Ashley Graham Squishing Her Postpartum Belly into a Heart Is Exactly What We Needed

·3 min read

Y’all. We moms have been through it — since the beginning of time, but also especially this year. While dads somehow achieve sainthood for lifting a finger to care for a child, moms get school-shamed and playground-shamed and, of course, the classic: postpartum body-shamed.

Model and new(ish) mom Ashley Graham is no stranger to any genre of mom-shaming; even fellow famous mom Wendy Williams wouldn’t cut her some slack when, in February, Williams shamed Graham for changing her baby’s diaper at a Staples. As for the predominant attitude of body-shaming that is so rampant in our society, which demands that a mom “get her body back” ASAP after giving birth? Graham is having none of it, and we could not love her more.

While postpartum celebs like the Bella twins and Ciara are out there on social media shouting their post-baby weight loss goals to the rooftops (48 pounds?!), Graham is keeping it real. Today, she posted a video to Instagram in which she squishes her stretch-marked belly into a sweet heart shape — reminding all of us birth parents exactly how we got these stretched, scarred bodies of ours in the first place. She captioned the post simply with six rainbow heart emojis.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by A S H L E Y G R A H A M (@ashleygraham) on Sep 11, 2020 at 12:39pm PDT

And fans — we’re guessing most of whom are mothers themselves — are going nuts for it.

“I love this so much I could cry.” Wrote one commenter. “Real women have curves, stretch marks, C-section marks, you name it. Thank you for making the stigma disappear.”

“I call those badges of honor,” wrote another.

Yet another: “I needed to see this.”

And honestly, so did I. Like I said, we moms have been going through it lately and always, and sometimes a reminder that we are all imperfect — yes, even a silly social media reminder from a glamorous model mom like Graham — can work wonders in lifting a struggling mom’s spirits.

“When I look at my new stretch marks and the changes that my body went through, it reminds me that, as women, we’re all superheroes,” Graham told fellow celeb mom Kristen Bell in an interview for Elle this year. “I’m always reminded that our bodies were built to do this. It’s such a beautiful thing to be able to give birth, but I didn’t realize it until afterward. … At first [my body’s changes] felt devastating, and then when I met Isaac, I said, ‘No, this is exactly what every woman has talked about for ages. This is not just a battle wound. This is something that has changed my life forever, and I’m going to celebrate my new body.’”

So how about we all celebrate what our bodies have done and how far we’ve come? Of course we shouldn’t need Graham to remind us of this, but we sure do appreciate her when she does.

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