The mummy blogger and Instagram influencer trend can often be detrimental to many in a lot of ways.
So often many women are intent on presenting pristine versions of their lives, their children, and themselves.
It’s become the norm for Instagram to be a reel of perfect, flawless, filtered women with canned smiles and perfectly behaved children.
But recently many ‘real women’ have become intent on breaking the mould and providing a refreshingly realistic view on what motherhood really is.
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Jessica McElroy a mum of two and influencer, @TheYorkshireMomma on Instagram, focuses her efforts on showing everyone what a real mum’s body often looks like and how all bodies should be celebrated.
Jessica, from Greetland in Halifax, set up her Instagram account after the birth of her second child and was surprised to discover a whole community of like minded mums also looking for somebody to relate to.
The 26-year-old found a love for sharing her day to day life as a busy mum of boys online and finding like minded parents to chat with and soon began to grow a following of her own as she opened up about her own struggles with mental health and lack of body confidence.
Unlike many other women who have similar accounts, Jess is unafraid to share her cellulite, stretch marks and scars along with the rest of it.
And it appears her honest has paid off as she is flooded with support and comments from women thanking her for making them “feel normal.”
Jess said: “I struggled with my body image after having my second son, posting on Instagram and talking to other like minded mums also searching for validation that their bodies are ‘normal’ has given me so much confidence in myself again.
“It makes me really emotional when people tell me I have helped them open up too, it makes me feel like I have a role, I have a new found respect for my body after having children and I’m passionate on encouraging other mum’s to feel that way too.
“It’s incredibly cathartic.
Jess explained that she has dealt with body image issues for most of her life, as have so many women: “It upsets me that young girls and women feel the need to edit their images and feel as though they have to do that to be accepted or to meet beauty standards.
“All bodies are beautiful and the more people that are portraying that message the better, growing up I can’t remember ever seeing women in the media with bodies that looked anything like mine.
“I developed early and had curves and I was tall, I didn’t look like the stick thin petite girls in the magazines but now with social media, we have got a real opportunity to normalise real bodies in every shape and size.
“I think new mums need to be able to see these posts and think ‘oh so I am normal, that’s what a body after a baby looks like.”
In one of her posts, Jess writes: “Is my body ‘normal’?
“I thought mine wasn’t for quite sometime, after I had had Jude (my youngest) my relationship with my body was utterly abysmal. I had no respect for her, no admiration for her, no time for her.
“When I looked in the mirror I looked down and I saw a car crash of a body. When I would ask for positive affirmation from my husband I would drive myself wild thinking he was telling me something I’d just want to hear. That these celebrities bodies online and TV were normal and I was this wobbly, weird and abnormal “physique”.
“Then taking pictures, oh god don’t get me started on that. I was only a few months post partum after Jude and instead of admiring my little ones cute face, I’d most of the time look straight at my swollen, jelly like stomach instead in horror and embarrassment.
“But overtime, I began to mentally block out my feelings for my new body and just saw it as a vessel nothing more. Until my mental health began to deteriorate and began to resent myself I knew I had to make a massive change.
“Exercise, no alcohol and regular balanced meals have been my best friend. I will never “snap back” to the body I once had. But time is honestly the best healer, be kind to yourself during your toughest times.
“Your mind and body will soon meet at this happy place together, you’re not alone with your tiger stripes and wobbly bits.
“Being comfortable and ready to share your body on social media is incredibly cathartic, especially when it’s normalising normal bodies for other Mums to see.
“Though your Mummy body is normal, you my lovelies are extraordinary human beings.”
Jess has 1,988 followers on Instagram where she muses about life, love, parenting, and body positivity.
She is also the founder of a popular hashtag #mummybodypositive where she encourages other mums to get involved in celebrating their natural bodies.
The mum of two is a huge advocate for mental health and often talks about her own struggles with PTSD and anxiety.
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