It’s nearly impossible to have a presence on social media without comparing yourself and your life to the achievements that you see posted on your newsfeed. Whether you’re envious of someone else’s body, or their successful career, looking at what other people have is a really easy way to breed self-loathing.
This reality is especially true for women who have recently given birth, and feel a disconnect between their current body and their former one.
Ruth Lee, a 25-year-old beauty blogger, recently gave birth to an adorable baby girl in November of 2016. During her pregnancy, Ruth took special care to make sure that she was up to date on all possibly baby-related literature, and took as many preventative steps as possible to ensure that her body would “bounce back” once she had given birth.
Spoiler alert: bodies don’t really work that way.
After she gave birth, Ruth realized that adjusting to her postpartum baby body was a more emotionally-draining task than she had previously considered. She recently posted a selfie of her C-section from back in November, and got honest with her followers about the reality of giving birth
Her caption reads:
I’m posting this tonight with tears in my eyes. I can’t help it.
The pregnancy and birth of my little girl was the most amazing thing I’ve ever been a part of.
Some people don’t want kids, and I respect that. Really, I do.
But for me, You see, I always have.
When it finally happened though, it was so hard to fully comprehend. Pregnancy and babies, I mean that’s common. It’s everywhere. But when it’s YOUR body and YOUR baby, it’s so different. You literally feel like it’s a miracle. Because, when it happens to you, it is.
What brings me to Instagram tonight, is the post-baby. I followed SO many pregnant models during my pregnancy. And when they photographed themselves pool-side 5 minutes postpartum, I thought, “wow! I hope that happens to me!”
I was 25 when I gave birth. I was healthy. I was young. I stayed active during my pregnancy. I took the best prenatals, went to the gym, used every kind of stretch mark prevention you could think of. I took hours of birthing classes, read every book under the sun, and studied natural childbirth my whole pregnancy.
I STILL ended up with a traumatic labor, cesarean section, scars, stretch marks, and unfortunately the inability to breastfeed long term.
I took this picture a few days after I gave birth, when my PPD really first reared its head into my life. I took this and actually was horrified. I couldn’t believe it was me. I’m sharing it because I know in my heart that there are people out there that struggle with inadequacy.
That might think they are not beautiful, that they might be ruined, less worthy, or not good enough.
Yours might not actually be physical scars, but maybe, a failed relationship, a difficulty in your career, a mental struggle, money issues, or just feeling lost in life.
Be kind to yourself. And know that you are not alone. Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t let social media taint your view of what is beautiful, what is REAL. And above all, know that if you are struggling, I am here.
So, if you’re constantly comparing yourself to an idea what you think your life should look like, try to keep that instinct in check. Nobody has everything figured out, regardless of how perfect the lighting in their selfies may be.