A Goddess Gathering

Jun 21, 2012 by

We bloggers have a super secret blogger group on Facebook.  It’s a way for us to throw around ideas, ask each other questions and just plain old kibitz.

A while back someone mentioned they were scared to click on a link to “Beyonce’s Body After Baby.”  I think we all know what these headlines bring.  All you have to do is do a simple Google search for “body after baby” and you see these celebrities with their impossible-to-attain-their-normal-size-nevermind-their-post-preggo-size photo spread in the latest gossip mag.

 Now don’t get me wrong, those women probably worked really hard to take the baby weight off and more power to them, but we average non-Victoria Secrets models do not have the luxury of Photoshop, airbrushing, personal trainers, private chefs, nannies, or several pairs of Spanx.  As the wise Katie Schunk stated, “I would be in mad shape if my paycheck depended on it!”

So we got to talking and the idea came up to do our own photo-shoot where we would bare our post-baby bellies (in a  sports bra of course).  We wanted to embrace our bodies and let the world know we are proud of our saggy stripes!

We picked a date, found our amazing photographer (the genius that is Jean Molodetz from I ViewPhotography), and Kate Street opened her home to this rowdy crew of moms.  We got together for our date and brought food and wine (LOTS of wine- we weren’t crazy enough to do this sober!) and started to chat like any old girls night out.  It was kind of like an adult slumber party- giddy women talking about our kids and hubbies, doing each others hair and makeup.  We were just having fun laughing and giggling, but we had yet to take our shirts off.

I don’t think any of us anticipated what would happen next.  

It was a completely liberating moment. Some of us started out a bit nervous and shy, but encouraging comments and catcalls from the other ladies, and let’s face it- the wine, made it easier.  For me, I know I am far from what I may ultimately want my body to look like, but I know I have never felt more beautiful and accepting of my body than I did that night.

This turned out to be more than just a photo-shoot to show what real mommy bellies look like or to help us embrace our body image differences- there are a ton of websites out there that already do this.  This was not just another girl’s night out- you can go to a restaurant for that.

This was a gathering of Goddesses.

Shedding our shirts and revealing the places where we grew humans (and one was actively growing) felt so freeing, inspiring, and powerful it is hard to put it into words.  Thankfully the smiles on our faces, the laughter to the point of tears, and the energetic joy radiating from each of us speaks for itself. As Marie Schweitzer put it, “It was one of my favorite things I’ve ever done!!!”

I will admit that when I look at pictures of myself I (like I’m sure most women do) pick apart all of the things I wish were different or more sucked in, or just smaller.  I end up feeling bad about myself and, instead of throwing in a workout DVD, I head to the freezer for a little therapy in an ice cream pint.  When I looked through the photos of our shoot, though I did do a bit of trash talk about my problem areas, the feeling inside was completely different.  I didn’t feel depressed, I felt the energy of the night.  I felt the joy, love and sisterhood of that moment and again felt beautiful.

So CT Working Moms, before you skip down and look at our photos in the slideshow below, we have a mission for you.  We want you to hold your own Goddess Gathering!    Grab some wine, a sports bra, a camera, and some girlfriends and take pictures of your bellies together!

We have created a new place on the website for our “Goddess Gallery” and we want to include yours as well! Send us your photos to michelle@ctworkingmoms.com along with a short explanation of how your event went and we will post it on the site.  The more women who participate in these events, the more we will accept our bodies and embrace them.  It will be life-changing!

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See the full photo gallery here.

ALL IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHTED. You may not use the photos without express permission from CTWorkingMoms.com.

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Dena

Dena is the busy mom of a 7-year-old son and a 2 year old daughter. In her “free time” she enjoys a good book, a glass (or 3) of wine, cooking, and looking forward to the day she may finally be able to pee in peace. Her biggest hope in life is that she will produce two happy, healthy adults who will treat themselves and others with compassion and kindness.

35 Comments

  1. Michelle

    I absolutely love this!

    • Regina G.

      Congrats to all these women, Be Real, Be Inspired, Pure Beauty is definitely more lovely than
      fake celebs with their tummy tucks, and starvation diets, Viva La Real Women!!!!

    • Lance

      Fantastic photos of absolute lovely women, wives, moms & lovers. I am a 49 year old husband of a goddess like you ladies & I pray that my goddess will one day be able to accept her body & her beauty like you have. I have told her that to a man there is nothing more sexy, empowering & attractive than the woman who gave birth to his child & that the extra “her” that nature provided is the very essence of true woman hood in this mans opinion. I love her with every fiber in my being & the fact she is my sons mom makes her even more beautiful in my eyes. It is sad that mainstream media trys to make women feel inferior if you dont fit into size 2 jeans. Thank you all for starting the trend back to realistic beauty.Trust me, there are millions of men in the world that welcome the real women back into society & we applaud your loveliness & sensuallity. Bravo goddess’, bravo!!!!!!

  2. meg

    Ladies, I literally teared up watching your slideshow. You are all so beautiful. Thank you.

  3. YES! I love it, ladies.

  4. How fun ladies! Great song choice!

  5. Beautiful young women – us old gals love you and love your great attitude.

  6. bernhardsonbunch

    What wonderful photos!! Looking at these beautiful photos makes it seem SO silly that ANY of you would be self conscious. They are all gorgeous. AND you all have young children and careers!

  7. Renee

    Simply beautiful! Thanks for sharing!!

  8. Michelle

    Seriously, this was such an amazing experience. As the heaviest of the ladies that took our shirts off, I felt it my duty to represent for the voluptuous ladies out there. I was so scared to take my shirt off because I’m not anywhere near the weight I was or want to be. BUT – these ladies made me feel so beautiful! Seriously, this was an incredibly empowering thing to do.

    We had thought about taking just belly shots, you know – photos of the bellies by themselves. But I’m so happy we did full body shoot because it shows our overall beauty – plus we are more than just our bellies right!

    I really hope more women throw their own goddess parties – as silly as it seems, I think it can change the world!

    • As a larger woman myself, I was actually a little disappointed that your solo pictures were of you laying down. You were the only one not to show off your belly :( But overall, I applaud what you ladies did. It’s past time that we become proud of how we look, no matter how we look.

      • I AGREE!!! I too am a heavy momma (three kids and already being a chubster in the first place has really done a number on my body) and I was disappointed as well. It made me feel like you were ashamed and that I should be too. :(

        • Michelle

          Amy & Miranda: I’m so sorry you feel that way. At the time I wasn’t thinking about it coming across to others that I’m ashamed of my belly – I felt beautiful frolicking in the grass like that and the other ladies were making me feel very gorgeous by cat calling at me etc.

          Bearing my belly, even in the way I did, was life changing for me. Please don’t criticize and judge my experience. It was very personal to me and I love how my photos came out.

          Much love to all the voluptuous ladies like myself.

      • Hi ladies,
        The photo shoot was very free flowing and fun, and we were all picking poses based on accentuating what we love best about our bodies and what felt right at the time. Michelle’s pose was actually suggested by the rest of us, not because any of us though she should (or was) hiding her belly, but because, simply put, she has an awesome rack and picked a pose to show ‘em off- so much so, some of the websites in other countries who re-posted our pics had to blur out her cleavage!

  9. ScienceMomArlene

    Beautiful!!

  10. That day is something that i’ll never forget. Not only had i bared my stomach for these lovely ladies, some of which i met for the first time that day, but there is something to be said about running around topless with wine and snacks. It is as fun as it looks. I highly reccomend this to all of you hot mommas out there!!

  11. I was so happy we did this, and it was wonderful to be proud of our bodies instead of hating them. I am so sick of hating something that created something so wonderful (my son). I always want to be healthy but I felt so wonderful and beautiful after our Goddess party! For all mothers and women out there be healthy but do not hate yourself!

  12. Honestly you guys look great! :) I ignore celebrity bodies as much as possible. It’s just not reality. :) Real bodies are beautiful bodies!

  13. Yay!!!! Fabulous!!!You go beautiful working mamas :)

  14. Ines

    Thank you ladies, for showing what REAL sexy bodies we have after giving birth!

  15. Way to go. Very proud of these CT working moms / bloggers!

  16. Chalise

    this is amazing! you are all beautiful! what a wonderful way to celebrate! nothing is the same after having a child. including our bodies. thank you for showing that that change is not a sacrifice. <3

  17. Natasha P.

    Michelle, as someone that has seen you struggle and grow into accepting yourself and your beauty, I’m proud that you have reached this milestone.

  18. Rsps

    As a belly dance instructor here in CT I try to teach this to all my students; You are as you should be in this very moment. Thank your body for the wonder of what it can do. And confidence is BEAUTIFUL!

  19. GardnersGarden

    I don’t work outside the home but I wanted to be part of this amazing group of women!!!!
    Kudos to all of you….Love, Love, Love

  20. KS3

    I applaud you for showing it’s ok to not have your tight perfect figure after pregnancy. I myself was a tiny little thing never in a size over 4. I have now had three babies all almost exactly one year apart ,most recently in february, and am struggling with my weight. Hopefully one day I can learn to accept my new size 10 self and be happy as you all are. You guys are truly an inspiration.

  21. i love it this is real !!!!

  22. Ohh i’m so glad i’m not alone!!! i really struggle with my weight now.. before i was pregnant is had size 34 ( european size) and now after 2 babies i have size 44… i was so dissapointed, but on the other side… You have to see my kids they are so amazing!. The love they give me, makes me no longer worry about my tummy. I am who i am,and this is natures work!. Keep up the good work Girls!!!

  23. isabel

    super foto’s! Ik ben bijna 9 maand geleden bevallen van mijn derde kindje en mijn buik ziet er nog slechter uit dan die van jullie ;)

  24. angievillegas

    yo quiero ser parte de su grupo

  25. Wow! This is AWESOME! So empowering! Thank you!

  26. Katie Schunk

    Michelle you bared it all in most of the photos and I thought all the ladies are brave!!!

  27. Heel mooi! En…realistisch!

  28. Rachael Wright

    Love this article. I was a belly dancer in Buffalo, NY for 2 years and both my instuctors, myself and one other woman I danced with are all big girls and we did not care about walking on stage, bellies bared, hips, and all. One of them had already had 2 kids! I’ll admit I’m trying to tone up my post baby body but I know I’m a plus size girl and always will be, and I am dead sexy at it too!

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