Beyoncé is hardly the first woman to dramatically slim down after having a baby but she is one of the fastest celebrities to do it. That fact can easily be thrown out the window if you don’t believe she actually gave birth, but since the public will likely never know one way or another, it can be assumed that the attention on her post-baby body has no-doubt set the standard by which all future pregnant celebrities will be judged.
There have been a lot more pics of Bey post-baby than there were when she was pregnant but the standard baby weight report is that she gained 40 pounds while carrying Blue Ivy last year. When we saw Bey during her first post-pregnancy appearance at Jay-Z’s Carnegie Hall concert, widened hips and perhaps a belly bulge appeared to be well camouflaged under a coral dress with flattering rouching, but just 10 weeks post-baby there was no sign the 30-year old had given birth when she appeared in a fitted navy Victoria Beckham dress for a Obama fundraiser in NYC. Losing four pounds a week isn’t impossible but it’s certainly not easy when you’ve just had a baby, even with nannies, chefs, trainers, and all of the other perks that come along with new mommy celebdom.
In contrast to Beyoncé, the news about her slim down came just as reports about Jessica’s Simpson’s pregnancy weight were ballooning up. People have criticized the designer and former singer, who has been publicly scrutinized for her weight many times in the past, for gaining far more than she should as an expectant mother. And though Jessica claims to be happy now at 170 pounds—the heaviest she’s ever been—there are rumors that she’s already signed a multi-million deal with Weight Watchers to shed her post-baby weight and get back to her Daisy Dukes of Hazzard Days in no time.
It used to be that if there was one time a woman was allowed to be a little thicker it was while she was pregnant—and for some time after. Pregnancy has never been an excuse to let yourself go and become unhealthy but the realities of what eating for two would do to one’s body while carrying a child and after giving birth were always understood. Now it seems the envelope is being pushed even more and the way you carry your pregnancy weight is even being frowned upon. Mariah Carey constantly talked about how disgusted she felt with her body while she was pregnant, despite the fact that she was carrying twins, now she’s in the limelight for her “new” body. Although the slim down came many months after birth, her washboard abs and non-existent evidence of baby weight have many questioning just how realistic those Jenny 20 results are.
It’s great Beyoncé had the resources and the willpower to drop 40 pounds within a two-month span but women who can’t do the same shouldn’t be pressured into measuring up to that. Pregnancy and the time after delivery is one of the most precious times of motherhood and it’s supposed to be about bonding with your child not your physical trainer. Of course the sooner you get back to your pre-baby workout routine the better, but if it’s just to avoid criticism from the paparazzi and women who have no clue what it’s like to be pregnant in the first place, women should drown out the noise and bask in the joys of being a new mother without obsessing over what it’s done to their bodies.