Ashley Graham Wants People to Talk About the "Messy Parts" of Postpartum Recovery
The new mom shared a raw photo of herself to address the controversial Frida Mom commercial that was banned from Oscars airtime over the weekend.
For women who are pregnant, there's a massive amount of info out there about what's happening to your body (and baby) as your belly grows. From books and classes to articles and social media testimonials, there's no shortage of knowledge to help women prepare for pregnancy and motherhood. In comparison, little is said about the postpartum period that follows childbirth. It's a time full of serious challenges that are often kept behind closed doors. But Ashley Graham is hoping to change that.
In a raw Instagram post, Graham—who gave birth to her first child, Isaac Menelik Giovanni Ervin, in January—addressed first-time moms directly, sharing her own postpartum experience thus far.
"Raise your hand if you didn't know you'd be changing your own diapers too," the new mom wrote alongside a mirror selfie, wearing nothing but a black tank top and gray Frida Mom Disposable Postpartum Underwear (Buy It, $15, amazon.com). "After all these years in fashion I never could've guessed that disposable underwear would be my favorite piece of clothing but here we are," she added. (Related: Amy Schumer Just Gave a Hilarious and Thought-Provoking Update On Her Pregnancy)
Graham's goal behind sharing this authentic photo was to show not only new moms but people everywhere that the postpartum period is "not all rainbows and butterflies," she wrote.
"No one talks about the recovery and healing (yes even the messy parts) new moms go through," shared Graham. "It's been tough."
Graham ended her post by thanking Chelsea Hirschhorn, the CEO of postpartum recovery brand Frida Mom, for "making waves and starting honest conversations" about what post-childbirth experiences can really look like. "It's unbelievable the obstacles we still face talking about what women really go through," wrote Graham, adding that Frida Mom's products have been "a lifesaver" for her since giving birth. (Related: This Influencer Is Keeping It Real About Stepping Into a Fitting Room After Having a Baby)
If you're not familiar with Frida Mom, the company creates products geared toward women's postpartum needs. It's the same company whose ad was recently rejected by the Oscars for being "too graphic". The commercial itself shows a new mom in her bathroom dealing with the aftermath of childbirth. Take a look:
Even though the commercial was banned from Oscars airtime, many people rallied to defend Frida Mom, including actress Busy Philipps. "I legit teared up when I just watched it," Philipps wrote on Instagram. "Partially because this is clearly an ad made by women who have been there and get it and partially because I DO believe so strongly that the more we can NORMALIZE A WOMAN'S BODILY EXPERIENCE IN MEDIA, the better off our culture and society will be. AND YES THAT MEANS ADS TOO." (Related: Busy Philipps Has Some Pretty Epic Things to Say About Changing the World)
When Shape shared an Instagram post about the commercial being banned, several influencers showed their support for Frida Mom as well. "THANK YOU for sharing this," CrossFit star, Christmas Abbott wrote in the comments section. "I will be reposting with the commercial as well. More mom love and less shame!! Our bodies are so incredibly strong and beautiful [during] this time."
"Great commercial," added personal trainer Lysabeth Lopez. "[It's] so crazy how brainwashed we are that this isn't okay to be shown on TV, but guns and violence [are] normal and accepted. We're so backward. Good job for sharing this and getting a conversation started."
Frida Mom has since addressed the public reaction to its ad; a recent Instagram post on the brand's page says the company is "disappointed but not deterred" by the controversy. In fact, several new moms have reached out to Frida Mom CEO, Chelsea Hirschhorn via Instagram DM to share their appreciation for the company's honest portrayal of the postpartum period, as well as the brand's helpful products. "I bought the Frida Mom kit this time around and their products are amazing," wrote one mom, according to Hirschhorn's Instagram Stories. "I have been so impressed by the whole kit and how much better I feel. I wish I had this after my last two births." (Related: Kayla Itsines Shared Her First Postpartum Recovery Photo with a Powerful Message)
Another mom was inspired to reach out to Hirschhorn after seeing Graham's post: "I came across your page via Ashley's feed and it's 4 a.m. where I am," the mom wrote via DM, according to Hirschhorn's Instagram Stories. "I'm breastfeeding my baby and almost in tears because I wish I had come across your products before I had him." (Related: Everything You Should Know About Postpartum Weight Loss)
Frida Mom may not have gotten the spotlight at the Oscars, but if the company's goal is to normalize the postpartum experience and help women navigate life as new moms, it's safe to say the brand is totally succeeding.