Any day now, Kim Kardashian will stage a splashy post-baby body reveal, supposedly on her mom's new talk show. Ten days ago, she released a video of herself, but it only showed her face. "I'm sorry I couldn't be there … I'm loving life a little bit too much right now," she told her mom on camera. But the real message was implicit: She wasn't "ready" to be seen yet.
Welcome to the new world of post-birth celebrity "slim downs," wherein famous new moms promptly sweat themselves back into beach-body shape and display the results for all the world to marvel at. The best example of this was the 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, in which three of the brand's most famous models — Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Lily Aldridge — walked the runway just months after giving birth, their six-packs taut after months of well-publicized workouts. This was not abnormal. In 2009, the big story was Heidi Klum, who made headlines for modeling just six weeks after delivering her daughter Lou. The televised fashion show has become more than a parade of the world's most famous bodies — it's a show-and-tell of post-baby weight loss.
But Victoria's Secret isn't solely to blame for the public's fascination with this subject. The post-pregnancy weight-loss success story has become such a popular celebrity narrative that it dominates newsstands and websites. Most famous women don't even allow themselves to be photographed until they've returned to their previous weight. It's also a profitable venture: several celebrities, including Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson, signed deals with Weight Watchers post-birth. Others, like Snooki and Mariah Carey, have sold photos of their post-baby selves to magazines.
There are plenty of great reasons to lose weight after giving birth, like health. Leading medical experts recommend that new moms aim to lose about one pound a week, which ought to bring you back to pre-pregnancy weight after six months or so. And for women whose jobs are dependent on physical appearance, regaining their former shape is a matter of necessity. It's also understandable that a woman might stay out of the limelight for a few months postpartum. But to promote a culture in which celebrity moms aren't expected to reveal themselves until they're proudly slim again creates a sad (and unrealistic) image of motherhood.
When Kate Middleton stepped out of the hospital three weeks ago, just one day after delivering Prince George, her still-swollen belly was visible, creating a flurry of discussion across the Internet. Her distended tummy was completely normal, but its display in such a highly publicized setting was a rarity. Her post-baby belly highlighted a notable blind spot in today's rabid celebrity pregnancy and motherhood coverage — namely, the silence surrounding the physical processes that occur immediately after birth.
Sure, people may not want to hear about postpartum bleeding, and how some women have to sit on those inflatable doughnuts after a vaginal delivery, or how it sometimes hurts to laugh for weeks after having a C-section. But is this information really more disturbing than detailed descriptions of punishing workouts and kale-centric diets?
Click through our roundup of the most highly publicized post-birth appearances, and see where Kim might fall on the spectrum.BEGIN SLIDESHOW
Most Viewed Stories
The Sheer Perfection of Donald Trump’s Golden Shower
What Romance Really Means After 10 Years of Marriage
Attention: Meghan Markle Has Now Met Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte
15 Protest Sign Ideas for the Women’s March on Washington
I’m Anti-Trump, But I Refuse to March
Hillary Clinton–Spotting Is the Hottest New Hobby
Ivanka Trump Threw a Secret Dinner Party at Wendi Murdoch’s Apartment
In the Middle of the Night, the Senate Voted Against Keeping Health-Care Coverage for Contraceptives
Melania Trump Has Plans to Put a Glam Room in the White House
From Our Partners
Who What Wear
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Fashion FeaturesCiara's Wedding Dress Was Too Big for the Chapel
To be fair, it was a 13 foot-long dress.You and Rihanna Will Both Want to Invest in Dior’s New Bag
It's got something for everyone.Polo Shirts Have Turned Their Back on Ryan Lochte
Along with his other major sponsors.Ryan Lochte Will No Longer Be Paid to Wear Tiny Bathing Suits
Speedo remains committed to transparency.Laura Brown Is the New Editor-in-Chief of InStyle
After 11 years at Harper’s Bazaar.Tyra Banks Is Going to Teach a Class on Smizing at Stanford
"If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them."This Floating Pier Is the Most Zen Installation Ever
Walking on water in Italy.Nation Is Appalled by Matt Lauer’s Nude Ankles During Ryan Lochte Interview
What’s the opposite of “Jeah”?8 People at the Life of Pablo Pop-up Explain Why Kanye West Is a God
"I mean, Kanye West is just Kanye West. There's not more or less you can say about Kanye West. He's just Mr. West!"A T-shirt Is Enough
Simplicity, versatility, and cool. What more could you want?
She took a perfect pencil dive off a 30-foot yacht.American Apparel Is Being Sued by Former Workers
As the company considers putting itself up for sale.A Gendered History of the Tailored Suit
From Marlon Brando to Coco Chanel.How Zendaya Developed Such Great Style at the Young Age of 19
The star's best looks from Disney to now.Proof That If You’re Chic Enough, a Little Federal Investigation Doesn’t Matter
Is this the best they could do?5,300-Year-Old Mummified Iceman Probably Would’ve Been a Street-Style Star
He had several different looks and was “pretty picky.”J.Crew Has Identified 226 Shades of Pink
Even more than there are shades of gray.Gigi and Bella Hadid Merch Is Now Somehow a Thing That Is Happening
Today in Hadidiana.Gird Your Loins for the Return of Yeezy to New York Fashion Week
The season approaches.This Indie Brand Had a Great Response to Ivanka Trump
When she bought one of their cuffs, they donated the proceeds to the Clinton campaign.