#WomenCrushWednesday~ BOSSMOM Shah

Women crush everyday of the week! To honor and share stories of women who are crushing it either on the body front or the mama front, I am featuring short interviews of women who are crushing it, hence the title #WomenCrushWednesday. So without further ado, let me introduce you to the other half of the founding pair of the awesome mom empowerment brand, BOSSMOM NATION, Shah!

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How has your view of your body evolved over the years?

Hmm…such a good question that most women, I’m sure, never really think about. For me, I didn’t start thinking about my body and how to maintain it until I birthed my first child. I mean, of course we all learned the basic hygiene and proper foods to eat  growing up but, REALLY thinking about my body and how I can & need to care for it became clear after motherhood. I now recognize the effort that is required to keep a healthy energized body.
I gave birth to my third child 8 months ago, and I can surely recognize the difference in what some of us call the “snapback” the time between post baby and getting “back” to your pre-baby weight. I’m working harder this go around to achieve my fitness goal! As for how I view my body, it’s definitely a work in progress. I choose to be light on myself, not hard. This body has carried, nourished and birthed 3 little humans, I deserve to appreciate my body for all it’s done while at the same time consistently doing more to help it thrive.
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How do you think women should feel about their bodies?
No matter where you are with your body, make a decision now to accept what you can change & make the effort to do so. Also accept what you can’t change, and learn to be okay with that 🙂 Our bodies are AMAZING regardless of their form.
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Why do you do what you do?
Because I LOVE it! Sounds cliche’ to some, but it’s my truth. I love building community, supporting women, especially mothers and women who aspire to be. BOSSMOM NATION is a force, a force that is growing and inspiring women on a daily. Motherhood is life changing and I enjoy being able to share stories, learn, and  grow with a NATION full of supportive passionate mothers like me.
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Mother’s Day Reflections- Why I am so Committed to the Post Baby Body Movement

 

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Dress by Jeaja

I consider myself an activist. I have dedicated my life to working towards a more liberatory society. I’m by no means an expert of all of the global issues that are oppressing too many people and animals on our earth but I am aware of how racism, classism, sexism and many other oppressive structures have impacted my life.

With all the pain and oppression going on in the world, I often wonder if I should be dedicating my time to a more “worthy” cause than mypostbabybody. I think about it often actually. My dedication to mypostbabybody however was affirmed the other evening while I was discussing Malcom X’s “The Ballot or the Bullet” among social justice oriented educators. The conversation brought us to the necessity of self love and care in any social movement. While I didn’t say much, I agreed wholeheartedly. That is why I do what I do. Not because I enjoy sharing my scantily-clad-postbabybody to the world but because I love to promote self-love. After all, who is more worthy of self-love than mothers?

Me and the mothers who participate in the mypostbabybody project are performing a revolutionary act every time we step in front of the photographer’s lense, and every time we write our postbabybody story. We are providing narratives and images of mothers that counter media’s portrayals of snapbacks and rapid slim downs. We are providing a glimpse into the matrix of motherhood that includes stretch marks, belly flab, extra skin,IMG_8596 cesarean scars, fat and bodies not as manicured as before. Some mama’s bodies aren’t changed much by motherhood but they still have a story and we share those too. We are fighting capitalistic ideals that women have to pay to be happy with our bodies. We are fighting sexist ideals that women have to be everything and maintain an unnatural youthful appearance in order to be desirable. We are fighting racism in that we provide images and stories predominantly of women of color who are often assumed to not have body image issues because our cultures have different standards of beauty.

So while our focus isn’t to end the police violence that occurs in our communities, stronger restrictions on greenhouse gasses, or to fight for equal pay for women, our work is related to these causes- promoting self-love so that women can be happy and confident within these movements- spending less energy worrying about how to get back to their pre-baby appearance and more energy loving their children, teaching them to love themselves by example and doing whatever work they deem relevant and vital to this world.

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I love what we do and am excited to continue introducing you all to mypostbabybody mamas! Over the next few weeks I get the pleasure of introducing you to these amazing mamas on the My Post Baby Body Mommies page. So please check back to discover their stories.

Thank you and Happy Mother’s Day to the mothers here with us and to the mothers who live in our hearts and in everything that we do.  

Photo credit (blue pics)- J and L Photography

Photo Credit (three women pic)- Del Rio Photography

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#WomenCrushWednesday ~ Kaliyah

Women crush everyday of the week! To honor and share stories of women who are crushing it either on the body front or the mama front, I am featuring short interviews of women who are crushing it, hence the title #WomenCrushWednesday. This #WomenCrushWednesday woman is very close to my heart. I had the honor of being her advisor/teacher last year and found myself in awe of her style and presence on a daily basis. For her Senior Thesis Project she produced a body positive baby clothing line which was sold in stores. She also donated half of her inventory to a high school for teen mothers. Isn’t she just amazing?! So without further ado, I present to you, fashion designer, Kaliyah!

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How has your view of your body evolved over the years?

As a young women, I am still learning and growing. Over time I have grown to love, appreciate and take care of my body. I used to think that only skinny girls are healthy and have the perfect bodies. I used to compare myself to those girls. I had family members suggest that I go on a diet in elementary school. To them it may have seemed harmless but it had deeply affected the way I viewed myself to other women. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to the realization that healthy comes in all sizes and shapes. My view of a perfect body is whatever makes someone feel confident. Since I strongly believe in mothers playing a role in developing a child’s self esteem and body image, I began to observe how my mom perceived herself. I realized that she’s confident about herself so I should be too!  Screenshot_2015-05-20-20-11-20-1

How do you think women should feel about their bodies?

Women should feel genuinely happy and confident about their bodies. Every women  should feel good about themselves. If it is a makeover or a wardrobe change that  helps them feel more confident then it should be done.

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Why do you do what you do?

I do what I do because I genuinely care about the self esteem of  women, especially young women. I wanted to do a clothing line  focused on making baby gowns that promote positive body image slogans. I believe that mothers play an important role in developing a child’s self esteem. Often times after a mother has a baby she feels uncomfortable and not confident about her body.I wanted to create “Welcome to the World” (my baby clothing line) to help combat negative stereotypes and misconceptions of perfect bodies. I wanted to remind women through their babies that they are beautiful, appreciated and loved. I chose 3 catchy slogans for the gowns : “That’s not baby fat, It’s warrior skin”, “My mom has 99 problems but her body ain’t 1”, and “Fluffy moms do it best”. I do what I do because I am passionate about fashion and changing the way all women are perceived. I want to be a positive leader in this world and this is a small step.  

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Kaliyah currently attends the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, CA. She is a bit too busy to continue her Welcome to the World fashion line at this time but with summer coming up may be able to make something happen. If you are interested in purchasing one of her baby gowns please leave your request in the comments section or email me at urbanteachermama@gmail.com. Happy #WomenCrushWednesday!