#WomenCrushWednesday~Paulette Leaphart: A Mama With a Mission


This #WomenCrushWednesday is a little different. I haven’t met this woman and she hasn’t answered the three questions I generally pose, but she is crushing it nevertheless and so I have to give her a shoutout! You may have heard of Paulette Leaphart by now. She was featured in Beyonce’s “Lemonade” video album, has been on multiple news broadcasts and also has her own documentary, “Scar Story”. For those of you who aren’t as familiar with her story, she is a mother and breast cancer survivor who is walking 1,000 miles to Washington D.C. to demand a cure for cancer and an improved healthcare system.


I have a deep admiration for this mama because she represents the epitome of strength, resilience and activism. Before even being diagnosed with breast cancer she was a determined mama who not only raised and cared for her own children but raised multiple foster youth as well. Now, having survived breast cancer and finding herself homeless as a result of paying for her cancer treatment, she is walking topless to Washington D.C. to push for systemic change. I don’t have the resources and ability to meet her this Saturday, June 25th but if you do, I encourage you stand with this woman. She already survived breast cancer, she is walking, fighting and sharing the most vulnerable part of herself to the world so that all of us can have a better chance of being cancer free.

With that said, thank you mama Leaphart. I am inspired and in awe of you! You are a MyPostBabyBody shero! I could go on and on but I’ll close by simply saying, “You slay!”.

Here is her story in her own words:

Father’s Day Reflections: 3 Examples of Father’s Appreciating the Post Baby Body


I was watching E! Network’s “Botched” the other night (the only plastic surgery show that I watch) and at the end, the husband of the woman who received the plastic surgery said, “I love the way she looks. I have always loved the way that she looks. I just hope she is happier with her appearance now.” That statement sounded really familiar to me and I realized that statement is often said on “Botched” and other makeover shows and for the most part, the men sound sincere. There is a similar sentiment that I found amongst the My Post Baby Body mama’s partners. The partners I have met are supportive of their spouses and genuinely seem to appreciate their post baby bodies. So, to honor Father’s Day I have decided to acknowledge the examples set by these magnificent men and other men who are champions for the post baby body.

Example #1: Plies

Plies is a Florida born rapper known for his gold grill, misogyny and a few hits from the mid 2000’s. Nevertheless, he has 3.9million followers on Instagram and posted this last April:


While this post may be where my appreciation for Plies starts and stops, I do want to salute him for praising the post baby body and opening a dialogue with men about how they view post baby bodies. His post garnered 10k comments and although, I could not sift through all of them, I can say that generally women felt affirmed by Plies’ post and a significant amount of men agreed with him-even giving special shout outs to the mother of their children, appreciating their post baby bodies. I found the shout outs especially sweet :).

Example #2: Anonymous Texas Husband

This husband who shall remain anonymous had some helpful feedback for Victoria Halton of Victoria Caroline Photography in San Antonio, Texas, after he received very edited boudoir photos of his wife. She posted his letter to Facebook and this is what he had to say:

“Hi Victoria,


I am (blank)’s husband, ********. I am writing to you because I recently received an album containing images you took of my wife. I don’t want you to think that I am in any way upset with you….but I have some food for thought that I would like to pass on to you. I have been with my wife since we were 18 years old, and we have two beautiful children together. We have had many ups and downs over the years, and I think…well, actually I KNOW that my wife did these pictures for me to “spice things up”. She sometimes complains that I must not find her attractive, that she wouldn’t blame me if I ever found someone younger. When I opened the album that she gave to me, my heart sank. These pictures…while they are beautiful and you are clearly a very talented photographer….they are not my wife. You made every one of her “flaws” disappear…and while I’m sure this is exactly what she asked you to do, it took away everything that makes up our life. When you took away her stretch marks, you took away the documentation of my children. When you took away her wrinkles, you took away over two decades of our laughter, and our worries. When you took away her cellulite, you took away her love of baking and all the goodies we have eaten over the years. I am not telling you all of this to make you feel horrible, you’re just doing your job and I get that. I am actually writing you to thank you. Seeing these images made me realize that I honestly do not tell my wife enough how much I LOVE her and adore her just as she is. She hears it so seldom, that she actually thought these photoshopped images are what I wanted and needed her to look like. I have to do better, and for the rest of my days I am going to celebrate her in all her imperfectness. Thanks for the reminder.



This man makes it clear that he loves his wife and all of her “imperfectness” because it is those imperfections that make her who she is. So while his wife felt the need to edit out her stretch marks, wrinkles and cellulite, her husband views them as mementos of their life together. This is just one man’s perspective but I am sure he is not the only man who shares these body positive feelings, which brings me to example #3.

Example #3: My Husband and Other MyPostBabyBody Mamas’ Partners


My husband, Anthony is my number one fan and has been incredibly supportive of both my post baby body and MyPostBabyBody.org. All that he asks is that he gets to see me in my photo shoot lingerie in person before I post the pictures. Throughout our entire relationship, which spans 13 years, he has made me feel nothing but beautiful and sexy. I have always been the one in the relationship who has felt otherwise at times. I find the same rings true with a lot of the partners of the my post baby body mamas. They proudly attend photo shoots and MyPostBabyBody events and are genuinely supportive. The only complaint that I have heard is that they wish they got to see more of their partner’s post baby bod ;).

The Father’s Day takeaway here is that with the exception of some jerks out there, men generally appreciate the post baby body and it is our own insecurities, at times, that keep us from being the confident, sexy, gorgeous mamas that we are! So let this be a reminder to all you mamas out there, to own your body and your beauty.


In closing, I would like to wish a very happy Father’s Day to all of the post baby body loving dads out there! You love our bodies even when we don’t and for that we love you just that much more.

#WomenCrushWednesday~ Ryan

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 multifaceted, multi-talented amazingly awesome, Ryan!

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

I became very aware of the power (both physically & socially) of my feminine features encased in a muscular frame when I started running track in high school, and ever since I have worked to maintain some semblance of the balance of strength and grace inherent in being a girl athlete.  I have more creaks and pains than ever, but am constantly impressed by how strength shifts over time.  I used to be able to jump from tall heights without so much as a wince.  Now I only jump when I see spiders.  But in my youth I could never fathom that this body could withstand giving birth, and now I’m fearlessly considering having a second child.  Strength shifts indeed.

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How do you think women should feel about their bodies?

I think how a woman feels about her body is entirely subjective.  Me imposing my ideas of how a woman should feel about HER body, is no better than a man telling me what I should do with mine.  There are enough presumptive ideas and objective opinions about women’s bodies.  It’s yours…feel about it as you wish.

Why do you do what you do?

I call myself the 4-A: Artist, Athlete, Actress, Activist.  I have every appendage in whatever thing I am interested in.  Overall, I am fiercely about liberating black folks, and I use whatever talents and resources God has given me to do such.  Check out my polymathy at www.msryannicole.com 
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