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These moms are flaunting their stunning postpartum bodies on Instagram.

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.”

View this post on Instagram

#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

A post shared by Ashley Dorough (@ashley_dorough) on

“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.”

View this post on Instagram

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 💕

A post shared by Desiree Fortin (@theperfectmom) on

"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

A post shared by Meg Boggs (@meg.boggs) on

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.

Science

MIT’s trillion-frames-per-second camera can capture light as it travels

"There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

Photo from YouTube video.

Photographing the path of light.

A new camera developed at MIT can photograph a trillion frames per second.

Compare that with a traditional movie camera which takes a mere 24. This new advancement in photographic technology has given scientists the ability to photograph the movement of the fastest thing in the Universe, light.


The actual event occurred in a nano second, but the camera has the ability to slow it down to twenty seconds.

time, science, frames per second, bounced light

The amazing camera.

Photo from YouTube video.

For some perspective, according to New York Times writer, John Markoff, "If a bullet were tracked in the same fashion moving through the same fluid, the resulting movie would last three years."


In the video below, you'll see experimental footage of light photons traveling 600-million-miles-per-hour through water.

It's impossible to directly record light so the camera takes millions of scans to recreate each image. The process has been called femto-photography and according to Andrea Velten, a researcher involved with the project, "There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

(H/T Curiosity)


This article originally appeared on 09.08.17

Health

Her mother doesn't get why she's depressed. So she explains the best way she knows how.

Sabrina Benaim eloquently describes what it's like to be depressed.

Sabrina Benaim's “Explaining My Depression to My Mother."

Sabrina Benaim's “Explaining My Depression to My Mother" is pretty powerful on its own.

But, in it, her mother exhibits some of the most common misconceptions about depression, and I'd like to point out three of them here.

Misconception #1: Depression is triggered by a single event or series of traumatic events.

empathy, human condition, humanity

Depression isn’t just over sleeping.

Most people think depression is triggered by a traumatic event: a loved one dying, a job loss, a national tragedy, some THING. The truth is that depression sometimes just appears out of nowhere. So when you think that a friend or loved one is just in an extended bad mood, reconsider. They could be suffering from depression.

Misconception #2: People with depression are only sad.

family, parents, mom, anxiety

The obligation of anxiety.

Most people who have never experienced depression think depression is just an overwhelming sadness. In reality, depression is a complex set of feelings and physical changes in the body. People who suffer from depression are sad, yes, but they can also be anxious, worried, apathetic, and tense, among other things.

Misconception #3: You can snap out of it.

button poetry, medical condition, biological factors

Making fun plans not wanting to have fun.

The thing with depression is that it's a medical condition that affects your brain chemistry. It has to do with environmental or biological factors first and foremost. Sabrina's mother seems to think that if her daughter would only go through the motions of being happy that then she would become happy. But that's not the case. Depression is a biological illness that leaks into your state of being.

Think of it this way: If you had a cold, could you just “snap out of it"?

No? Exactly.

empathy, misconceptions of depression, mental health

Mom doesn’t understand.

via Button Poetry/YouTube

These are only three of the misconceptions about depression. If you know somebody suffering from depression, you should take a look at this video here below to learn the best way to talk to them:

This article originally appeared on 11.24.15

Here's how to be 30% more persuasive.

Everybody wants to see themselves in a positive light. That’s the key to understanding Jonah Berger’s simple tactic that makes people 30% more likely to do what you ask. Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the bestselling author of “Magic Words: What to Say to Get Your Way.”

Berger explained the technique using a Stanford University study involving preschoolers. The researchers messed up a classroom and made two similar requests to groups of 5-year-olds to help clean up.

One group was asked, "Can you help clean?" The other was asked, “Can you be a helper and clean up?" The kids who were asked if they wanted to be a “helper” were 30% more likely to want to clean the classroom. The children weren’t interested in cleaning but wanted to be known as “helpers.”


Berger calls the reframing of the question as turning actions into identities.

"It comes down to the difference between actions and identities. We all want to see ourselves as smart and competent and intelligent in a variety of different things,” Berger told Big Think. “But rather than describing someone as hardworking, describing them as a hard worker will make that trait seem more persistent and more likely to last. Rather than asking people to lead more, tell them, 'Can you be a leader?' Rather than asking them to innovate, can you ask them to 'Be an innovator'? By turning actions into identities, you can make people a lot more likely to engage in those desired actions.”

Berger says that learning to reframe requests to appeal to people’s identities will make you more persuasive.

“Framing actions as opportunities to claim desired identities will make people more likely to do them,” Berger tells CNBC Make It. “If voting becomes an opportunity to show myself and others that I am a voter, I’m more likely to do it.”

This technique doesn’t just work because people want to see themselves in a positive light. It also works for the opposite. People also want to avoid seeing themselves being portrayed negatively.

“Cheating is bad, but being a cheater is worse. Losing is bad, being a loser is worse,” Berger says.

The same tactic can also be used to persuade ourselves to change our self-concept. Saying you like to cook is one thing, but calling yourself a chef is an identity. “I’m a runner. I’m a straight-A student. We tell little kids, ‘You don’t just read, you’re a reader,’” Berger says. “You do these things because that’s the identity you hold.”

Berger’s work shows how important it is to hone our communication skills. By simply changing one word, we can get people to comply with our requests more effectively. But, as Berger says, words are magic and we have to use thgem skillfully. “We think individual words don’t really matter that much. That’s a mistake,” says Berger. “You could have excellent ideas, but excellent ideas aren’t necessarily going to get people to listen to you.”


This article originally appeared on 2.11.24

Pop Culture

A comic about wearing makeup goes from truthful to weird in 4 panels.

A hilariously truthful (and slightly weird) explanation of the "too much makeup" conundrum.

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

A comic shows the evolution or devolution from with makeup to without.

Even though I don't wear very much makeup, every few days or so SOMEONE...

(friends, family, internet strangers)

...will weigh in on why I "don't need makeup."


Now, I realize this is meant as a compliment, but this comic offers a hilariously truthful (and slightly weird) explanation of the "too much makeup" conundrum.

social norms, social pressure, friendship, self esteem

“Why do you wear so much makeup?"

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

passive aggressive, ego, confidence, beauty

“See, you look pretty without all that makeup on."

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

expectations, beauty products, mascara, lipstick

“Wow you look tired, are you sick?"

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

lizards, face-painting, hobbies, hilarious comic

When I shed my human skin...

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

Not everyone is able to turn into a badass lizard when someone asks about their face-painting hobbies. Don't you kinda wish you could? Just to drive this hilarious comic all the way home, here are four reasons why some women* wear makeup:

*Important side note: Anyone can wear makeup. Not just women. True story.

Four reasons some women* wear makeup:

1. Her cat-eye game is on point.

mascara, eyes, confidence

Her cat-eye game is on point.

Via makeupproject.

2. She has acne or acne scars.

acne, cover up, scarring, medical health

She has acne or acne scars.

Via Carly Humbert.

3. Pink lipstick.

lipstick, beauty products, basics, self-expression

Yes, pink lipstick.

Via Destiny Godley

4. She likes wearing makeup.

appearance, enhancement, creative expression

Happy to be going out and feeling good.

Happy Going Out GIF by Much.

While some people may think putting on makeup is a chore, it can be really fun! For some, makeup is an outlet for creativity and self-expression. For others, it's just a way to feel good about themselves and/or enhance their favorite features.

That's why it feels kinda icky when someone says something along the lines of "You don't need so much makeup!" Now, it's arguable that no one "needs" makeup, but everyone deserves to feel good about the way they look.

For some people, feeling good about their appearance includes wearing makeup. And that's totally OK.


This article originally appeared on 05.28.15

Joy

Adorable 'Haka baby' dance offers a sweet window into Maori culture

Stop what you're doing and let this awesomeness wash over you.

If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

The Maori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and their language and customs are an integral part of the island nation. One of the most recognizable Maori traditions outside of New Zealand is the haka, a ceremonial dance or challenge usually performed in a group. The haka represents the pride, strength, and unity of a tribe and is characterized by foot-stamping, body slapping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic chanting.

Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.



The intensity of the haka is the point. It is meant to be a show of strength and elicit a strong response—which makes seeing a tiny toddler learning to do it all the more adorable.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

Danny Heke, who goes by @focuswithdan on TikTok, shared a video of a baby learning haka and omigosh it is seriously the most adorable thing. When you see most haka, the dancers aren't smiling—their faces are fierce—so this wee one starting off with an infectious grin is just too much. You can see that he's already getting the moves down, facial expressions and all, though.

@focuswithdan When you grow up learning haka! #haka #teachthemyoung #maori #māori #focuswithdan #fyp #foryou #kapahaka ♬ original sound - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

As cute as this video is, it's part of a larger effort by Heke to use his TikTok channel to share and promote Maori culture. His videos cover everything from the Te Reo Maori language to traditional practices to issues of prejudice Maori people face.

Here he briefly goes over the different body parts that make up haka:

@focuswithdan

♬ Ngati - Just2maori

This video explains the purerehua, or bullroarer, which is a Maori instrument that is sometimes used to call rains during a drought.

@focuswithdan Reply to @illumi.is.naughty Some tribes used this to call the rains during drought 🌧 ⛈ #maori #māori #focuswithdan #fyp ♬ Pūrerehua - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

This one shares a demonstration and explanation of the taiaha, a traditional Maori weapon.

@focuswithdan Reply to @shauncalvert Taiaha, one of the most formidable of the Māori Weaponry #taiaha #maori #māori #focuswithdan #fyp #foryou ♬ original sound - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

For another taste of haka, check out this video from a school graduation:

@focuswithdan When your little cuzzy graduates and her school honours her with a haka #maori #māori #haka #focuswithdan #fyp #graduation @its_keshamarley ♬ Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngāti Ruanui - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

Heke even has some fun with the trolls and racists in the comments who try to tell him his culture is dead (what?).

@focuswithdan Credit to you all my AMAZING FOLLOWERS! #focuswithdan #maori #māori #followers #fyp #trolls ♬ original sound - sounds for slomo_bro!

Unfortunately, it's not just ignorant commenters who spew racist bile. A radio interview clip that aired recently called Maori people "genetically predisposed to crime, alcohol, and underperformance," among other terrible things. (The host, a former mayor of Auckland, has been let go for going along with and contributing to the caller's racist narrative.)

@focuswithdan #newzealand radio in 2021 delivering racist commentaries 🤦🏽‍♂️ #māori #maori #focuswithdan #racism DC: @call.me.lettie2.0 ♬ original sound - luna the unicow

That clip highlights why what Heke is sharing is so important. The whole world is enriched when Indigenous people like the Maori have their voices heard and their culture celebrated. The more we learn from each other and our diverse ways of life, the more enjoyable life on Earth will be and the better we'll get at collaborating to confront the challenges we all share.


This article originally appeared on 01.28.21