Caroline Berg Eriksen, a 26-year-old Norwegian fitness blogger, ignited a heated debate about body image after posting a selfie picture on Instagram three days after giving birth.
Berg Eriksen is married to Norwegian Premier League player Lars-Kristian Eriksen. They had a baby daughter on November 25th.
Three days later, she posted this picture on Instagram with the caption, “I feel so empty and not 4 days after birth.”
The backlash was swift.
Norwegian writer Suzanne Aabel responded with a takedown of the picture for the publication Dagbladet, with the headline, “I feel fat because Soccer Lady has given birth.”
Aabel’s argument is that the picture sets unrealistic expectations for the young women who read Berg Eriksen’s popular “Soccer Lady” website.
“I think it is dangerous. I work with 16 year old girls. They struggle with body and food at some level all together. And they look up to famous people, as adults we almost forgot that we did as teenagers.”
“Over 70 per cent of young women are struggling with low self-esteem and body contempt because only people who look like that here like posting pictures of themselves half naked four days after birth.”
Norwegian politician Gry Larsen spoke out as well, posting a picture of her own stomach on her Facebook with the caption, “Two months after birth #NormalLady.”
She wrote a column for Norway’s largest newspaper, Aftenposten, explaining that she wanted to bring “balance” the way the girls should view the post-baby body.
Others in Norway have been more supportive.
Berg Eriksen defended herself on Facebook, writing, “I let out the picture because I’m proud of myself and my body for something as tough as a pregnancy / birth, and I think all mothers, regardless of body should be.”
She told “Good Morning America” that she gained 22 pounds while pregnant, and lost it almost instantly.
“Right after birth, like three minutes after, I felt like myself again,” she told “GMA.”
Here’s what she looked like at 7+ months:
Lars-Kristian Eriksen posted a response on his own Facebook page.
He defended his wife and asked, “Who is it that creates body pressure? The one who posts selfie in lingerie because she is proud of herself, or those discussing [on the Internet] how a woman’s body should look like after birth?”
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