Stacey Solomon has shared a carefree picture of herself at the pool, but why has it made national news?
Stacey Solomon is a fantastic advocate for pushing back on society’s beauty standards. Since the moment she stepped into the limelight on The X Factor in 2009, she’s been completely herself. And as her fame has grown, we love that she’s never let go of this. In fact, she talks regularly about things such as refusing to shave her body hair or rejecting offers of botox at 28.
But as Solomon’s reach on social media has skyrocketed (she’s got over 2 million followers on Instagram), it can sometimes feel like everything she posts is turned into a statement.
Of course, it’s incredible that so many women feel connected to Solomon because of her realness, as well gaining a sense of empowerment too, but sometimes the fixation on the fact that she’s a woman on television who also posts images of herself looking non-airbrushed can feed into the issue.
Take Solomon’s latest post for example, which shows her at a swimming pool with her four-month-old son, Rex.
Beaming happily, Solomon perches on the edge of the pool, holding her son on her knee and looking relaxed and casual. In her bikini, Solomon’s stomach is visible and, like pretty much every human on this earth, her stomach folds as she crouches. Because that’s the great thing about skin: it’s there to stretch, move, twist and bend with us, keeping our organs safe. It isn’t intended to lie flat like wallpaper.
Solomon’s caption chats about her day, humorously recalling her panic when dunking Rex for the first time but assuring her followers that he loved it.
One thing she doesn’t mention? Her body. There’s no rallying feminist war cry on the beauty industry, no before and after photoshop comparison, no mention of why she wore that bikini. This is just Solomon being herself and, if more people followed her lead, we could possibly get to a place where women can stop fixating on their bodies.
The comments flood in thick and fast, with many taking on the same theme: how brave she is to be showing off her postpartum body.
“You look beautiful and thank you for making [me feel like] mummy tummy isn’t as gross as I feel,” one follower comments.
“I wish I had the balls to rock a bikini with my mama tummy like you do, you look great and he’s so cute,” says another.
“BLOODY LOVE THIS. Normal body and rocking it,” another comment reads.
While a fourth says: “Thank you for relentlessly posting realistic life photos. You’re so, so, beautiful.”
All of these comments are lovely, there’s no doubt about that. Not only are they supportive, but they show how many women take something positive from pictures like this, which just hammers home the point harder that a woman sharing a “normal” photo of herself in a bikini shouldn’t be this groundbreaking.
Media outlets have also jumped onto the bandwagon with headlines like “Stacey Solomon praised for posting ‘natural’ bikini photo” and “Stacey Solomon praised by fans for not hiding her normal ‘mum tum’”
Although, yes, it’s great that Solomon does share unedited images of herself in a society that undeniably pressures the majority of celebrities to only post photos that have been retouched. But when this isn’t the point of the post, isn’t it wild that showing a crease of skin can make national news?
We pray there is a day that the sight of a woman’s stomach isn’t shocking simply because it’s not tensed into a pack of abs, and when photos like this can be seen as the norm.
Images: Getty / Instagram