Even the supremely fit, athletic, former “Girl Next Door” is not immune to postnatal stretch marks and gooey belly flab.
The following video confirms the Internet speculation about Kendra’s recent post-baby-bikini photo shoot. Those pictures were most definitely retouched.
In the Us Magazine video featured here Kendra is shocked to find her figure unchanged weeks after the birth (girl, try a year after birth). The conversation goes like this:
“What the hell is this?” Wilkinson asks her husband, NFL star Hank Baskett, as she lifts up her suit top to reveal her stretch marks. “I want to look sexy for you again!”
After he tries to comfort in a what I think is a pretty half-hearted and half-assed attempt, she says, “I wouldn’t fuck me!”
Listen, I know this segment on her new reality show and video clip at Us Magazine is more about creating new tabloid drama, strains of body gossip and body snarking but I’m relieved to see this. I’m relieved in the same way I was relieved to hear Kourtney Kardashian call “bull shit” on her (supposedly) unauthorized and retouched post-baby pictures via OK! Magazine.
I am embarrassed to admit that I have had more body image issues in the last two years than ever before (and I have had some major body issues in my life). As soon as I started growing and showing at the end of my first trimester, I felt fat, ugly and subsequently depressed (oh, and pissed off).
It’s hard to admit. I’m a feminist. I teach Women’s Studies. I critique the media, examine body image and beauty ideals. I should have no body image issues what so ever.
But I have and I do.
I’m a product of this culture. I live in this culture. Even though I limit my level of mediation, I am media literate and conscious to the ways of the media and advertising, I am still swept up in the media current. And, what a strong current it is.
I had gotten my body image issues under control before I got pregnant and felt great for years. The pregnancy and the post-natal body threw me for a loop. Like Kendra, I’d never experienced a mushy body that felt so foreign to me. I’d never lived in a body that I felt I didn’t have control over. I had this romantic notion in my head that I’d be one of the bounce back success stories. Hey, I’m healthy, fit and eat well. No problem. I’ve got this.
Uh, hello 60 pounds and a c-section later. What the heck is this? Who is this?
I’m not saying Kendra or Kourtney are feminist media sheroes but I will admit that those morsels of honesty are helpful. I can only imagine how much pressure would have been taken off of me (and countless others) if messages like these were the norm instead of the countless stories proclaiming a complete weight loss of all baby fat a week after birth.