Joanna Venditti says she has more body confidence now than she did when she had the “perfect bikini body.” Photo by Joanna Venditti.
A blogger and mom of four has spoken out in response to criticism of her viral blog post, which gave an untouched look at her post-baby body.
On Saturday, Joanna Venditti, the 32-year-old author of the blog Nesting Story published a post entitled, “How Being Cyber Bullied After Going Viral Will Make Me a Better Parent,” in which she opens up about the backlash to a blog post she wrote earlier this month.
In the original post, “What Having Four Kids (Including Twins) Has Done To My Body and Confidence,” Venditti recounted her one-time issues with weight and body-image and her newfound pride in what her body has achieved. She also shared untouched photos of her figure before, during and after pregnancy. “Isn’t it incredible what the human body can do? Or better yet, what a woman’s body can do?” she writes. “When I found out I was expecting twins I couldn’t wrap my mind around how enormous I was going to get. I was already well known for having huge basketball size bellies whenever I was pregnant, but growing two babies at once??? To be honest, I was kind of freaking out about it.”
Joanna Venditti, a mother of four, shared pictures of her pregnant belly on her viral blog post. Photo by Joanna Venditti
The reaction to her post was mixed. While most readers praised Venditti for her honesty, others accused her of being self-important. In her recent reaction post, Venditti writes, “Of course there will be people who disagree and want to challenge what I have to say. That is not only expected but is good to create conversation. But, I have learned that there are adult bullies out there and am learning how to take a breath, let it go and move on.”
Still, Venditti says it took her some time to rise above the negativity. “It bothered me when people said ‘she thinks she’s important because she’s had twins,’” she tells Yahoo Parenting. “My message was: There’s this mentality of ‘get up and get your body back and hide until then.’ I was trying to say that yes, I was important because I had twins. Women who’ve had babies have done something important. I hate when people miss the message.”
Venditti had four kids in five years – her son, Holden, 5; daughter Beau, 4; and 7-month-old twins, Mia and Everly. In her viral post, she explains that that she made a conscious decision not to panic, and instead to appreciate her body, both during her twin pregnancy and after she’d given birth. “I made the decision to be kind to my body from now on. Eat healthy foods, indulge here and there and not beat myself up about it,” she writes. “Anytime I start doubting my new curves or war wounds I look around the room and ask myself, how many other people in this room grew two people inside their body at once?”
Joanna Venditti before having four kids in five years. Photos courtesy Joanna Venditti.
The post, which Venditti published on March 5, was shared more than 8,000 times on Facebook and received more than 100 comments. “Its shocking to me that this is a new conversation,” she tells Yahoo Parenting. “It seems almost barbaric that it’s such a novel concept to stop and give our bodies credit for what they’ve been through.”
Venditti says she was prepping a different blog post when she came across a number of personal pictures. “I was looking at these photos and had a realization that I have so much more confidence in my body now than ever — even when I had what I thought was the perfect bikini body,” she says. “I have this new appreciation for what my body has done.”
Joanna Venditti with her four kids. Photos courtesy Joanna Venditti.
So she decided to write the post, initially for her readers who are pregnant with twins and the other mothers in her twin-mom group, Venditti says. “I wanted to put some real photos out there — some that I had initially buried and didn’t want to see the light of day,” she says. “Everyone thinks it’s this routine thing – you get pregnant, you have a baby, you recover, you move on. But if you stop and think about all the things that have to go right to bring a baby into the world — it’s incredible. My body went through a war for me, and I wanted to celebrate that.”
Despite some negative response, Venditti says she only truly cares about the reaction from three particular people. “I have three daughters and I hope they read it and it helps them feel confident,” she says. “As for my confidence, I’m not going to go out [and] strut off in a bikini again – that’s by choice – but having carried two people and gone to that extreme with my body, I feel like life is so good right now. It was a marathon and I got through it. I’m starting to have my body back. It’s different, it’s got new curves, it will never be the same, and I’m fine with that.”