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November 12, 2010


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Jamie, I had about the same reactions when my husband read the article to me this morning. Of course the last time I wore any makeup of any kind was on my wedding day so maybe I'm just really out of step; but the last thing on my mind after my baby is born is how I look.

What really got me though was how they framed looking pretty for the camera as "taking care of yourself" and even compared it to putting on an oxygen mask in a plane crash. Taking care of yourself postpartum is eating well, staying hydrated, sleeping when the baby sleeps and getting a realistic amount of exercise once you are ready for it.

"What really got me though was how they framed looking pretty for the camera as 'taking care of yourself'"

Same as how the mommy makeover surgeries are portrayed for a bit later postpartum...

I saw that article. It made me laugh. I have always been induced (I wait as long as I can, but then nothing happens or it does and then it quits and by then I'm 41.8 weeks with 5 kiddoes and a freaked out mother at my house... Long story- 'nother time). I am induced and I birth sans drugs (I just don't trust those sneaky drs with their pitocin drips). And I ALWAYS put on my makeup before they start, but who has the energy after? And frankly who cares?
Your post made me laugh too, Jamie. We put ourselves in a strange place, we women have. Those who are lucky enough to know who they are and what it's all about are the happy ones, I guarantee it.

Yeah, to me this post sounds judgy. These women place a higher premium on their post-partum appearance than you do. It's that simple. It doesn't make them less authentic mothers, and it doesn't merit a whole post with a "questioning tone" (sorry, it's judgy) about why they spend a few minutes on their makeup.

I'm on your side of the spectrum and I love your blog, but . . . judgy.

And I deal with the issue by not putting on makeup and NOT posting post-partum pictures of myself on Facebook! :)

Beautiful. Especially the last bit. Thanks, Jamie.

Hmmm, did you delete the post? Well, I really wanted to read it, "judgy" or not. ;-)

And my sister-in-law made sure she looked fabulous when her son was born in July (I was there for the birth). To each her own!! ;-)

Hold on there, Lydia, I'm not attempting to assess anybody's authenticity as a mother. I'm saying (a) cultural demands on newly postpartum women are unreasonable and (b) the approach to meeting those demands described in this article is very, very foreign to me. You infer a concluding "...and that's BAD!" that I neither said nor intended.

I don't wear much makeup, but I don't attach any moral weight to that choice. I can also imagine reasons why a woman might have time to apply makeup, especially in a hospital where in-arms new baby exams are not the norm.

What disturbed me most about that original article was the abdication of control over their own images.

'“Now your photos go up immediately on Facebook,’’ said Steele, a JetBlue flight attendant. '

'With smartphones uploading pictures and video straight to Facebook and YouTube — expectant mothers say they need to be prepared.'

Smartphones aren't smart enough to do what we don't ask them to do, and images don't just put themselves anywhere.

Thanks for putting it back up Jamie--I was sad to see I missed it the first time around. Your take is very similar to mine...the approach and specific concerns seem foreign. Also, birth for me is a very inward-focused thing, so I'm not thinking about what I look like or how I appear to others, and I think in *my case* to pull my focus back to externals would be bad for my labors... and that inward focus merely turns to baby focus once the baby has been born--still not really able (or willing) to pull myself up from this instinctive focus to wonder what I look like or how I seem.


Beautiful, wonderful, thank you!!! A Thanksgiving "gift" for me today. I have to go to bed, but I'll come back tomorrow or after with more comments. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your wonderful family!

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