You may remember a few months ago when fitness trainer Chontel Duncan called out internet bullies for their cruel comments about her pregnant figure.
Now endurance athlete and coach Brittany Aäe is following Duncan’s lead, fighting back against bullies who have called her baby body “too small.”
At 39 weeks Aäe’s abs were still visible, sparking online critics to comment in their masses.
After seeing plus-sized model Tess Holiday’s baby bump however, Aäe realised that baby body-shaming happens to women of all sizes.
On her Instagram Aäe posted a photo of herself and Holiday side-by-side, asking, “Why does society shame women whose bodies do not adhere to some narrow notion of false normalcy?”
In an interview with Elle, Aäe spoke out about body shaming and ignoring her haters.
“I am a big fangirl of Tess’s [baby body] —she’s gorgeous, and she is intelligent, and I realised that we were at this same stage of our pregnancies and people were shaming both of us for our sizes,” Aäe said.
“My body is not just a fetus carrier. I am also another being.”
Aäe believes that the key to a healthy pregnancy is listening to your own body and not allowing society to dictate what you have to look like.
Most experts agree with Aäe and believe that it is okay to continue working out during pregnancy with the assistance and advice of a medical professional.
“What I am doing right now is I am ignoring what society says about the female body, and allowing physiology to take over—and our physiology is really strong! The female body is the ultimate endurance athlete. People were just not thinking about pregnancy like that. They were thinking about it in terms of a symptomatic experience, and not one of growth. I want to share this really positive, supportive experience with people, while communicating that this is possible for anyone.”
Aäe says that she is sick of people who feel as though they have the right to comment on her body and because of this she is rejecting “the general idea that women’s bodies are somehow public property.”
in this image these two women are at about the same stage in their pregnancies – 39 weeks. that is the gorgeous @tessholliday looking boss on the left and me with the defined abs on the right. she is a voluptuous model and I am a sinewy mountain athlete. both of us are shamed for our size – she for her roundness and me for my smallness. both of us are having or had healthy pregnancies as validated by our healthcare providers. both of us are making empowered choices about our personal health. ✨why does our society shame women whose bodies do not adhere to some narrow notion of false normalcy? ✨ let’s instead keep our thoughts and words about other people’s size to ourselves. pregnancy is tough enough without also being body shamed. #effyourbeautystandards #momshame
Rumi’s first time to the crag! we survived the forty five minute drive and are fueling up streamside before hiking in. 🌲cross your fingers she’ll be just as content at the crag as she’s been so far at the climbing gym. 😬 big ups to @aaronvrourke for enabling this climbing session 🙏🏻#tendayspostpartum #normalizebreastfeeding #RumiWren
A photo posted by Brittany Aäe (@__magneticnorth__) on
✨two weeks before pregnancy, twenty weeks pregnant, and thirty eight weeks pregnant. ✨ same workout each day I was at the gym and took these pictures: ten pitches in the 5.10-5.11 range followed by a breezy run around Discovery Park. and at thirty eight weeks pregnant I have no complaints. my body is one strong muthafucka. this ability to maintain one of my most basic training building blocks just as usual validates for me that the way in which I move, recover, and care for myself is a process of growth and does not lead to entropy. together the baby and I are thriving – my midwife likes to call me her most physiologically normal client 🔮 #gratitude #pregnantnotpowerless