In the latest celebration of body positivity, Mothercare UK has launched its #BodyProudMums campaign in collaboration with the creative agency mcgarrybowen. While new mum’s tums are often airbrushed or photoshopped to resemble a body that has not just gone through nine months of pregnancy, Mothercare’s latest campaign sheds light on the wonderfully natural post-pregnancy body. Photographed by Sophie Mayanne, known for challenging the media’s unrealistic beauty standards through photography, the campaign sees the photographer turn her attention to capturing the blissful joy between mother and child.
In a recent Instagram post, Mothercare states, “we believe all mums are beautiful and should feel proud and confident about their bodies”. Shot by the UK-based fashion-come-portrait photographer who pledged to “never digitally manipulate skin in her work”, Sophie states in the press release: “The images depict the raw and incredibly emotional experience of childbirth. The aim is for mums of all shapes and sizes to be able to identify with these photos in one way or another, and to feel more confident with their imperfections.”
The shoot sees new mums and their babies at varying stages of life after giving birth. In the brand’s Instagram posts, the women discuss the pressures of “bouncing-back” to their pre-birth bodies. They call out the unfair expectations that are placed on their bodies to appear blemish-free, not to mention how they are judged with the same prejudice that goes alongside fat-phobic shaming. For the campaign, Mothercare commissioned interviews with 1,500 mums in the UK with children between the ages of 0-10, finding that “more than half of mums are not proud of their post-baby bodies”.
Scars, stretch marks, lumps and bumps; all comes hand in hand with giving birth and are unapologetically seen in the #BodyProudMums campaign. In one Instagram post published by Mothercare UK, Tesha is seen with her baby boy 26 weeks after giving birth. Commenting on her post-birth body, she says: “It took me several months for me to even let my partner see me naked, I can’t believe I felt so ashamed. Now, I’m learning that this is the new me now. My stretch marks are going nowhere and nor is my scar, they are reminders that without them I wouldn’t have my son. I can always lose the excess weight, but for now. I’m too busy enjoying my boy.”
This comment encapsulates the refreshing message of this bold new campaign. In the past, this shoot could have been seen as unsightly for mainstream advertising, but thankfully, it can be enjoyed today for its celebration of new life and body diversity.
About the Author
Jyni became a staff writer in March 2019 having previously joined the team as an editorial assistant in August 2018. She graduated from The Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Communication Design in 2017 and her previous roles include Glasgow Women’s Library designer in residence and The Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate Illustrator.