I mentioned I took a real day off a few days ago. Well, as it was unplanned and my calendar was open I decided to FINALLY use my spa gift card from Mother’s Day last year. I’d meant to use it earlier, but first we were house hunting. Not only did that take all our spare time, but also – it was so stressful. Why waste the gift card when I was about to get stressed out again?! Then we were living with my in laws (see prior excuse!). Then I was ALMOST done nursing, so why not wait for the facial? (I was a little worried about what I put on my skin when nursing, as apparently that can have a negative impact on the baby. Who knew?) Then we got busy again and then… Well, yesterday I went for it!
It was very nice to have a couple of hours of pampering, but that’s not actually what’s inspiring this blog post. Instead, it’s the magazine I was reading while waiting for my massage. The magazine was a mom’s magazine (I am modern – I think.). This isn’t necessarily what I would have chosen first – I really would have liked some really indulgent brain candy like Glamour or something, but this was what was available. I started looking at their discussions of “Stay at home moms” v. “working moms” and all that. Blah, blah, blah. What caught my attention though, was in the 10 minutes I flipped through the magazine at least 80% (if not more) of the ads were for some sort of plastic surgery – breast augmentation, tummy tucks, etc. – all pictures of before and after baby body pictures. It seemed like every doctor in the area (I guess it’s a regional magazine) had an ad for his services showing how to lose the post baby belly or saddle bags, how to make your breasts perky again, even comparing silicone to saline implants. And as I looked at it all, I couldn’t help but think – seriously, what the hell?
This is the view of motherhood? This is the best type of ad that can go in? I realize that magazines are out there to make a profit and they are going to take the ad dollars that they can get, but it seemed RIDICULOUS. Theoretically this magazine was celebrating and supporting motherhood – whatever way you choose it (there were long articles on the “mommy wars” and how we undermine ourselves on our decisions to work or not, etc.) and peppered throughout these pep talks were unrealistic body images – with the message that your body needs to look like this, you can’t do it on your own and here’s the (expensive) solution. Now I realize I was sitting at a spa, so of course the idea of unrealistic body images is sort of a given – but these weren’t spa ads! This was just a magazine that happened to be there.
Have you experienced something similar - in magazines, the doctors, somewhere else? Where? Did you say/do anything about it? Or are there people in your life who seem to push these unrealistic standards?