The “Snap Back” culture

by | Feb 22, 2022

Body Positivity and Self Love is always number 1, but how do I remain “Body Positive” after such a drastic change has happened to it?

During my pregnancy, I felt the most beautiful than I’ve ever felt, my hair was flowy and healthy, I had a natural glow, with killer curves and just a little bump added to it. I loved being pregnant, mainly though, I think, I loved it because I had an excuse for the extra weight and this time it was seen as a healthy baby instead of a fat shame.

Time flew by, and just like that, 6 months ago I welcomed my daughter Milan into this world, my 1st born, my beautiful little girl.
I know it’s typical for influencers on IG to post when they’re all made up with their “snap back” and while I’m not bashing that, I think it’s important to talk about the stages of recovery so that we women know that it’s perfectly OK and normal for your body to not look like it used to immediately after birth. Hello, you just had a whole mini person inside your stomach for 9 months!

For some, you might still look a little preggies, stomach might be dark, skin loose, some new “tiger stripes” might be added and depending on if you had a c section or not you may have a new scar under your panty line to remind you that are a strong woman for braving through major abdominal surgery to bring your baby into this world.

BUT, here we are, 6 Months Postpartum. And although I didn’t have the skinniest body before my pregnancy, lol, I still see a major difference and the scariest of it all? … the “Snap Back” didn’t happen.

Shouldn’t it have? I mean, I’m able to eat regular foods again and exercise daily again. I’m self-employed, working from home. It should be easy to Snap Back, right? I’m supposed to be capable of doing everything the “Snap Back” culture told me to.

What goes unnoticed in this culture is that I’m doing everything right too, though, by honouring my body through this change every day. I’m hydrating. I’m checking in on my mental health. I’m exercising while playing with Milan. I’m taking her for walks. Cooking. Cleaning. Being a wife. I’m fuelling myself for my body and to feed hers. I’m letting my body do its thing. Like I’ve trusted it to her. Like I’m indebted to her to do. Yet that isn’t seen as a Snap Back.

So what’s the difference? Really?

Well, physically my body is deemed to appear to society as though it hasn’t snapped back, yet my version of it is making my body a performer. Building it to care for my daughter, spending time with her, getting in exercise here and there, although not enough for a full intense workout. My version of snap back serves me, my body and my baby. I am PRESENT.

It’s exhausting feeling like you’re falling short. It’s a time and energy drain to feel like you have to do more and be more, all the time. It’s so much pressure to heal quick and make it look like nothing happened,

When life happened.

When I happened, and became a MOM.

Of course, there is a side of me that wishes it all just magically occurred and that 6 months later I would feel like it was all the same again. I won’t lie about that. I am still a woman conditioned by decades of celebrating how quickly a woman transforms to fall in line.

As a mom it’s hard to feel like you’re doing a good job. It’s thankless. Exhausting. Brings your love to the edges of itself and brings you to the edges of yourself.

So when you struggle with your body, it’s a familiar guilt. Not enough. Could be doing more.

I just need us all to remember it’s not our fault.
We’re doing a really great job.
I assure you.

And I think that’s something to celebrate.
Even if, 6 months later.

 

Candice Manuel – aka Candashian, multi-award winning businesswoman, is a wife, mom, founder of Embrace Your Curves, a full-time Curve Model & the queen of Body Positivity. She is also a philanthropist and hosts quarterly non-profitable events in aid to better the communities in and around Cape Town, as well as being a Radio Presenter and an all-round Media Personality.
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