Ashley Graham is known as a body positivity advocate and her latest message to women is no exception. The mom-of-three is just five months past having her twins, Roman and Malachi, and she wants to make sure every single woman knows the journey to “bouncing back” can sometimes mean not bouncing back at all.
“Posting this video for all the mamas who haven’t and may never ‘bounce back’ and for anyone who needs to be reminded that your body is beautiful in its realest form,” she wrote on Instagram. “This is my strong five-month-postpartum-been-pregnant-for-two-years body as it is. In hopes to further normalize all bodies in every and any stage of life.,” showcasing some of her Knix shapewear in the video.
The body positivity advocate recently shared details about her pregnancy and motherhood journey in an essay she penned for Glamour. In it, the 34-year-old shared her traumatic birth experience with her twins and talked openly about her postpartum body.
Graham said during her recovery at home, she realized she wouldn’t be “bouncing back” to work or in her skin for much longer than she’d planned. “I lay on that bed for four straight days. I couldn’t walk for a week. And I didn’t leave my house for nearly two months,” she said.
She continued: “Like so many women, what I went through with childbirth has reshaped my relationship with my body—and I say this knowing that I am the person who has been shouting from the rooftops to you all, ‘Love the skin you’re in.’ Yet for me, the births of all my three children threw a lot of that out of the window.”
It can be difficult to wrap your head around your own body once you’ve gone through a pregnancy and women often feel pressure to get back to a certain shape or size, forgetting they just grew a human in their bodies. The unrealistic expectations only amplify when a person, like Graham, is in the public eye. To have her and others speak up and say it’s ok to take time to heal, recover, and enjoy being a mom without worrying about how we look is refreshing and necessary.
“My body has changed so much,” she told PEOPLE earlier this year. “I have much more gratitude toward my body because of how much work it’s been through, but it has definitely taken time to, you know, look at my new body, and my postpartum body, and recognize it again.”