Photos Of Mariah Carey’s New Post-Baby Body! Let’s All Feel Craptastic We STILL Have Our Baby Weight!

Years ago when she had a new album out and was still in love with Jermaine Dupri and her brother Michael was still in the land of the living, I interviewed Janet Jackson for a feature story in Essence. On stage and in magazines she’s an absolute glamour doll but let me tell you this: in person, Janet, sans the stage make-up, perfectly-coiffed hair and uber sexy, body-skimming costume, is breathtakingly stunning. With a body that makes you want to quit food, eat air, buy lifetime stock in Spanx and spend every waking moment in somebody’s gym.

But by the second day of our interview—this time at her posh apartment overlooking Central Park—I confirmed what I’d always suspected about Janet and other celebrities famous not just for their talent but their beautiful bodies: They look the way they do—“perfect”—because they pay people to keep them that way. Sure, celebrities have to have some level of commitment in watching what they eat and exercising, but Janet admitted that she hated working out and employed a full-time trainer whose sole job it was to literally drag her out of bed and make her exercise. She acknowledged, too, that she had a nutritionist and chef on hand to design and prepare all her meals and snacks—a revelation punctuated by a dude who was on hand to personally give her milkshakes and vitamins practically every hour during our two-day interview.

Of course, most celebrities stay fit and thin because their jobs demand it and they want to stay off the National Inquirer’s weekly “Celebrity Cellulite: Whose Flabby Ass Is This?” cover stories. But we mere mortals often aren’t privy and have no access to the tricks and help celebrities employ to keep themselves slim and beautiful.

Which is why I’m always HIGHLY annoyed by the “how they lost the weight” stories that show celebrity moms two seconds after they dropped their babies posted up practically naked on magazine covers, looking like they didn’t just carry and push a human from their loins. The inference always seems to be, “Take note you fat, sloppy mothers in your mom jeans, beat up sneakers and baby food-stained sweatshirts: real moms look hot after giving birth, and they do it effortlessly.” Which of course makes me want to kick the celebrities and the dumb editors who push those stories dead in the back.

I say these things because yesterday, the internet was abuzz with a most scintillating piece of journalism—an Us Weekly cover story of Mariah Carey in hot pants, stilettos and a half shirt, with a headline screaming in neon yellow, “30 Lbs in 3 Months: I Got My Body Back!” Of course, the story wouldn’t be complete without a super sad-looking “before” picture of Mariah pregnant with twins—as if carrying two babies in her stomach and enough milk in her breasts to feed them was just downright slovenly of her. For kicks and giggles, they added, “Mariah’s easy day-by-day plan that you can do, too”—you know, so you can look like a hot MILF, too. Oh—and don’t forget to go out there and get on that Jenny Craig (Mariah is a spokeswoman. Surprise!)

And hot on the heels of the Mariah story was news that a very pregnant Jessica Simpson inked a $3 million deal with Weight Watchers to hit the treadmill as soon as she gets off the maternity ward. That would be the same Jessica Simpson who spent the last few years fighting back against Hollywood for making fun of her curves and even created a short-lived show, The Price of Beauty, to show that the definition of beauty is different all across the world and shouldn’t be dictated by a couple of movie producers and magazine editors in Hollywood. Now that Jessica’s crossing over to the dark side, surely there will be a magazine cover about how she’s lost all the weight and never felt better and a book detailing her step-by-step guide to losing the mommy weight, too.

Yeah.

Raise a church finger and give an “amen” if you’re tired of post-pregnant celebrity moms/diet company spokeswoman and the gossip wags that stalk follow them doing those tired “before and after” pregnancy weight stories. Really, they do nothing more than work overtime to convince new moms they suck because they carried a human in their stomachs for nine months and couldn’t lose the baby weight before the first post-pregnancy check-up. Like, how many moms are pressuring themselves to eat unhealthy and strain their bodies with unreasonable workouts so they can be “hot” like the Hollywood moms plastering the magazine rack at the grocery store check-out?

I promise you, with all the things moms juggle when a new baby is added into the mix, the last thing we need is the TV, magazines, newspapers and blogs screaming at us to look “effortlessly hot” two seconds after we drop our precious loads. Or a celebrity blog or book (Hello, Kourtney Kardashian!) finger-wagging at regular moms who don’t have nannies damn near wet nursing their children while some dude pulls them out of bed for exercise and shoves health shakes and gourmet meals in their faces at every turn.

I may not be a size two and I may still be carrying the residuals of my last pregnancy on my body here and there (yeah, I know I had my last baby nine years ago… so what’s your point?!) but dammit, I look good.

And so do you, and you and you, too. Kiss your pouch, touch those stretch marks, admire those not-so-perky-anymore breasts and those wide birthing hips and thick thighs and thank God for each of these things. After all, together, they worked a miracle—gave you the power to create, produce and sustain the most precious gift of all: human life.

Now somebody put that on the cover of a magazine.

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.

19 Comments

  1. Eleven weeks ago I have birth to baby number three, and I’m three pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. The thing is, I’m no where near my pre-pregnancy shape, and it’s frustrating. I defintely feel the post partum pressure to bounce back before I go back to work next week. I even tried an insane workout routine (literally, it was called INSANITY), but when I couldn’t keep up with my baby’s milk needs I called it quits. Basically, I hear you, and I feel the pressure. It’s real. Whenever someone tells me, ‘you look great’ for just having a baby, they are indirectly telling all the other women whose body does not drop 30 pounds just from breastfeeding – that something’s wrong with them and by default, ‘you don’t look great.’ Ughhh.

  2. What makes it even more annoying is that you know Mariah either had a tummy tuck or airbrushing done because there is no way that her stomach looks like that after carrying twins – Jenny Craig or not. I lost my baby weight over the summer (and recently gained it back) and my stomach will never look like it did when I was in my 20s, unless I get a tummy tuck, which I’m not. These celebrities are setting impossible standards and they should at least be honest about how they met them.

  3. Mariah, J-Lo, Garcelle Beauvais, Heidi Klum, etc are doing their job. Part of their job is to look like industry dictated women ideals. They have to bounce back within 6 to 12 weeks or else they will lose their jobs to girls like Rihanna or Taylor Swift.

    Our job as women who are not in entertainment is to breastfeed, burp, cuddle, coddle, and change our babies when they are infants. The losing weight part is whatever. The getting our shape back part is a distant memory. If, when we went back to our accounting jobs after having the baby, we forgot to calculate we would have a problem.

    I look at Mariah, after she’s lost weight about 50 ‘leven times and feel a little sorry for her that she has to try to compete with girl-like women just to keep doing what she loves. This beautiful time in her life is a little molested because she has to worry about losing all of her weight. We non-entertainment women can bear our teeth at anyone who tries to criticize us and go back to eating our Christmas cookies and loving on our little ones.

  4. I so miss my pre-pregnancy body, but I also love my new curves (sans big boobs, I liked being a part of the itty bitty titty committee). I think the only time it really bugs me is when 1. I’m looking at magazines of celebrities who just had babies and 2. I’m trying to buy a cute shirt and it doesn’t look like I imagined it would when I try it on and 3. I have to buy bigger shirts just to make sure that my boobs fit nicely and my belly isn’t showing after one wash…

    Oh well, the only thing that really matters is… I was able to birth and have still living 3 wonderfully adorable children and we get to make awesome memories, belly, boobs and all :-)

  5. i don’t look at any of those celebrity moms and feel bad about my post baby body – do i look like i did in my 20s? nope. but i also hadn’t birthed and breastfed 2 children

    there are VERY few celebrities that truly bounce back to their pre-pregnancy bodies – i don’t care what those magazine covers say – every one of those women that’s on the cover of a magazine baring their “flawless” post-baby belly has been airbrushed to death (sans Heidi Klum, who is clearly a freak of nature!) – how many of them are walking the red carpet baring that belly? oh, none of them – because then you would see the sagging skin and stretch marks! and when they are on the red carpet in a skin tight dress, you can bet that they’re also nipped and tucked with Spanx and other body-binding garments from knee to chest – i know, because my body looks pretty damn great when i wear shapewear too! (which is why i wear a shapewear camisole every.single.day.)

    kudos for the celebrities for busting their butts in the gym for 3 hours a day and starving themselves so they can “get back to work” – i spent those hours snuggled in bed with my babies and eating everything in sight so i could keep my milk supply up and nourish my babies – call me crazy, but i think i got the better deal!

  6. I have a 3 month old. She is my third baby! I have lost all my pregnancy weight plus more. I not into diets and weight watching at all. The weight came off on its own. I do still have that post-pregnancy pudge and I have learned to embrace it!

  7. I once read that celebs are quick to get c-sections because they often get a tummy tuck immediately after–when they’re still on the operating table. Now think, how many celebs have you heard of give birth vaginally (besides Ricki Lake! :) )? They start out of the gate ahead of the game. I just can’t fathom everything falling back into place within a few weeks after giving birth. My mind is still trying to get over the fact that I pushed a human being through my loins–which I did six times! It still blows my mind.

  8. I’m pregnant now with my third. And I feel bad about my body. And that makes me really angry, on top of being sad. Despite the fact that we know the celebs are full of it, every day people continue to act like they don’t know. Why do random women on the street feel the need to comment on my body? What makes them think they have the right to tell me, “Oh, you’re carrying so small” or 20 minutes later, “You can’t be JUST five months!” I know that everyone is full of crap considering how I get these very two contradictory statements on the same damn day. How much I wish that commenting on our bodies or other people’s bodies was just not a part of our culture at all. For someone who is already hormonal, it’s making my days less than desirable.

  9. Ladies,

    As a married man of 17 yrs and possibly the only man that has enough courage to speak on this very volatile subject. I will jump in with both feet. My sisters, you look fine. You are beautiful women, even with all your flaws…(stretch marks, pooch bellies, wide hips, etc) We love you more than we did when we married you. Your so called flaws make you unique. They are battle scars of being a everyday mom and wife. They are the badges of courage from doing the job without a personal cook or nutritionalist. They are the medals that make us admire your determination of staying the course. In the words of Maya Angelou you are “Phenomenal Woman”!

    I married my wife and she was a size 4/6 and she couldn’t spell Gym and had no idea where one was located. My mother even pulled me to the side when she met her and chastised me for dating a high school girl (we had just finished college). Now after two wonderful children she is a size 8/10 with beautiful blossoming hips. She ventures to the Gym for Zumba at least twice a week. She monitors our food intake to ensure we are staying healthy, and she jumps all over me when I consume too much soda. She is my soulmate and I know she is sexier now than she was then. She tells me that I should change my name to “The Groper” because I won’t allow her to pass without touching her. I say all of this because we (men) are excited to know you love us. We are in awe that you still are with us after all the years have gone by and we don’t look like we did in college. You are our Queens and we love you just the way you are flaws and all. So please stop comparing your bodies to women that have the time and resources to only focus on looking flawless on the outside. To us you are flawless all over. I’m just saying…

  10. Denene great post, I’m there even though I lost a great majority of my body weight after birth (11moths ago-AMEN), it was still pressure to get back into those pre-pregnancy jeans., but I’ve learned to embrace my beautiful curves which had the ability to give life! However I know in my mind that these are of coarse pictures that are all plasted on magazines are only photo shopped…you mean to tell me you carried (2) babies and no stretch marks, no saggy breasts, no pooch! Yeah if I had so many millions of dollars I would fake it til I make it too. Plus needless to say Mariah had an up and down weight issue way before she even found out she was preggo, all of a sudden she looks more fabulous than ever after giving birth. Mmmm next in line will be Beyonce, how she lost all her preganancy weight with the same diet plan she did when she lost all that weight for the role in Dream Girls…I’m Just Sayin!

  11. OMG! I was thinking the SAME thing yesterday how it is so easy for them with their nannies and personal trainers- if I didn’t have to take care of two little ones, go to work, clean, cook…well you get the picture- yeah it’s easy for them- stop making us feel like crap for hanging on to ours a little bit longer :0

  12. Denene – Bless you for speaking the truth. Actually, I feel for these celeb moms in who are in the public eye and feel pressured to lose weight so soon after giving birth. My god, the fact that people are already talking about Jessica Simpson’s weight loss plans and the poor girl hasn’t even given birth yet is a sign the world has gone mad. What I love about all of the posts here is that so many of us (me included) breast fed our children. The reality is that you cannot keep up a good milk supply when you are trying to lose weight. Show me a skinny celeb who just had a baby and I’ll show you someone who is not breastfeeding her child.

  13. I totally agree! I am a tiny girl that went up a permanent pant size each pregnancy.

    Women of all sizes and shapes deal with body changes post pregnancy. The only ones pretending to be “back to normal” are ones so scared of the alternative that they get images Photoshopped or they just go off starving and torturing themselves to drop the weight or whatever.

    I do disagree with Portia regarding the breastfeeding comment though. You can drop weight and still nurse your child. Heck I did it 2 years ago, quite rapidly as a result of nursing my baby. Sure my hips (the actual bones) never went back to where they used to be but all my 50lbs of pregnancy weight came off within a month and it was hell.

    Nursing is a great way to naturally kick the weight back over time and it does take up many calories, which is why it was such a dramatic loss for me.

    That said, even when you “lose the pregnancy weight” your body isn’t the same, ever. Bones move, organs move, skin stretches, fat accumulates, boobs sag… it is what our bodies were made to do and the intention was never to go back to exactly the way we used to be. The sooner we choose to let go of that idea the better off we will be.

    Love it, own it, you worked a miracle baby.

  14. I was lucky not to have a big belly after pregnancy and if you see me you may think I was not pregnant just six weeks ago, but my weight is no were near pre-pregnancy because I have to eat enough to produce milk for my growing baby.

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