I love Self magazine. It can be a little repetitive and occasionally feels more like Glamour or Cosmo lately (with stupid questions like “What’s the best way to bring up the condom topic without killing the mood?” - seen in this month’s issue), but I’m a loyalist.
EXCEPT for today, when I received the September issue in my mailbox.
Shakira is on the cover. To start, she’s posing holding up her shirt and showing off her stomach in a really weird, awkward way. You may wonder why she’s posing thus, but Self is only too happy to explain “how she got those abs.”
"WOWZA! She just had a baby!" (Seen above her photo.)
I flip to the article inside.
She is five months postpartum. Five months.
And she’s holding up the shirt again.
Self should be better than this.
Zumba 4-5 times a week? Afternoon workouts? Personal trainers? This is so useless. The fact that they’re tacitly/overtly advocating this level of fitness less than 6 months postpartum as some kind of achievement is not just really frustrating because it’s so unrealistic, but also because it’s potentially damaging (breastfeeding/pumping mothers often experience a drop in supply when they start a fitness routine). Most nursing/pumping mothers don’t even have a regulated supply UNTIL 4-5 months.
And you know what? Showing off her stomach not once, but twice, like some kind of Ultimate Postpartum Trophy is really disgusting. Fine, she looks great in the tank top and the shorts. Leave it alone. There’s no reason to have her flaunting what is almost assuredly a bang-up Photoshop job with cringe-worthy copy (“WOWZA”) littering the page.
The funny thing is that there is another article about Shakira in the magazine, a few pages away from the stupid postpartum workout routine nonsense. (If you get out your magnifying glass, this is what the tiny “PLUS: What makes her really cool” headline on the cover is referring to.) The second article is about her dedication to provide education to impoverished children.
But who cares about that, right? WOWZA, she just had a baby! She’s five months out from giving birth and she looks nothing like a normal person does at that point! THAT’S the interesting story. Education schmeducation.
If I haven’t made this abundantly clear by now, I don’t give one single fuck how celebrities lose their baby weight. I’d rather read a story about how often Shakira shits per day than muse over her intense postpartum Zumba routine. I didn’t care before I was pregnant, I didn’t care while I was pregnant, I didn’t care at one day postpartum, five months postpartum and I sure don’t care about it now. Keep feeding us their stupid stories of “losing the baby belly” triumph using stock photos taken years ago, with stretch marks clone-brushed into a vision of matte perfection and I will keep not caring and only paying attention long enough to tell you how pathetic it is that you’re trying to get people to take it seriously.
Try harder. Do better.
(Oh, and by the way, the best way to bring up the condom issue without killing the mood is to stop worrying that bringing up the condom issue will kill the mood.)