It isn’t what you might think. As the NY Times reports today, the post-pregnancy body is being pathologized. It is “deformed.” Of course, there is a cure, albeit one that’s very expensive. But it comes as a package, priced up to $30K or even move, that takes care of all the sagging and/or bulging spots. Hence, the “mom job” or the “mommy makeover.” As the Times says,
In 1970, “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” the seminal guide to women’s health, described the cosmetic changes that can happen during and after pregnancy simply as phenomena. But now narrowing beauty norms are recasting the transformations of motherhood as stigma.
Norms and savy commercial interests, that is.
“The message is that, after having children, women’s bodies change for the worse,” said Diana Zuckerman, the president of the National Research Center for Women and Families, a nonprofit group in Washington. If marketing could turn the postpregnancy body “into a socially unacceptable thing, think of how big your audience would be and how many surgeries you could sell them,” she said.
The procedures (in the US) last year numbered 325,000 up 11% from the year before. Why do mommies go through potentially life-threatening procedures? Perhaps norms, perhaps advertising, perhaps, as one woman interviewed put it, it used to be that men loved their wives no matter what. And so we have a different picture of the Madonna and child.
(Click on the tag “appearance” to see more of Feminist Philosophers on plastic surgery.)