregnant and after giving birth.

Those who are unaffected by the post-baby physiques of celebrities or other women are more likely to have supportive husbands and understand that bodies respond differently to pregnancy. 

The findings were published in the journal Health Communication.  

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