Posts Tagged ‘ Maternity Photography ’

How a Plus-Size Mom-to-Be Fought Back Against Body Shaming

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Honest Body Project maternity shoot

Florida mom-to-be Brittany Dykstra took to the beach in a strapless flowy black dress for that pregnancy rite of passage: a photo session of the baby bump. She shared the resulting images on Facebook and looked forward to friendly feedback from loved ones.

Instead, what she got was a lot of hate and hurtful comments. The 25-year-old plus-sized mom-to-be was ruthlessly body shamed on social media, with commenters saying that she’s unhealthy or endangering the baby, or that maternity photos are only for skinny women.

Related: Celebs Who Were Body Shamed During Pregnancy

After sitting with her deeply hurt feelings for long enough, Dkystra decided to seize her strength and respond to the haters. She joined forces with photographer Natalie McCain, whose Honest Body Project is meant to champion women in their bodies of all kinds. The two found each other after McCain reached out to a local mothers group asking for plus-size mamas to take part in her maternity series “because it was very important to me that I included all body types in the series,” McCain told “Pregnancy is beautiful, no matter what size or shape you are! Brittany responded and I was very touched when she shared her story.”

In the new set of photos, an empowered Dykstra appears in just black lingerie, cradling her bump, showing off stretch marks and all.

McCain posted a black-and-white image from this new set of images to Facebook, and it quickly went viral—which we can all only hope serves to silence some critics who would body shame a pregnant woman (or any woman!).

It turns out Dykstra’s pregnancy has actually been pretty brutal: She’d had a recent miscarriage, barely finished grieving, was shocked but excited to find out she was quickly pregnant again—and then got slammed with debilitating hyperemesis grandvum that casued her to vomit 30 times daily. Through McCain’s website and high-profile social media, Dykstra’s been able to tell more of her story.

“I’m 35 weeks pregnant and just last week I had maternity pictures taken to celebrate this horrible, but beautiful pregnancy. For the first time in about 35 weeks I felt beautiful, and was so excited to share this moment with my friends and family. Later that day we got the sneak peak pictures back and I posted them on Facebook thinking my friends and family would think I was beautiful and would love them, however that wasn’t the case. All I received were negative comments about how huge I am, about how unhealthy I am, and about how they think my baby is going to be a 10 to 12 pound baby by the looks of how much I weigh. I literally went in the bathroom and cried for hours. It’s so hard being plus size, pregnant, sick, and getting negative comments about the way I look. If I’m happy and accepting of my body, why can’t everyone else just be happy for me?!”

That’s a darn good question. Of course, McCain, whose photography project is all about celebrating women’s bodies and strength, asks the same one.

“It is such a heartbreaking thing to go through body shaming, especially during pregnancy when you are supposed to feel most beautiful,” McCain told us. “I love maternity photography because it is such an important time in every mothers life to capture on film. I wanted to share that all women should feel comfortable and confident in their skin, even during pregnancy!”

The good news is, response to McCain’s photo series depicting Dykstra and other pregnant women suggests there are tons more people out there who love and embrace the miracle of pregnant bodies than who disparage it.

“The feedback to the maternity series and the project in general has been amazing,” McCain told us. “I hope the project will continue to grow and help mothers everywhere feel more confident and comfortable in their skin. I hope that this love for your body during pregnancy will carry over to postpartum as well.”

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Alesandra Dubin is a mom to one-year-old boy-girl twins. She’s also a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of lifestyle blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.

Fun Ways to Flaunt Your Bump
Fun Ways to Flaunt Your Bump
Fun Ways to Flaunt Your Bump

Photo: Courtesy of Natalie McCain and the Honest Body Project

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Can Cute Baby Bump Selfies Send a Critical Health Message?

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

In the social media age, baby bump selfies reign as like-bait of the highest order. (Just ask celebrity fans of the format, like Tila Tequila.) It’s also a fun and proud way to document a burgeoning belly from announcement through delivery. (That’s me in the mirror, snapping a selfie ahead of my maternity shoot!)

In a new PSA, the March of Dimes is seizing on the popularity of the bump selfie trend to communicate its message about the importance of carrying pregnancies to full term whenever possible. The 30-second ad shows a slideshow of cute snaps women took of their profiles, from the early stages of barely-there bump to the large-and-in-charge last trimester—and then beyond, with a few shots at the end capturing new babies and moms together.

Meanwhile, a voiceover narrator says, “We understand your pregnancy is a beautiful thing and it gets more beautiful the longer you go. If your pregnancy is healthy, don’t schedule your delivery until 39 weeks. Or wait for labor to begin on its own. Healthy babies are worth the wait.”

The March of Dimes gathered the photos from among those taken by the 87,000 women who have downloaded the group’s CineMama app, which lets moms-to-be create a video diary of their pregnancies (and get health info too). CineMama is part of the March of Dimes “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait” awareness and education campaign underscoring the value in going to full term whenever not medically necessary to deliver earlier.

The campaign aims to educate women that full-term pregnancy is healthy for baby’s brain development (a baby’s brain at 35 weeks weighs only two-thirds of what it will weigh at 39 to 40 weeks, according to the group), and general overall health outcomes.

I’m loving the sweet, personal new PSA—and I learned something from watching it. How about you?

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Pregnancy Month by Month:  Preparing for Labor
Pregnancy Month by Month:  Preparing for Labor
Pregnancy Month by Month: Preparing for Labor

Image courtesy of Alesandra Dubin

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Would You Post a Topless Bump Selfie Online Like This Celeb?

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Reality star Tila Tequila is four-months pregnant, and she’s hardly been shy about sharing every detail of her pregnancy on social media since making the announcement—an approach pretty much in keeping with the way she’s always behaved.

This week, she posted a topless pregnancy photo to her Facebook page, with the caption: “A pregnant woman’s body is a beautiful thing! You should never be ashamed of such a blessing! I’m just here working in my office on my new website, and my jean shorts busted open since I’m now growing at a rapid rate! Lol!”

Let it be said that Tila’s bump selfie shows hardly more than many other celebs’ every-day paparazzi fare. (Did you catch what Kim Kardashian wore to push a stroller in public yesterday, for instance?)

But I don’t mind saying that “shame” about my pregnant body is not the thing keeping me from posting semi-nude pregnancy pictures to Facebook. Words like discretion, professionalism, humility, maturity, and general common sense come to mind.

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Nude Pregnancy Pictures: Trashy or Classy?

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Boudoir PhotographyNude photo shoots aren’t just for Playboy Bunnies anymore! More and more women are baring all while pregnant in boudoir-style photo shoots. And not just celebrities like Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson and Mariah Carey (who were all inspired by Demi Moore)—regular pregnant women like you are taking nude pregnancy pictures.

Some take naked pictures to preserve how beautiful pregnancy is. You have that natural “pregnancy glow,” making your skin look fabulous, and oxytocin, the natural feel-good drug, is pumping through you, making you happy 24/7 (even when your body is aching, heaving, or any number of other bad stuff!). Your body, and life, are both going through one of the largest transformations you will ever undertake. Why not capture the moment, and celebrate it?

Others do these risqué shoots to feel sexy at a time when their self-esteems could use a much-needed boost. Yes, even your fattest of jeans are too small right now. Yes, you can’t even reach your shoe strings let alone stand the thought of wearing a G-string (granny panties, anyone?). But, no, that doesn’t mean you aren’t attractive! The proof is in the photographer’s proofs. Embrace your newfound curves, and capture a priceless keepsake for you and your honey.

Or not. While many women are lining up to get their nude pregnancy pictures taken, there are still a lot of ladies who think the whole idea is just plain obscene, or downright embarrassing for their future children—another pic that will end up on Awkward Family Photos, right? And getting all dolled up in between Braxton Hicks contractions and putting on nothing but a smile for the cameras (which supposedly add another 10 pounds) is the last thing on earth you’d want to do when you already don’t feel comfortable in your very-stretched skin.

So the question is: Are nude pregnancy pics cheap and trashy or sweet and classy? And only you can answer that question for yourself.

TELL US: Will you be stripping down for a nude pregnancy photo shoot? Why or why not?

Image of pregnant woman courtesy of Shutterstock.

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