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Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor

A Stranger Approached a New Mom With a Weight Loss Product, and That's a Problem

PUBLISHED ON 04/17/2017

Meet Kelly Diane Howland. Kelly's baby is only a few weeks old. You know what Kelly doesn't need right now? Pressure to lose the baby weight.

The new mom was shopping at Target last week with her daughter nestled in a baby wrap. That's when, according to her Facebook post, she was approached by a woman asking innocent questions about the newborn.

"A woman approaches me and chats me up the usual small talk about 'how old is she?' and 'how much does she weigh?' And then she asks The Question," Kelly writes. 'Have you heard of It Works before?' I tell her that I know what it is but I've never utilized it. She proceeds with artificial shock and surprise and gives me her card and her spiel."

If you haven't heard of It Works, it's a brand that sells body wraps and other slimming agents.

"Listen. I'm not upset this company exists," Kelly says. "And I'm not even upset at this woman because she could be absolutely charming and just trying to hustle her own living and I have respect for a woman with guts to do that. But let's not pretend that approaching me specifically was a coincidence. Because it's not like she ran up to every female at Target to hand out her card. But she did come to me—with my baby billboard of being brand new postpartum."

While Kelly doesn't seem to take offense, she acknowledges this is part of a larger problem in the postpartum world. She's being singled out because it's already assumed she views her postbaby body as something that needs to be fixed.

"We all know that this culture hammers into postpartum women a lot of physical insecurity about their bodies after delivering their miracles from their wombs," she says. "I don't think I have to spell out for a single woman the cultural pressure that postpartum mothers face regarding their physical appearance. We know. We all know. She knew. And that's why she approached me."

Her request?

"Can we PLEASE not perpetuate the pressure, the impossible expectations, and therefore keep alive the insecurities that we newly-postpartum women face regarding our new and changing bodies as we enter motherhood? Instead of leaning into superficial ideals imposed upon us, can we PLEASE start bucking the system and instead start praising each other for being the amazing, life giving, creation birthing vessels that we are?"

There's at least one mom who's way ahead of her. Ready to feel empowered about your postbaby body? Check out Ashlee Wells' 4th Trimester Bodies Project.