Tess Holliday: "Each day feels like a battle to learn to love my body postpartum"
In a surprising post, the normally upbeat plus-sized model reveals she's struggling to recognise her post-baby body
When it come to loving your body, curves and all - plus-sized model Tess Holliday always seems to have it down, doesn't she?
Though she's been shamed again and again for being overweight, the star has always hit back. While pregnant with her second child, for example, she commented to fans on Instagram: "I get constantly shamed and criticised for existing in this body, but the problem isn't my size, it's others' inability to comprehend that beauty doesn't come pre-packaged in one size."
Despite her body confidence, however, it seems even Tess is going through something of a struggle with how her body has changed since having a baby - and that's something she wasn't expecting. Neither were we if we're honest.
She shared the above pic on Instagram with the following words:
"Each day feels like a battle to learn how to love my body postpartum. It's been 6 months, & my stomach is lower, my breasts are a different shape, new stretch marks & I feel like a stranger in my body more than ever.
"I wasn't anticipating this at all. I'm not used to looking in the mirror & feeling like I don't recognise myself, but sadly that's my reality some days.
"I debated on whether or not to post this, but I think it's important to be honest about what it's like to be a woman in the media, who recently had a baby & the pressure that's put on new moms to 'lose the baby weight'.
"I was fat before, I carried a healthy baby, & guess what, still fat... & THAT'S OKAY. I have no New Year's resolution to lose weight, but only to work on learning my new body & loving & nurturing it.
"Not a day goes by that Nick doesn't tell me how beautiful I am, but it's not our partner's job to lift our spirits, we have to be our own cheerleaders.
"So that's what I will do, take it day by day. It's a journey, not a race.. & a beautiful one at that."
Tess's post really struck a chord with lots of mums who totally get what she's going through and prompted many to share their own stories. One said:
"My belly is a lot lower as well.. I am shorter than you and we share the same weight. I have two kids and after my second baby it's been soooo hard to get back to the weight I once was.
"I'm learning to love myself no matter how big and fluffy I may be.. my kids love me just the way I am and so does my husband and nothing else matters."
"Beautiful post and exactly how I felt postpartum until my daughter was 18 months. It took that long before I felt like my body was mine again & I could walk in confidence once more!"
Here at MFM we have to say we really admire Tess for sharing her story - not least because we reckon it probably really took her out of her comfort zone talking about the difficulties she's going through right now.
More like this
It's so different from her usual posts which brim with body confidence (and which are great too) and has given a brilliant platform for other mums to share how they feel post-birth and, for some people at least, will be really helpful.
Fair dos Tess - we think you're awesome ✊
Photo: Tess Holliday on Instagram
Tara is mum to 1 daughter, Bodhi Rae, and has worked as Content Editor and Social Media Producer at MadeForMums since 2015
Six big family moments that matter – and the products that make them easier to navigate
These products from John Lewis & Partners help support the memorable moments of family life.