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24th Aug 2022

Why should Rihanna or any woman have to snap back after pregnancy?

Kat O'Connor

Women’s bodies change after birth, get over it.

The conversation surrounding Rihanna’s post-baby body is concerning, to say the least. It reminds me of that judgemental aunty who looks at you with pity and promises you’ll “lose your puppy fat” when you’re only 13. The singer just gave birth to her first child, but instead of celebrating the fact that this woman just gave birth to a healthy baby, the public is slating her for gaining weight. Apparently, the Umbrella singer didn’t bounce back from pregnancy quick enough. It’s not like she has other things to focus on like, you know, caring for a teeny tiny human.

Earlier this week, the new mum was photographed in New York. It was her first public outing since giving birth to her son and as soon as the photos appeared online, the insults and toxic conversations began. People slated the singer for gaining weight, for ‘letting herself go’ and for not ‘snapping back’ after pregnancy.

As if losing weight gained during pregnancy should be a new mother’s one and only goal. People mocked how she looked and passed cruel remarks about her body. The same body that carried her baby for 9 months. The same body that was strong enough to give birth. The same body that is still recovering from labour.

Why should Rihanna or any new mother have to snap back? Why can’t they just embrace their bodies and let them heal? Shouldn’t that be more important than squeezing into a smaller pair of jeans? Why is society still so obsessed with women being skinny?

“Stop holding women to ridiculous body standards.”

Shouldn’t we be celebrating the fact that Rihanna is proud of her ever-changing body? She didn’t shy away from the cameras or rush to the nearest plastic surgeon for liposuction. She looked beautiful because she’s humanizing what most women look like after giving birth. It’s natural, it’s beautiful and it’s perfectly normal.

As one fan perfectly put it, she’s normalising postpartum bodies and that should be our focus. “Rihanna looks beautiful. Stop holding women to ridiculous body standards. Even if she didn’t just have a baby, she looks amazing.” Becoming a mum is a life-changing experience. It’s intense and overwhelming and emotional. The focus should be on the beauty of motherhood and the support a new mom needs, not the extra couple of pounds she is or isn’t carrying. Women’s bodies change during pregnancy, and throughout life in general, and society needs to get over it.