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Do moms have to be ‘sexy’ now?

What makes a good mother? Probably the very qualities that also make a good person: compassion, kindness, intelligence, loyalty and strength — a sense of humour surely helps, too.

Mother at the beach with her family

Masterfile

What makes a good mother? Probably the very qualities that also make a good person: compassion, kindness, intelligence, loyalty and strength — a sense of humour surely helps, too. So where does being ‘sexy’ fit into the equation? That’s the question raised by a recent essay in Time magazine.

In her essay, ‘The Tyranny of the Sexy Mom‘, Time magazine’s Susanna Schrobsdorff wonders whether or not tabloids and celebrity-centric journalism, with their relentless focus on attractiveness, are implicitly pressuring regular women with careers, families, and frankly better things to think about than their abs, to chase the fantasy of perpetual sexiness — even six weeks after having a baby.  

Indulging in celebrity magazines’ obsessive focus on baby bumps — whether growing or shrinking — isn’t the “end of the world,” writes Schrobsdorff. But our endless appetite for it,“does feed into an addictive contrast-and-compare game we play with our own bodies — a habit that numerous studies have shown to erode our self-image and predispose us to depression.”  

Celebrities like Hilary Duff and Jessica Simpson can’t get up off the delivery table before paparazzi are targeting their bellies with a telephoto lens. Let’s hope that fatigue over the heightened state of both pre- and post-natal bodies overcomes the photographers and editors who, by their very interest in what Simpson is ‘hiding’ under her caftan, ask new moms to consider whether being sexy should be their top priority after giving birth.

The reasons for leaving ‘sexy’ out of the new mom’s unofficial handbook go beyond concerns about its affect on adult women, however, suggests Schrobsdorff. “These attitudes also have a trickle down effect. A new report published this month in the journal Sex Roles revealed that many six- to nine-year-old girls already think of themselves as sexual objects,” writes Schrobsdorff.

Did you feel pressure to lose your baby weight quickly? 

For a healthy post-baby workout click here.