Blac Chyna gave birth to Dream, her baby with Rob Kardashian, just nine days ago, and the entrepreneur and reality TV star is already showing off her flat stomach. Chyna posted videos of her post-baby body on Snapchat and Instagram on Saturday, captioning the clips, "9 day Postpartum 🤔💕 Snap - BlacChynaLA" and "👶🏽 9 days Postpartum with my 2nd child ( follow my snap BlacChynaLA)." In the videos, she uses the camera to highlight her stomach, showing pride in her body, but also, to her credit, not using any of the harmful "bouncing back" language the media so often uses about women post-pregnancy.
Instead of showing any shame over her post-baby body or talking about her desire to lose more weight, Chyna's post focuses on celebrating her body as it is, not as something she has gotten back. Posts like hers defy the toxic fat-shaming language surrounding celebrity mothers' bodies, which is so prevelent that stars like Rob's sister Kim has refused to go out in public until she's achieved a body similar to the one she had before she was pregnant. Stars who've given birth but, in the eyes of the media, fail to "bounce back" are sometimes mocked and shamed, and it's a ridiculous practice that needs to end.
Celebrities like Chyna and Kim, who typically embrace body positivity, aren't to blame for choosing to focus on losing pregnancy weight, if that's what they do. Instead, it's the culture that makes mothers, celebrity and otherwise, feel that the natural reality of pregnancy weight gain is something they are required to overcome, or feel shame about, that's at fault. As Autumn Jones writes for Romper, the very language used to praise post-pregnancy bodies is problematic:
Using language such as, "getting your body back," is dangerous because it implies something has been taken from you, something you need to retrieve to be you again. But really so much has been given to you from the experience. Your body has performed the incredible task of growing, producing, and giving birth to a child who would have never existed without the hard work of your body.
Chyna's emphasis on her body and fitness is her prerogative, and promoting weight-loss aids is part of her job. Her initiative in quickly getting her body where she wants it is commendable, but women who do not choose to lose weight after their pregnancies, or who struggle with the act, do not deserve scrutiny and derision. It's important to create a culture in which all bodies are acceptable, and that starts with being careful about the language we use.