Real & Raw // "Celebrating all Bodies" by Brenda Stearns

What advice would you give someone who is struggling with their body image?

Your body is amazing.

Your body is beautiful.

Your body is powerful.

Your body is strong.

Your body is capable.

Your body made you a mother.

Your body grew a human inside. 

Not everybody has that privilege.


How did people react when you started being more open and vulnerable about your post partum body?

I get it all! Hate messages, trolls, comments saying my body is disgusting or ugly. 
While society wants to sit behind a screen and label us as flawed, I am here to remind all of us that to our children we are perfect. They see behind the stretched out skin, marks, and lines. They see us for who we truly are. They know our hearts and love us unconditionally. And that is all that matters. 💗
And for every negative comment I receive, there are hundred positive ones! In the end those trolls didn’t nothing but to fuel my desire to keep normalizing the beauty of the postpartum body!
How has you life changed since having kids??
Tremendously!! I never sleep haha! 
Life is beautiful and chaotic, and crazy, and loud, but full of love. 
My kids have helped me realize that it doesn’t matter what my body looks like, they see me for who I am inside. They make me a better person.
Did your body make different changes with your different kids?
Each pregnancy was different and so was every birth. With my first baby I ended up with an emergency cesarean which left a huge scar on my lower abdomen. I didn’t like my body, my breasts grew three times larger and leaked all the time, I had stretch marks on my sides, my belly flopped, and I just did not feel beautiful. With each pregnancy and birth came more changes. 
It’s impressive how much my body has gone through. But it’s also changed in other ways, my body now is stronger, I have a higher tolerance for physical pain, my body loves deeper, my body can hold five babies, this body is capable of loving so much more than that pre pregnancy one.  
It wasn’t until the birth of my fifth child that I gained confidence to love myself. It took me five pregnancies, two cesarean births, three unmedicated vbacs, and five beautiful healthy children to realize the depth of strength and beauty that my body has.
I have physical goals I want to reach. I want to be healthy and strong and stay active throughout my days. I have my moments when I feel “ugly” and I usually snap out when I remind myself how far I’ve come. When I stop and think of what my body has done for me, I change the focus and start thanking my body, I take time for myself and slow down. I am able to appreciate myself better. 
How do you show your children, especially your girls to be body positive?
I focus on the inward and not the outward. I don’t compliment looks. I praise character traits. I tell them they’re strong, and smart. I tell them they’re beautiful because of what’s in their hearts. 
Often when out in public they notice people look different and I always say to them “aren’t they beautiful?” Or “isn’t that beautiful?” I want them to know that “different” isn’t a bad thing. “Different” is what makes our world beautiful.
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