These moms are flaunting their stunning postpartum bodies on Instagram.

Meg Boggs is on a body confidence mission to change the way we look at postpartum bodies.

As part of her mission, the mom blogger recently recruited 25 moms to share their own journeys and struggles with body confidence, postpartum depression and anxiety as well as infant loss and grief. She had them share photos and details about their story, using the hashtag #this_is_postpartum on Instagram. The collection of images is stunning to say the least.


Every woman’s story is inspiring in its own unique way.

One mother, Ashley Dorough, of houseofdorough.com, posted about the postpartum depression she suffered from after the birth of her second child. “Hey, you. I know what it feels like to look in the mirror and feel disgusted, worthless, broken.”

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#this_is_postpartum Hey, you. I know what it feels like to look in the mirror and feel disgusted, worthless, broken. To cry for no reason. To feel too proud to ask for help. To have unexplainable feelings of hopelessness, anger, and resentment. To have all of your expectations of what you think motherhood is going to be like ripped apart. All of these experiences we go through... they DO make us stronger. But why doesn’t it feel that way? Why isn’t it celebrated? Why can’t we glamorize ALL body types and all seasons of life? What is this insane pressure we feel to make everything perfect? I grew up with no one in the media who looked like me, in a society where no one talks openly about depression and anxiety. Today, I’m sharing this for the teenage girl who punishes herself with diets and exercise because she doesn’t look like what she sees on TV. Today, I share this for the mama who is putting so much pressure on herself to “snap back” to her pre-baby weight. I’m sharing this for the plus size women, mamas and mama’s to be who have always been greatly underrepresented in the media. And for the person who thinks they might need help but is afraid to admit it... this is for you. I’ve been you, and I’m here to tell you it’s okay. I’m sharing this for YOU, no matter your gender, size, shape, or race. The good, the bad, the ugly... this is us. This is about finding the beauty in everything around you, your children, your life, and the journey. Getting the help you need even if you don’t think you do. I’m here for you. We’re all here for you. You. Are. Enough. This is postpartum, and so is this: @sidelinesocialite

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“To cry for no reason. To feel too proud to ask for help. To have unexplainable feelings of hopelessness, anger, and resentment. To have all of your expectations of what you think motherhood is going to be like ripped apart. All of these experiences we go through... they DO make us stronger. But why doesn’t it feel that way? Why isn’t it celebrated?”

Desiree Fortin, who struggled with infertility, chose to use the platform as a method to embrace her postpartum body after welcoming triplets,” she told CNN. "My body changed more than I anticipated. There was a lot of extra skin, there were stretch marks covering all over.” She now refers to them as her “hope wounds” as they represent things she had “prayed and longed for.”

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Incase you don’t know, here are some Fun Facts about my Pregnancy/Delivery: • 1. I made it to our goal date: 34 weeks + 1 Day 2. I was obsessed with @fiveguys hamburgers my entire pregnancy and now I can’t stand the thought of eating there. 3. I was on strict bed rest for two months and binge watched @greysabc 4. I measured 52 weeks pregnant 5. Our gender reveal video went viral. We told all our loved ones we were having twins and surprises them with the 3rd baby at the reveal🙌🏻💕 6. The birth order: Charlize, Sawyer, and Jax 7. I had a c-section and there was about 20 people in my room. Each baby and myself had a team of doctors and nurses. 8. I had a mole removed from my ass after the c-section 🙈🤦🏻‍♀️😂😳 yep, really fun fact for ya🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️😂 9. (More of a fact than fun fact😭) I hemorrhaged after my c-section when I was in recovery with my mom. I had blood transfusions and almost died. My doctor saved my life💕 10. I didn’t get to meet the babies until a full day after their birth. 11. I was obsessed with the diabetic hospital jello 😂 12. The triplets were in the NICU for 2 weeks. 13. Charlize was the first baby I held. 14. My doctor told me that I likely wouldn’t be able to breastfeed because of my birth complications, but I produced enough milk for the triplets plus! 15. I’m taking over @super_pregnant007 today to share my heart and journey to Motherhood!! Head over to @super_pregnant007 to follow along!! • AND Comment below ⬇️⬇️⬇️ with a fun fact about your pregnancy or delivery 💕

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"They are the road map to my motherhood. They are a representation of my three miracle babies who I would not have if I did not walk through infertility and carry three human beings at one time.”

Other stories document miscarriage, and the shame and feelings of failure that women can struggle with after c-section scarring and general body image struggles. Each is distinctive, beautiful and truly moving.

Boggs’ personal struggles with motherhood inspired her to start the movement.

Her body confidence struggles began during pregnancy, when Boggs, a plus size woman, noticed that her body didn’t look like other expectant moms. "I would see pictures of a perfect bump and I didn't relate to that because I definitely did not have a perfect bump," she told CNN. Despite internet searches, she had trouble finding images of women who looked like her. "I felt as if my postpartum journey and body didn't count."

After she had her baby girl, she refused to be photographed with her daughter. "I regret so much that I wasn't in the photos with her. It's so important and you have to think about your kids and they are going to want you in the photos with them," she told CNN.

At seven months postpartum, she was inspired to start her blog, MegBoggs.com. While she expected to be shamed and trolled by readers, she was pleasantly surprised with all the support she received. "To my surprise, my messages flooded with positivity and things like 'I needed this today.' That's when this idea started finding its way into my heart," she explained.

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Being thin is okay. Not being thin is okay. Having curves is okay. Not having curves is okay. Having stretch marks is okay. Not having stretch marks is okay. Having scars is okay. Not having scars is okay. Having cellulite is okay. Not having cellulite is okay. It’s not your job to look like what you see on the big screen, or in the media. It’s not your job to look perfect. Or put together. Or effortlessly happy. It’s not your job to look like anyone or anything else but YOU. And it’s OKAY. But do you know what’s never okay? Shaming another for not fitting the mold of a societal “perfection”. Shaming another for their body type. Or the clothes that they wear (or don’t wear). Or the marks left on their body during different walks of life. So here’s to measuring ourselves in smiles and feelings of contentment rather than inches and pounds. And here’s to friends that see you for all the loveliness that you are. 💗 you @th3littlestavenger

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Boggs and these 25 brave and beautiful women hope that their message will help normalize the postpartum experience for others who may feel alone.

"I can get hundreds of negative comments but it's that one message that I'll get, even if it's just the one that says 'This is what I needed to see today,' it's those messages that remind me that it's worth it," Boggs said.

This new campaign is a great reminder for women to celebrate their personal journey into motherhood, no matter what it looks like. Bringing a life into this world is one of the most beautiful gifts, and the bodies that help do it should be treated with nothing but love and respect no matter what.

Images courtesy of Letters of Love
True

When Grace Berbig was 7 years old, her mom was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues. Being so young, Grace didn’t know what cancer was or why her mother was suddenly living in the hospital. But she did know this: that while her mom was in the hospital, she would always be assured that her family was thinking of her, supporting her and loving her every step of her journey.

Nearly every day, Grace and her two younger sisters would hand-make cards and fill them with drawings and messages of love, which their mother would hang all over the walls of her hospital room. These cherished letters brought immeasurable peace and joy to their mom during her sickness. Sadly, when Grace was just 10 years old, her mother lost her battle with cancer.“

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Losing my mom put the world in a completely different perspective for me,” Grace says. “I realized that you never know when someone could leave you, so you have to love the people you love with your whole heart, every day.”

Grace’s father was instrumental in helping in the healing process of his daughters. “I distinctly remember my dad constantly reminding my two little sisters, Bella and Sophie, and I that happiness is a choice, and it was now our job to turn this heartbreaking event in our life into something positive.”

When she got to high school, Grace became involved in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and a handful of other organizations. But she never felt like she was doing enough.

“I wanted to create an opportunity for people to help beyond donating money, and one that anyone could be a part of, no matter their financial status.”

In October 2018, Grace started Letters of Love, a club at her high school in Long Lake, Minnesota, to emotionally support children battling cancer and other serious illnesses through letter-writing and craft-making.


Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Much to her surprise, more than 100 students showed up for the first club meeting. From then on, Letters of Love grew so fast that during her senior year in high school, Grace had to start a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of card-making materials.

Speaking about her nonprofit today, Grace says, “I can’t find enough words to explain how blessed I feel to have this organization. Beyond the amount of kids and families we are able to support, it allows me to feel so much closer and more connected to my mom.”

Since its inception, Letters of Love has grown to more than 25 clubs with more than 1,000 members providing emotional support to more than 60,000 patients in children’s hospitals around the world. And in the process it has become a full-time job for Grace.

“I do everything from training volunteers and club ambassadors, paying bills, designing merchandise, preparing financial predictions and overviews, applying for grants, to going through each and every card ensuring they are appropriate to send out to hospitals.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

In addition to running Letters of Love, Grace and her small team must also contend with the emotions inherent in their line of work.

“There have been many, many tears cried,” she says. “Working to support children who are battling cancer and other serious and sometimes chronic illnesses can absolutely be extremely difficult mentally. I feel so blessed to be an organization that focuses solely on bringing joy to these children, though. We do everything we can to simply put a smile on their face, and ensure they know that they are so loved, so strong, and so supported by people all around the world.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Letters of Love has been particularly instrumental in offering emotional support to children who have been unable to see friends and family due to COVID-19. A video campaign in the summer of 2021 even saw members of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild offer short videos of hope and encouragement to affected children.

Grace is currently taking a gap year before she starts college so she can focus on growing Letters of Love as well as to work on various related projects, including the publication of a children’s book.

“The goal of the book is to teach children the immense impact that small acts of kindness can have, how to treat their peers who may be diagnosed with disabilities or illness, and how they are never too young to change the world,” she says.

Since she was 10, Grace has kept memories of her mother close to her, as a source of love and inspiration in her life and in the work she does with Letters of Love.

Image courtesy of Grace Berbig

“When I lost my mom, I felt like a section of my heart went with her, so ever since, I have been filling that piece with love and compassion towards others. Her smile and joy were infectious, and I try to mirror that in myself and touch people’s hearts as she did.”

For more information visit Letters of Love.

Please donate to Grace’s GoFundMe and help Letters of Love to expand, publish a children’s book and continue to reach more children in hospitals around the world.

Freya from Maya Higa's YouTube video.

Ever wonder what an ideal date for a lemur would be? Or a lizard’s favorite Disney princess?

Thanks to one YouTube poster with a passion for animals and an endearing sense of humor, all questions shall be answered. Well, maybe not all questions. But at the very least, you’ll have eight minutes of insanely cute footage.

In a series titled “Tiny Mic Interviews,” Maya Higa approaches little beasties with a microphone so small she has to hold it with just her thumb and forefinger. And yes, 99% of the animals try to eat it.

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Images courtesy of AFutureSuperhero and Friends and Balance Dance Project
True

The day was scorching hot, but the weather wasn’t going to stop a Star Wars Stormtrooper from handing out school supplies to a long line of eager children. “You guys don’t have anything illegal back there - any droids or anything?” the Stormtrooper asks, making sure he was safe from enemies before handing over a colorful backpack to a smiling boy.

The man inside the costume is Yuri Williams, founder of AFutureSuperhero And Friends, a Los Angeles nonprofit that uplifts and inspires marginalized people with small acts of kindness.

Yuri’s organization is one of four inaugural grant winners from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, a joint initiative between Upworthy and GoFundMe that celebrates kindness and everyday actions inspired by the best of humanity. This year, the Upworthy Kindness Fund is giving $100,000 to grassroots changemakers across the world.

To apply, campaign organizers simply tell Upworthy how their kindness project is making a difference. Between now and the end of 2021, each accepted individual or organization will receive $500 towards an existing GoFundMe and a shout-out on Upworthy.

Meet the first four winners:

1: Balance Dance Project: This studio aims to bring accessible dance to all in the Sacramento, CA area. Lead fundraiser Miranda Macias says many dancers spend hours a day at Balance practicing contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, and ballet. Balance started a GoFundMe to raise money to cover tuition for dancers from low-income communities, buy dance team uniforms, and update its facility. The $500 contribution from the Kindness Fund nudged Balance closer to its $5,000 goal.

2: Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team: In Los Angeles, middle school teacher James Pike is introducing his students to the field of robotics via a Lego-building team dedicated to solving real-world problems.

James started a GoFundMe to crowdfund supplies for his students’ team ahead of the First Lego League, a school-against-school matchup that includes robotics competitions. The team, James explained, needed help to cover half the cost of the pricey $4,000 robotics kit. Thanks to help from the Upworthy Kindness Fund and the generosity of the Citizens of the World Middle School community, the team exceeded its initial fundraising goal.

Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team video update youtu.be

3: Black Fluidity Tattoo Club: Kiara Mills and Tann Parker want to fix a big problem in the tattoo industry: there are too few Black tattoo artists. To tackle the issue, the duo founded the Black Fluidity Tattoo Club to inspire and support Black tattooers. While the Brooklyn organization is open to any Black person, Kiara and Tann specifically want to encourage dark-skinned artists to train in an affirming space among people with similar identities.

To make room for newcomers, the club recently moved into a larger studio with a third station for apprentices or guest artists. Unlike a traditional fundraiser that supports the organization exclusively, Black Fluidity Tattoo Club will distribute proceeds from GoFundMe directly to emerging Black tattoo artists who are starting their own businesses. The small grants, supported in part with a $500 contribution from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, will go towards artists’ equipment, supplies, furnishings, and other start-up costs.

4: AFutureSuperhero And Friends’ “Hope For The Holidays”: Founder Yuri Williams is fundraising for a holiday trip to spread cheer to people in need across all fifty states.

Along with collaborator Rodney Smith Jr., Yuri will be handing out gifts to children, adults, and animals dressed as a Star Wars’ Stormtrooper, Spiderman, Deadpool, and other movie or comic book characters. Starting this month, the crew will be visiting children with disabilities or serious illnesses, bringing leashes and toys to animal shelters for people taking home a new pet, and spreading blessings to unhoused people—all while in superhero costume. This will be the third time Yuri and his nonprofit have taken this journey.

AFutureSuperhero started a GoFundMe in July to cover the cost of gifts as well as travel expenses like hotels and rental cars. To help the nonprofit reach its $15,000 goal, the Upworthy Kindness Fund contributed $500 towards this good cause.

Think you qualify for the fund? Tell us how you’re bringing kindness to your community. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis from now through the end of 2021. For questions and more information, please check out our FAQ's and the Kindness Toolkit for resources on how to start your own kindness fundraiser.

Cellist Cremaine Booker's performance of Faure's "Pavane" is as impressive as it is beautiful.

Music might be the closest thing the world has to real magic. Music has the ability to transform any atmosphere in seconds, simply with the sounds of a few notes. It can be simple—one instrument playing single notes like raindrops—or a complex symphony of melodies and harmonies, swirling and crashing like waves from dozens of instruments. Certain rhythms can make us spontaneously dance and certain chord progressions can make us cry.

Music is an art, a science, a language and a decidedly human endeavor. People have made music throughout history, in every culture on every continent. Over time, people have perfected the crafting of instruments and passed along the knowledge of how to play them, so every time we see someone playing music, we're seeing the history of humanity culminated in their craft. It's truly an amazing thing.

The pandemic threw a wrench into seeing live musicians for a good chunk of time, and even now, live performances are limited. Thankfully, we have technology that makes it easier for musicians to collaborate and perform with one another virtually—and also makes it easier for people to create "group" performances all by themselves.

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A round-up of delights from around the internet this week.

Hey all!

Welcome to Upworthy's weekly roundup of delights from around the internet. This week's list features a little of everything—gorgeous music, cute kids, adorable animals, hope for the planet and a brand new video message from the late and great Betty White.

That's right, Betty White left us a message of gratitude shortly before her passing. It's brief, but how lovely to see and hear her speak to her millions of fans one last time. Few celebrities are as universally beloved as Betty White was, and though we knew she couldn't live forever, it would have been fun to see her celebrate her 100th birthday. Now, at least, we get to experience her joy and warmth with a few last words.

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