- Celebrities are often subject to body-shaming, particularly when it comes to pregnancy-induced weight gain.
- These 24 famous mums have gotten honest about postpartum insecurities and slammed the pressure on women to “bounce back” after giving birth.
Sadly, it’s no surprise both the media and Instagram users get a kick out of pointing out celebrities who gained weight during their pregnancies. Our society is notorious for putting unrealistic pressure on women to look a certain way.
Bell and many other A-listers have been candid about their post-baby-bodies time and time again. Here’s the best of what they had to say.
Alex Archambault contributed to a previous version of this story.
Kylie Jenner got candid about her post-pregnancy insecurities, but said she loves her body at “every stage that it’s been through.”
“My boobs are three times the size, which bothers me. I have stretch marks on my boobs. My stomach isn’t the same, my waist isn’t the same, my butt’s bigger, my thighs [are] bigger,” she said in a YouTube Q&A. “And honestly, I’m finding I have to change my style a little because nothing in my closet fits me from before.”
However, the 21-year-old mogul also made a point not to force herself to follow a strict diet or workout routine right away.
“I am honestly not even checking my weight all the time,” Jenner said in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, a few months after giving birth. “I actually love my body – I love every stage that it’s been through.”
Blake Lively thinks the pressure women face to look a certain way after giving birth is “absurd.”
Blake Lively told The Sun she needed two personal trainers and a nutritionist in order to get in shape for her movie “The Shallows.” She filmed the movie just months after having her first daughter, James.
“It’s not normal to look like that eight months after having a kid,” she told The Sun. She said although it is her job to look a certain way, she thinks it is “absolutely absurd” for women to pressure themselves to look like a model right after giving birth.
Lively also told the Australian magazine Sunrise, “I think a woman’s body after having a baby is pretty amazing.You gave birth to a human being. So I would really like to see that celebrated.”
After giving birth to her second daughter Ines in 2016, Lively shared a photo on Instagram thanking her trainer. She wrote, “Turns out you can’t lose the 61 lbs you gained during pregnancy by just scrolling through Instagram and wondering why you don’t look like all the bikini models.”
Mila Kunis said there is nothing natural about losing baby weight quickly.
“Boy did these things grow,” she said. “I don’t know how to deal with them because I’ve never had them, and so I always dress for a flat-chested girl and now all of a sudden I’m busty, and I’m like, ‘Wow, check it out!'”
After Kunis welcomed her son Dimitri in 2016, she told Entertainment Tonight that there is nothing natural about losing baby weight quickly. When asked about getting back in shape, Kunis said she relies on “lots of gym-ing.” She said, “I hate someone who’s like, ‘This is all natural.- Bulls—.”
Chrissy Teigen wants mums to be able to “enjoy” their babies and not “go crazy” trying to lose weight.
Chrissy Teigen is one of the most outspoken celebrities when it comes to her body after pregnancy. The mother of two has posted pictures of her stretch marks, breastfeeding boob veins, and even admitted to ripping her butthole during her first pregnancy.
After giving birth to her daughter Luna in 2016, Teigen told E!, “You just realise you have to give yourself time and understand that you pushed out a baby, and it took this long to put on the weight, and it’s not going to peel right off, and that’s OK.”
She continued on to thank her husband John Legend and “fellow mums” for being so supportive.
“Enjoy your baby. Don’t go crazy,” she said.
Kim Kardashian West said “it isn’t easy to just bounce back” even with her trainers and nutritionists.
“It isn’t easy to just bounce back,” she wrote. “I was so jealous of women who had these cute little baby bellies and would gain 25 pounds – and then, a few weeks after giving birth, somehow look exactly like they did before they were pregnant, lol. That’s not me.”
In the post, Kardashian also wrote she feels it is important for her to stay body positive as her daughter North gets older and begins to become more aware of her own body.
She wrote, “It’s my responsibility to make sure she understands that positive body image comes from having a healthy self-esteem. We all have our hang-ups and things we might want to change, but my curves make me who I am. So I embrace my body and the changes I’ve gone through.”
Olivia Wilde said after giving birth she was “softer” than she’s ever been and she was ok with it.
After having her son Otis is 2014, Olivia Wilde wrote in Shape Magazine, “I am not in perfect shape. In fact, I’m softer than I’ve ever been, including that unfortunate semester in high school when I simultaneously discovered Krispy Kreme and pot.”
She continued on to say the photos of her published in Shape had been “generously constructed” to make her look her best.
“The truth is, I’m a mother, and I look like one,” she wrote.
She also wrote she thinks exercising after having a baby should be to better your mind as much as your body.
“I believe in a world where mothers are not expected to shed any physical evidence of their child-bearing experience,” she said. “In that same world, I believe there is space for exercise to be as much a gift to your brain as it is your body. I don’t want to waste my time striving for some subjective definition of perfection.”
Kate Winslet said she is proud of not having the perfect body even though she doesn’t always think she looks amazing.
In a 2008 interview with the Daily Mail Kate Winslet said, “I’ve had two kids. I’m 33. I don’t look in the mirror and go: ‘Oh, I look fantastic!’ Of course I don’t. Nobody is perfect. I just don’t believe in perfection. But I do believe in saying: ‘This is who I am and look at me not being perfect.’ I’m proud of that.”
When further questioned about which parts of her body she felt were not perfect she said, “Where do I start? OK, what’s not perfect about me? Everything! Here we go: Crumble baby belly, boobs are worse for wear after two kids.”
After having her third child in 2014, Winslet told E! that her body was “very soft.” In fact, when talking about filming “Divergent,” she said, “Getting into the costume again was a little bit like squeezing a sausage into a thimble! I had just had a baby! It just doesn’t feel right.”
Keira Knightley called the media’s pressure on celebrities to get back in shape after pregnancy “just revolting.”
In 2015, Keira Knightley welcomed Edie with her husband James Righton. In a 2017 interview with Harpers Bazaar, she spoke about not putting pressure on herself to fit back into her old jeans.
“It’s a different body, as it should be, because it’s done an extraordinary thing … I thought I was going to go, ‘God, I’ve got to get back into shape.’ I actually went completely the opposite. I went, ‘Fuck that, I’m not putting that pressure on myself in any way.'”
She continued to tell Harpers Bazaar the way the media fantasizes celebrities getting back in shape after having a child is “just revolting.”
She said, “I think, personally, the whole way that we’re viewing women and the way that we build them up and pick them apart is really frightening. Particularly now, being the mother of a girl, and you think, ‘How do you navigate that?’ And I don’t have the answer.”
Zooey Deschanel said the expectation of women to get their pre-baby body back right away is “odd.”
“Haven’t we all seen those pictures of a sexy new mum in a bikini after one month? I will not be that person. I’ve always gone my own course and never been someone who had the need to be super skinny,” she said.
In an interview with Redbook after giving birth to her daughter Elsie in 2016, Deschanel said there should be no pressure for someone to look a certain way post-pregnancy.
“To expect someone to look like her pre-baby self immediately is odd. Because you just grew a human and then birthed that human – there’s a lot that needs to go back to where it was. All your organs move around, for chrissakes,” she said.
Kerry Washington was upset when outlets published lies saying she began working out right after giving birth.
After giving birth to her son Caleb in 2016, Kerry Washington told People she was “really upset” after she heard rumours she began working out again right after giving birth.
“I never talk about rumours in the media, but I was really sad that somebody printed that because I felt like, ‘Oh, that makes women feel like they have to start working out’ – like, ‘Oh celebrities work out right away.’ And I was like, ‘No way!'” she told People.
The actress continued to say that the doctor actually made her wait six weeks until working out again.
“It was really important to me to have that downtime and then start working out slowly,” she said.
Amy Adams said working out was not her first priority after giving birth, her daughter was.
Amy Adams gave birth to daughter Aviana Olea Le Gallo in 2010. In an interview with Parade, she said being pregnant helped her to understand her “true relationship” with her body, “meaning that it wasn’t put on this earth to look good in a swimsuit.”
She told Parade, “I was like, ‘Look, I can carry a baby! I’m gaining weight right, everything’s going well.’ And I’ve had that relationship ever since.”
Adams also said working out was never her first priority after giving birth to Aviana.
“I’ve been working out when I can, and I’m trying to eat in a healthful way, but losing weight is not my number-one priority,” she said. “It’s part of my job to return to some semblance of what I was before. But I don’t feel I’ve ever made my career on my rockin’ bod.”
Drew Barrymore said that it can be hard to like yourself after giving birth, but that she can put it all into perspective by hanging with her kids.
“After making two babies, holy cow, does your body do some crazy stuff! It’s hard to stay positive and love yourself. You feel like a kangaroo with a giant pouch; everything’s saggy and weird,” she told the publication. “But you think about how beautiful it is that you’re able to make children. When I lose sight of that, I exercise, read Dr. Seuss’s ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go!,’ and spend time with my kids. Then I start to see things that are bigger than myself.”
In the interview, Glamour wrote Barrymore also stressed the importance of not having to always portray yourself as perfect, especially on social media.
“I’ve been makeupless, pregnant, and stuffing food in my face in many pictures; that makes it all the more exciting when I do do something more attractive. I don’t like it when everyone looks so perfect all the time. Where’s the humour in that?” she said.
Kristen Bell says she refuses to worry about something she cannot change, especially when it’s “just part of the journey of having a baby.”
After Kristen Bell welcomed her son Lincoln in 2013, she told Redbook she would not obsess over her post-baby body.
“I refused to worry about something I could not change, and I still refuse. Look, I’m like any other woman,” she said. “I had to surrender to not worrying about the way I looked, how much I weighed, because that’s just part of the journey of having a baby. I am not a woman whose self-worth comes from her dress size.”
When promoting the movie “Bad Mums” in 2016, she told The Today Show when it comes to losing baby weight, “who cares?”
She said, “I didn’t lose my baby weight for over a year, and when I look down, even now, at the extra skin on my belly, it’s a reminder that I’ve done something spectacular. It’s a reminder that I’m a superhero. And I’m proud of it.”
Bell also said being a mother has forced her to get her priorities straight, leading to her being happier.
“I don’t worry nearly as much because as long as I know my family is happy and healthy and together, nothing else matters. It right-sized all of my problems.”
Jennifer Garner said her baby bump is permanent but she has come to terms with it.
Jennifer Garner had to address false pregnancy rumours when she still had a baby bumb after her third child was born. In 2014 on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” she said the bump was what was left after having her three kids.
“I am not pregnant, but I have had three kids and there is a bump,” she said. “From now on, ladies, I will have a bump, and it will be my baby bump. It’s not going anywhere. Its name is Violet, Sam, and Sera.”
When she returned to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in 2018 to co-host on Mother’s Day, she offered this advice to new mothers, “Here’s the thing you guys. You will get your bodies back; you will get your lives back; you can still travel; you can still have fun; you can still go back to work or not; you can breastfeed or not; you will be best friends with your kid and then someday you’re going to realise you’re actually angry with them and that’s ok; and you’re going to be great, because it’s your experience and your baby and your body and it’s going to happen the way you want it to because you’re starting your families.”
Pink said she gained 55 pounds during pregnancy and wasn’t in a hurry to lose it.
Pink has always been one to defend women. After giving birth to her daughter Willow in 2011, Pink told People magazine that although she gained 55 pounds during her pregnancy, she was taking her time getting back into shape. In fact, she waited eight weeks to start working out again.
“I love to feel fit. I love to feel healthy. I wasn’t in a race,” she told People. “I was really kind to myself because I was actually really impressed with the fact that I had just had a baby, like ‘I made a human!'”
In 2015, Pink tweeted a picture of herself with Willow, captioned: “Willow said to me the other day whilst grabbing my belly, ‘mama – why r u so squishy?’ And I said..’b/cuz I’m happy baby.'”
After giving birth to her second child Jameson in 2016, the singer took to Instagram to encourage mums to stay off the scale post pregnancy. Along with a mirror picture at the gym, she wrote, “Would you believe I’m 160 pounds and 5’3″? By ‘regular standards’ that makes me obese. I know I’m not at my goal or anywhere near it after Baby 2 but dammit I don’t feel obese. The only thing I’m feeling is myself. Stay off that scale ladies!”
Eva Mendes said she would be ok if she didn’t ever fit into her old jeans again.
“I just don’t put a lot of pressure on myself,” she said. “I try to take care of myself as far as eating right and things like that, but especially so soon after a baby, I’m like, ‘It’s OK, I don’t need to fit into my jeans for a while, I’m all right.’ Maybe if I never fit into my original jeans, it’s fine, it’s all good.”
Hilary Duff “appreciates her body and what it’s done,” despite not losing all her baby weight immediately.
After giving birth to her son Luca in 2012, Hilary Duff talked to Parents Magazine about the pressure to lose weight immediately following pregnancy, especially when the paparazzi was constantly following her.
“When you see ‘Hilary Debuts Post-Baby Body!’ you want to tell people, ‘No, actually, I was just going out to get a coffee.'”
“It takes your body nine months to get there – really ten months,” she continued. “So I’m trying to be patient but I’m working hard. And I think now more than ever, I appreciate my body and what it’s done for me.”
In 2018, Duff wrote an article in Women’s Health all about her relationship with her body after giving birth. She admitted that at times, it was really hard to come to terms with her new shape.
“Being a new mum was one of the happiest times of my life, but how I felt about my body really sucked,” she wrote, but added, “My body helped create a bond between us, and me being there for him in those first months of his life ultimately was far more important than me trying to get in shape right away. And that mental shift helped all the other stuff eventually fall into place.”
Jessica Simpson wants to be a role model so she said she had to “separate [herself] from the world’s expectations.”
After giving birth to her daughter Maxwell in 2012, Jessica Simpson opened up to Katie Couric about her post-pregnancy weight struggles. Simpson, who became a WeightWatchers representative, credited a change in mindset to the success she had with bouncing back.
Simpson told Couric that although she put on more baby weight than expected, she isn’t ashamed of her former body.
“I have to separate myself from the world’s expectations. I have to look inside myself. I want to be a role model.”
She continued to say it helped her not to look at what the media was saying about her progress.
“I definitely don’t pick up the magazines. I definitely don’t Google my name. I try to avoid it completely. But I subconsciously know the talk is going on.”
Simpson also told USA Today, “I’m not a supermodel. My body is not bouncing back like a supermodel. I’m just your everyday woman who is trying to feel good and be healthy for her daughter, her fiancé, and herself.”
Kelly Clarkson thinks people have “such a problem” with her weight because she doesn’t choose to obsess about it.
After giving birth to her first child in 2014, she told Redbook,“I don’t obsess about my weight, which is probably one of the reasons why other people have such a problem with it.”
“As a mother, and as an aunt, and as a sister, and as a daughter, I think it’s very important for me to be very open about my weight and people asking about it. Obviously, this is not my goal weight, if anyone’s asking, but I had two kids. I felt like I was perfect for three years,” she said.
“This [her body] is real, and this is what’s happening right now, this is what I’m rocking. I’m just gonna do me and I’m gonna go at my own pace and I’m gonna do my thing, and if I’m skinny one day or bigger one day, that ain’t gonna change how I sound. I still sound pretty dang good. And my talent is why I’m here.”
Tia Mowry said her body “didn’t bounce back immediately” after her pregnancy like she had expected it to.
In a post which showcased her bump, Mowry wrote, “7 weeks #postpartum. Some #pregnant women after giving birth no longer have a belly after 7 weeks. While others it may take a little longer. Me, I’m the latter.”
She explained that with her first child, her body didn’t bounce back immediately like she expected it to, but she had to come to terms with her new shape.
“To be honest, it had to take time for me to embrace my new body,” she wrote. “With this second pregnancy, I now have embraced that fact that I’ve housed a human being. A miracle. A life. If it takes a while for me to get back to my normal self, than so be it. This.Is.Me. And I love me.”
Liv Tyler thinks mothers need to be kind to themselves since “everyone is different.”
“Just be kind to yourself. Everyone is different. Everyone’s body is different, everyone’s birth experience is different,” she said. “Some people’s body type is that they totally look normal right after [birth], and [for] others, it takes many months. But I think it’s best to focus on your health and the health of your baby and bonding.”
Anne Hathaway said there is “no shame in gaining weight during pregnancy (or ever.)”
She accompanied the shot with the caption, “There is no shame in gaining weight during pregnancy (or ever). There is no shame if it takes longer than you think it will to lose the weight (if you want to lose it at all). There is no shame in finally breaking down and making your own jean shorts because last summer’s are just too dang short for this summer’s thighs. Bodies change. Bodies grow. Bodies shrink. It’s all love (don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.) Peace xx.”
More recently, when promoting “Ocean’s 8,” Hathaway was a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and raved about how uplifting everyone on set was about her post-pregnancy body.
“One of the lucky things about being in this business for so long is that I’ve really come to terms with the pressure that you get to look a certain way as an actress, and I don’t beat myself up about that stuff anymore,” Hathaway told DeGeneres.
Candice Swanepoel said “earned the right to have a little tummy,” after carrying her son for nine months.
“This is me 12 days after having my son. If you have something bad to say about it … check yourself,” she wrote. “Society can be so cruel to one another … Beauty standards are sometimes impossible for woman [sic] these days, I’m not ashamed to show my post partum [sic] tummy, I am proud actually.”
Swanepoel continued to clarify that her status as a Victoria’s Secret model doesn’t make her any different than other mothers.
Beyoncé thinks her “mummy pouch” is real and has “embraced being curvier.”
When Beyoncé graced the cover of Vogue’s 2018 September issue, she got real about her body after unexpectedly getting pregnant with twins.
In the article, she revealed she had suffered toxemia and had an emergency C-section, which left her and the babies in the NICU for weeks after the birth.
“During my recovery, I gave myself self-love and self-care, and I embraced being curvier. I accepted what my body wanted to be,” she wrote.
The pop star also opened up about post-pregnancy insecurities in her Netflix documentary “Homecoming,” which documents her preparations for Coachella – Beyoncé’s first performance since giving birth to Sir and Rumi.
“It’s not like before, when I could rehearse 15 hours straight. I have children. I have to take care of my body,” she said. “I feel like I’m just a new woman in a new chapter of my life and I’m not even trying to be who I was. It’s just so beautiful that children do that to you.”
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