Beyoncé, Please do a Post Babies Photo Shoot


Dear Beyoncé,

Love you, love you, place no one above you. Well, except my family (or at least that is what I tell them). I don’t need to tell you how much your awesomeness radiates throughout the universe. You said it yourself that you “stop the world” and you do. As you did when you released your goddess inspired maternity pictures. The green veil, the flowers, the car, the underwater magic — when in the world has anyone ever done that like that? Never! It might have seemed as if people were hunched over their computers looking at your maternity shoot pictures but really they were reacting out of reflex, bowing down to your greatness. The more and more I read about the intentionality of the shoot, the more and more I am inspired by your ability to weave artistic expression, Afrocentricity and pop culture breaking headline stories together. Each bead, each camera angle, each flower petal of your look serving as a thumbnail to some deep history, a story often told in some spaces and forgotten in others.

We know you deserved that Grammy. What Adele said is what we all would have said if we ever had the honor of your presence bestowed upon us (you also deserved the Oscar for Dreamgirls by the way, but we won’t get into that right now). What I am attempting to articulate is that the winner of the most coveted award in the music industry acknowledging that you were more deserving of the award than she was is just one example of how you can transcend any form that comes your way. That is why I think it would be super awesome if you approached a post-baby body shoot in the same manner that you approached your maternity shoot. Same vulnerability. Same intentionality. Same beauty. Same body, but just in a different form.

Don’t get me wrong, Queen Bey, you don’t owe me anything. You have already awarded me countless nights of pure fun, like lying to DJ’s that it’s my friend’s birthday just so they would play “Get Me Bodied” one more ‘gain. You have shared with us some of your most intimate life moments. You’ve pushed your artistry and donated to charities, you have lent your voice to movements and have marched in city streets. Most importantly, you created the soundtrack for my adolescent and adult life. I remember studying for AP Biology in my friend Anya P’s bedroom while listening to The Writings on the Wall, belting out: “I’m doing so, so, so good, good, good, good” until my voice was hoarse. I sang “End of Time” to my son when he was an infant to calm him down when he had his daily fits. When parenting got a bit stressful I would get in my car and play “Mine”, trying not to blow out my speakers with the bass turned up high. I was in my kitchen when I first found out about the video for “Formation”. I never finished the dishes that day, I couldn’t stop watching the video. First the Superbowl, then seeing you perform it live at Levi’s Stadium a few months after, was truly a powerful experience. I don’t think I have ever stepped foot on an elliptical or ran a single mile in the past ten years without your voice in my ear pushing me and inspiring me to keep going. When I want to stop I think, “would Beyoncé stop?” And of course, I am not alone. There isn’t a single friend that I consider near and dear that does not feel the same way as I do. Your music is EVERYTHING.

However, there was a time when I felt really frustrated with you. It was after I had my second child and my baby weight had not melted off of me like it had with my first child. I felt like a freak of nature searching for affirmation. While I do remember listening to “Blow” and “XO” during this time, I also remember thinking, “did Beyoncé go through this with Blue?” I know you had a full staff of people to support you through your postpartum transition, but did your boobs sag a centimeter at least? Did you have a single stretch mark? Did you have a pooch? Was there any extra skin that took a little while to regain elasticity? Is the only part of your body that bears any evidence of you having a child your uterus? Ok, I’ll stop. I don’t mean to get all up in your uterus. I have since realized that just like every baby is different, every post-baby body is different. I’m not emo about my body anymore and your body is none of my business. I just think it would be hella dope if you had an out of this world postpartum photo shoot. It could be on the moon, it could have Aida theme or it could be in your bathroom. I’ll let you and your people figure all of that out. You are Beyoncé. Really all you would have to do is roll up like ‘this is what I effing look like after having some twins’. Soak up my femininity. Embrace my feminism. This is motherhood unfiltered. Smell the sweet nectar of my honey breast milk. And yes, I woke up like this because I sleep when they sleep and they wake up every 2-4 hours.

So, in closing, I just want to say that I know this extremely intrusive request is far fetched and probably will never happen but whatever you do, just know that as a fan I will always love you, flaws and all.



When the Bough Breaks

As Postpartum Depression Awareness Month comes to an end but the condition of Postpartum Depression continues, I want to bring attention to a film that was recently released on Netflix and iTunes about PPD, When the Bough Breaks. When the Bough Breaks is a film that tells the story of women who suffered and continue to suffer from PPD. It also provides solutions in terms of how mamas can be helped before they get to the point of suicide or infanticide.

It isn’t a feel good movie but every adult who is interested in having children should watch it. PPD will be less harmful the more people know about it.

Here is the trailer for the film:

So Let’s Address Those “Mommy Makeover” Plastic Surgery Billboards


So there are these billboards that have been popping up in my area advertising plastic surgery services. At first I didn’t pay much attention to them, you know, to each their own. Admittedly, when I was younger I imagined getting a little nip tuck here or there if something got too loose. However, when I noticed that right under “breast augmentation” was “mommy makeover” I was immediately bewildered. Mommy makeover? I thought having a child was my mommy makeover.

Through creating and building MyPostBabyBody I have been able to unlearn the negative body expectations that women face and recalibrate my own perceptions of beauty. I have gone from wondering how to make the excess skin that hangs from my belly like a chandelier go away. To wondering why my chandelier belly isn’t on the cover of Elle Magazine. Really though, why isn’t it? If every human being on this planet was birthed by a woman, and a significant number of women have residual evidence of said birth, then why hasn’t the post baby body been normalized in our society? I mean beyond the idea that you either “snap back” or pose strategically behind your children in pictures to hide your “baby weight”.


Here it is!

Which brings me back to the mommy makeover billboards that are proliferating in the San Francisco Bay Area where I live. I am appalled by their assertion that my body needs to be made over because I performed the miraculous feat of staying off wine and soft cheeses (I love cheese by the way) for nine plus months, carrying an extra 30+ pounds, stretching to accommodate an entire human being in my uterus only to push that human being out of my vagina after hours of delirious pain. Not to mention, the lifetime that follows of having to actually raise that human being so that he can become a functional and conscious adult who resists society’s oppressive messaging that is constantly deeming his beauty unacceptable. You know, nothing major.

I should also mention that I have no issue with mothers who go under the knife. It is the overarching negative post baby body sentiment that the billboards represent that I have beef with. Nevertheless, I probably shouldn’t take those billboards so personally. After all, they are not advertising to public school teachers such as myself. Those plastic surgeons know that I cannot afford their services although, I hear they do offer layaway these days. In all seriousness, they are advertising to the people merely driving through my town, Oakland, to get to San Francisco. Talk about adding insult to energy. I have a billboard in my community that is telling me that my miraculous stretch-marked-flabby-child-producing body needs to get made over but I am not even the billboard’s intended audience. 

Nevertheless, I am just going to use my feelings of frustration from those somewhat misguided billboard’s messaging to fuel my work. The work of reminding women that while physical makeovers can be empowering, mental makeovers are essential- not just for our own well-being but for our children’s. We don’t necessarily need plastic surgeons to make us over, we need to embrace and be loved for the mommy makeovers our children gave us through pregnancy and childbirth. That is the message that should be sprawled on billboards. That is the message that mommies need no matter where they are on their post baby body journey.