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Around the world, there seems to be this weird obsession with women and their post-birth bodies. In the era of social media, where there is a lot of interest and transparency around celeb pregnancies, celebrity mothers are expected to make a striking comeback soon after welcoming their babies.

But Gwyneth Paltrow does not understand or condone this culture. The Iron Man actor recently spoke her mind on this and did not hold back, starting with her own difficult pregnancies.

During an interview with actor Dax Shepard for his Armchair Expert podcast, Paltrow said she had to have an “emergency caesarean section” and “almost died” while giving birth to her first child Apple, whom she shares with ex-husband Chris Martin.

The Goop creator, 49, also talked about the scars left behind by the surgeries for both her pregnancies. “I had two caesareans… My daughter was an emergency. It was crazy, we almost died. It was, like, not good,” she was quoted as saying.

The actor continued, saying, “Anyway, there’s a big scar across your body and you’re like, ‘Oh wow, that didn’t used to be there’. And it’s not that it’s bad, or you want to judge it, but you’re just like, ‘Oh my god’.”

Paltrow is mother to 17-year-old Apple and 15-year-old Moses, whom she shares with the Coldplay frontman.

Somewhere else in the podcast, as mentioned in an Independent report, she also criticised the toxic social media culture that burdens new moms with the task of bouncing back and looking like their bodies have not changed at all.

“Thank god there wasn’t Instagram when I had babies, because now it’s like if I see someone, ‘Oh, I just gave birth two weeks ago and I have a completely washboard stomach’, and I’m like, ‘Wow, that’s not what I [looked like]’,” Paltrow said, calling out the unrealistic expectations.

“And like great, more power to the lady with the washboard [stomach], but that is totally the exception. Now we’re being fed all of these other images of what we’re supposed to look like all the time, babies, no babies, whatever. I think women really need to be friends with each other, and all that judgement around how you have a baby, do you breastfeed, this that, are you going to work, are you not going to work? Guess what, whatever it is, it’s okay. I feel like we also have this weird thing around, it’s past perfectionism, it’s like I can do this gargantuan task that’s superhuman and why? For what?” she continued.

In the recent past, many celeb moms have opened up on unrealistic expectations of them, on ‘looking great’, ‘losing weight’, right after giving birth. Actor Kareena Kapoor Khan, who likes to keep it real on social media, had spoken her mind during an Instagram live session earlier this year, to launch her book, wherein she had said that it takes nine months for a woman to grow a human being insider her body, during which it goes through many changes. So, it is all right for them to take care of themselves and take their time to get back in shape.

Sameera Reddy, too, has condemned this culture time and again. The actor, who unabashedly shares her physical and emotional struggles on social media, had previously asked expectant mothers to enjoy the journey, as opposed to thinking about all the weight gain and the bodily changes.

In fact, she had also shared a real take of what it looked like for her, when she delivered her babies, and how all that weight gain had initially affected her. “But 9 months later, I weighed 105 kgs. And even as I held my gorgeous son in hand, it was as if I had no reason to be happy. I slipped into postpartum depression,” she had said.

Later, when she decided to join social media, she thought she “wouldn’t live a lie just to build my follower base”. Her social media posts are proof of all the raw and relatable struggles that many new moms face.

Big power to all the amazing mothers out there, and to those who choose to speak out and denounce the toxic and superficial social media culture.

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By William Regal

Used to think I was a tad indecisive, but now I’m not quite sure.

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