Mommyrexia, the idea of staying thin while carrying your baby is now all the rage, well not only are women (especially women in the public eye) worried about being thin while pregnant, there is such pressure to “bounce back” after giving birth it that some women will go to extremes to be restored. While carrying her first child actress Jessica Alba raised eyebrows when she expressed her concern about losing her money making, sex symbol figure. Now carrying her second child she has once again expressed concerns about losing the post baby weightand is once again drawing heat for it. Where it sounds a bit shallow (given that you are carrying life which should be the most important thing) Her words are very extreme, but she has already admitted to having body issues, and struggling with eating disorders, and she makes her living with her figure-in Hollywood.
I think that Alba is very brave to publicly express the sentiments of many expectant mothers. They may not say it for fear of being judged as shallow and selfish, they have these feelings and harbor guilt for them when it’s probably a very common and natural feeling. It does not mean that they do not love their children or understand and make some sort of piece with their changed bodies, but don’t they have a right to feel whatever they feel about their bodies. I have dancer friends who have giving birth and were forever physically changed, and now struggle with feeling at home and in harmony with their new altered self, they love their children but their new bodies are something they have to come to terms with. Her is what Alba had to say:
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A very slender and pre-baby bump Alba graces the cover of this month’s Lucky, who she told, “I have a hard time with portion control, so I have 1,200 calorie meals delivered. But I also work out, so basically I’m starving. It sucks. I drink a lot of water.”
And Alba is no fan of the gym either, she told the magazine that she just hates working out:
“In the gym, I have like five things to distract me: TV, iPod, magazines. Working partners are good, too, so you can chat and not just drown in your own misery.”
Alba, who had her first child Honor with husband Cash Warren in 2008, has been open about body issues in the past, in 2010 she told GQ that since giving birth to her daughter, her breasts were saggy, she has cellulite and her hips were bigger, telling them she felt “every actress” is now better looking than her.
While Alba dropped the weight she gained after her first pregnancy quickly, it’s surprising and worrisome to hear her speaking about starving herself.
The actress has also spoken about her battle with anorexia. She told Entertainment Weekly that to prepare for her role as the ass-kicking Max Guevara on the Fox sci-fi series “Dark Angel,” she adopted an intense exercise program and at one point whittled herself down to 100 lbs. And in 2005 she told Glamour, “A lot of girls have eating disorders, and I did too. I got obsessed with it. When I went from a girl’s body to a woman’s body with natural fat in places, I freaked out. It makes you feel weird, like you’re not ready for that body.”
Here is a clip of Michelle from our Mothers and Daughters roundtable talking about how her pregnancy changed her body and her body image.