Plus-size model Tess Holliday is no stranger to speaking out about unrealistic body images.
Now, the mum has opened up about why she loves her post-baby body, and why other mums should too.
Taking to Instagram, the model posted a picture of herself in her underwear, admitting she struggled to accept her new body after giving birth to her little boy six months ago.
She said: ‘Each day feels like a battle to learn how to love my body postpartum. It’s been 6 months, & my stomach is lower, my breasts are a different shape, new stretch marks & I feel like a stranger in my body more than ever.’
Tess explained that she didn’t expect this change or her new feelings about her body. She added: ‘I’m not used to looking in the mirror & feeling like I don’t recognize myself, but sadly that’s my reality some days.’
Although Tess said she was unsure about sharing the honest post with her 1.4 million followers, she said she did it to help other new mums who might feel pressure to lose weight after having a baby.
Tess continued: ‘I was fat before, I carried a healthy baby, & guess what, still fat…& THAT’S OKAY. I have no New Years resolution to lose weight, but only to work learning my new body & loving and nurturing it.’
Tess added that her partner Nick has been an amazing support, while she’ll be taking her time to get back to feeling normal. She explained: ‘We have to be our own cheerleaders, so that’s what I will do, take it day by day. It’s a journey, not a race..& a beautiful one at that.’
Since posting the image, Tess has received huge support from her Instagram followers, with many admitting that they felt the same after they had a baby.
One mum said: ‘Every woman goes through this serious identity crisis and feeling alien to herself after the baby arrives. Nothing prepares you for any of it. And men are totally clueless. You’re not alone. It’s normal postpartum stuff. Promise. It takes time, but it all gets better with time.’
Another added: ‘you couldnt have explained it better. so me after my first.’