Monday, March 23, 2009
Unreal Expectations are Unhealthy
Biggest Loser Baby Bounce Back--over at Fit Tip Daily, they're lauding the Biggest Loser host Allison for getting back that post-baby body pronto, emphasizing how she was back to work on the set of the Biggest Loser eight days after giving birth and back to work six days on her day-time soap.
I think that this profile and the messages it intends to send are inherently dysfunctional and unhealthy! It reminds me of Heidi Klum walking down the run-way of the Victoria Secrets show less than a month after having given birth, model perfect again.
Sure, maybe these women can do that "naturally" but I seriously doubt it and whatever means they took to "get their bodies back" probably involve crash dieting and exercising past what a new mother really needs to do. Also, these kinds of Birth as Spectacle (look at the baby-bump--oh, look how she got her body back) are simply additional means by which to push regular women beyond the brink. Even pregnancy isn't an excuse to have a little jiggle DAYS after the birth--DAYS!
In addition to the body-image cluster-@#$%, you get the work-life balance cluster-@#$%!!!! Having a baby is fairly significant and pressuring women (and new fathers) to return to work days after a birth is wrong. Celebrities, politicians, and other note-ables often sacrifice work-life balance in order to get where they are. I get that, but emphasizing how "its possible" really just marginalizes new parents from taking advantage of what SHOULD BE LEGALLY MANDATED PARENTAL LEAVE FOLLOWING THE BIRTH OR ADOPTION OF A CHILD. Every developed nation in the world EXCEPT the United States of America has parental leave and maternity leave--PAID and at least six weeks, though in some places it is up to six months.
Articles like these are propaganda against work-life balance, parental leave, and striving toward real health instead of simple "beauty" as health. I'm not pissed at this particular woman--the pressures, working on a weight loss show alone, let alone Hollywood standards make people do crazy things, but I am pissed off at the media outlets and the corporate policies that work to undermine worker's rights and parental leave (and the Lobbyist they employ that get their messages out there). Six days of leave is absurd and the fact that she's lauded for it? Well, it reinforces all that is wrong with work-life balance in America today.