About two months after giving birth to her first child, Amari, with husband Billy Crawford, Coleen Garcia showed her postpartum body (abs in sight) to the world, and the response was mixed.
In the photo, the new mom posted a mirror selfie showcasing her sculpted tummy in high-waisted leggings and a sports bra, as if she didn’t give birth recently. “Doing things 30 min at a time while keeping my eyes glued to the baby monitor—all part of my new normal,” she wrote in the caption. The post earned likes and praises, but there were those who wanted to remind other mothers that postpartum does not always look like that.
And it’s 100% true. Garcia doesn’t believe that young mothers should be fascinated with “bouncing back” after pregnancy. “We should be more focused on moving forward,” the Neutrogena ambassador told PhilSTAR L!fe. “Everyone’s body is different. We’re all built differently, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that,” she added.
Postpartum bodies look different for every person, and for her, we should stop keeping up with society’s standards of beauty. “Be careful with what you believe, be careful with what influences you, and be careful not to lose yourself.” Garcia said, “At the end of the day, everyone is imperfect, everyone is flawed, but not everyone shows it.”
“Even the people you look up to most have their own insecurities. It’s hard to take that away from anyone, but it’s part of what makes us human. Work on embracing even the parts of you that you find hardest to love, because no one else can replace the love that we are meant to give to ourselves,” the 28-year-old mother added.
Work on embracing even the parts of you that you find hardest to love, because no one else can replace the love that we are meant to give to ourselves.
Garcia admits that her body is “still so far from where it used to be,” and that she doesn’t “feel very fit just yet,” but the new mom to Amari is not rushing to have her old physique either. “I’d love it if I could still look my best, but I don’t pressure myself or stress out over it. I don’t push to the point wherein I feel weak and tired, because that’s just counterproductive.”
One beautiful realization she discovered post-pregnancy though was to appreciate her body for what it is, saying, “It made me realize that the way I used to see my own body was so superficial compared to its actual function, what it’s designed for and capable of doing.” She added that her stretch marks and saggy skin post-pregnancy is “a small price to pay” for bringing a beautiful life into this world. “That is where I find my worth and meaning now.”
As a mother and a public figure, Garcia now understands how others may have seen her post in a different way. “I have no ill intentions, but I do understand that there is a certain responsibility that comes with the platform I have,” she said. “I’m here to say, yes it is possible to make progress, [but] it’s also possible to not be exactly where you want to be and still love the skin you are in. Happiness and contentment are always found right where you are, not where you want to be,” the ambassadress said.
Yes it is possible to make progress, it’s also possible to not be exactly where you want to be and still love the skin you are in. Happiness and contentment are always found right where you are, not where you want to be.
She advises new moms like her that they are more than their looks, “So so much more.” She added, “Don’t ever let anyone have you believe that you are required to be ‘more’ than what you already are. You are not just enough, you are amazing, strong, capable, and blessed. Go for your goals, but don’t forget to give yourself grace. One step at a time!”
Special thanks to Neutrogena and Cathy de Asis of Ogilvy