'My uterus fanny pack looking like a whole snack / My hoo-ha hat sits on top of my cat,' she raps.
This month, "StyledByIrene," a fashion influencer on social media, issued a challenge to her fans to coin new names for the "mom pooch"—the tummy bulge that many women experience after giving birth. Emily Vondrachek, a mother of four, accepted the task with poise. In an Instagram video that has received more than 441k likes, she freestyles her humorous recommendations in a rather catchy rap. "My uterus fanny pack looking like a whole snack / My hoo-ha hat sits on top of my cat / My body baker protects my miracle maker / When I look at my tummy, I can't forget to thank her," Vondrachek raps.
Speaking to TODAY, Vondrachek said that one of her goals behind making the video was to clap back on the "snapback culture." For those who are unaware of this term, snapback culture refers to the celebration of a person whose body swiftly transforms back to its pre-pregnancy state. This harmful body image idea is perpetuated online in social and conventional media by praising new mothers for regaining their "pre-baby shape." Simply said, the snapback is a toxic and demeaning ideal of beauty, and it's time to put it to rest once and for all.
"There's this pressure so many women feel to have a perfectly flat tummy right after having a baby," Vondrachek explained. "And sometimes that's just not possible no matter how much exercise you do."
The 32-year-old Minnesotan content producer came up with nine new terms for the "mom pooch": Uterus Fanny Pack, Hoo-ha Hat, Body Baker, Miracle Maker, Organ Overalls, Ovary Overcoat, Fallopian Frock, Lovin’ Oven, and Mighty Magic Muffin.
According to Vondrachek, she purposefully added several names that weren't connected to childbirth. "So many women carry weight there," she explained. "Our fat just sort of naturally gathers there. Why should we have to fight our bodies? Why should we feel less beautiful for the ways in which our bodies have changed? We should feel more confident—more beautiful for what our body has done."
The onslaught of physical changes following childbirth—including hair loss, puffiness, loose skin, spider veins, scars, and stretch marks—can really be overwhelming for some. New mothers often purchase bigger clothing, hold their chins at specific angles in photographs and discover a newfound interest in Photoshop. But concealing and posturing so much may get tiresome and crippling self-doubt can set in.
Because of this, more and more women are choosing to celebrate their bulging tummies, stretch marks, and C-section scars instead of trying to hide their new bodies from the rest of the world. "It's so empowering to see women accepting their bodies," said Julie Worthy, a Georgia photographer who captures real, raw images of postpartum women. "I think the key to acceptance is to realize what our bodies created. We have those amazing, wonderful, perfect babies in our arms...Those scars and stretch marks are proof of the life I created."
Worthy opened a maternity and infant photography studio in Augusta, Georgia, in 2016. She soon realized that almost every new mother she saw was dealing with the same problems. "They'd all want these beautiful, smoothed-over, perfect portraits of themselves. Even though I'm giving them this perfect picture, it is not reality. This is NOT what postpartum looks like," she said.
Since then, Worthy has focused on taking photos of new mothers who are not just genuine but also genuinely beautiful. The experience, according to the new moms, goes from horrifying to empowering in a matter of minutes. Similarly, Janie Porter, a former TV news reporter and anchor, has made a point of posting real images of herself online. "We can use social media to show reality," said the 37-year-old of St. Petersburg, Florida. "That's a huge passion of mine. Let's normalize a normal body."