being a mom

New Mom Approached by Stranger at Target and Was Body Shamed About Her Postpartum Body

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Imagine minding your own business, strolling through the aisles at Target. You’re a new mom, so being out and about alone is a refreshing experience. You’ve got your newborn sleeping in their wrap. You shine like the radiant new mama you are as you shop for diapers and adorable onesies. You feel like a goddess knowing you’ve just brought this sweet little baby into the world. Then, someone approaches you about how they can help YOU lose the weight on your postpartum body.

Huh? Yep, that’s just what happened to a new mom, and her message to this body-shaming MLM vendor is spot on.

Kelly Howland is a brand new mama who happens to enjoy a trip to Target like the rest of us. While there, a woman approached her and began making small talk. This probably didn’t seem strange to Howland. Lots of new moms gets questions about their newborns, and many of us are happy to reciprocate. After all, our most captive audiences in those days tend to me our dormant little ones. Nothing wrong with that, right? But then, it happened.

“Have you heard of It Works before?”

If you’ve ever been approached by one of these MLM (that’s multi-level marketing) folks before, you know the spiel. They’ll ask you if you’re looking to shed some pounds or make your hair grow thicker or make your pore tinier or whatever. They’ll tell you about these brand new, entirely fascinating (to them) products that they’ve got. And they give you their business card so that you’ll contact them soon. Some even ask you for your phone number.

While it’s unclear how Howland responded to this woman in person, she did take to social media to blast the woman who basically body-shamed a postpartum mom to remind all MLM vendors (especially those that target potentially vulnerable women) to stop.

“Listen. I’m not upset this company exists. And I’m not even upset at this woman because she could be absolutely charming and just trying to hustle her own living and I have respect for a woman with guts to do that. But let’s not pretend that approaching me specifically was a coincidence,” Howland said in her post on Facebook.

“Can we PLEASE not perpetuate the pressure, the impossible expectations, and therefore keep alive the insecurities that we newly postpartum women face regarding our new and changing bodies as we enter motherhood? Instead of leaning into superficial ideals imposed upon us, can we PLEASE start bucking the system and instead start praising each other for being the amazing, life giving, creation birthing vessels that we are?” Howland speaks all sorts of truth in her post. You can read the full version below:

How do you feel about consultants from companies like ItWorks approaching random people and therefore inadvertently shaming them for their appearance? Should these companies start telling their consultants to dial it back? Comment and let us know.