Blake Lively Spoke Up About Her Postpartum Body And Called Out Brands For Not Being Inclusive With Sizes
When I was in college, a friend and I went to shop in a departmental store together. We were both trying to find good plus size clothes when she found a baby doll dress that fit her perfectly. We were so excited until she checked the label and embarrassedly put the dress back on the rack. She realised she’d accidentally picked it up from the ‘Maternity Wear’ section. The message was clear. You were only allowed to be a certain size if you were pregnant. And if you were pregnant, you were only allowed to wear certain brands. Annoying, isn’t it, that women have to adjust so much to fit clothing brands’ standards when it should be the other way around? Recently none other than Blake Lively spoke up about her pregnancy, postpartum body insecurities and the lack of size inclusivity in high fashion.
And it was some pretty real talk.
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When I say the name Blake Lively, to many of us, it sounds like ‘perfection’. We’ve grown up watching her play Serena Van Der Woodsen on Gossip Girl, and coveted everything about her—from the hot men she dated to her glamorous closet. But even IRL, this mother of three and wife to the handsome, charming and witty Ryan Reynolds is a revelation with her sartorial choices. From her Met Gala looks to… remember that yellow gown she wore with the Pokémon clutch and matching nail art to support her hubby on the red carpet of Detective Pikachu? Sigh sigh sigh.
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I don’t think there’s any Blake Lively look that I haven’t loved. Yes, even when she drew her shoes on in her Instagram story photo of having voted with Ryan Reynolds!
But imagine if you were to find out that at one time Blake Lively couldn’t find clothes that would fit her or make her feel good about her body. Believe it or not, that has happened and the Age Of Adaline actress spoke up about the lack of inclusivity recently on her Instagram stories.
Lively, who recently gave birth to her third child with husband Ryan Reynolds, a daughter named Betty, posted a picture of herself from an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in January 2020. She was wearing a pretty black outfit and looking like a million bucks as always. But as her caption revealed, on the inside, it wasn’t all that pleasant. She revealed that she was feeling insecure about her postpartum body simply because she couldn’t fit into a bunch of ready-to-wear clothes.
“I put together a @lavinoffical shirt and dress from @netaporter to make this pretty outfit. Because no one had samples that fit me after giving birth. And so many clothes from stores didn’t fit either. So. Many. It doesn’t send a great message to women when their bodies don’t fit into what brands have to offer. It’s alienating and confusing.”Image: Blake Lively | Instagram
Of course, I don’t think I can compare my feelings wot what a women in her situation might be feeling, but that whole deal about not finding anything readymade in the stores fitting you? I’ve felt that on several occasions, when I’ve needed a last-minute dress for a birthday or an unexpected party and haven’t found an outfit that was flattering enough. At that moment, all you can do is curse the fashion industry for being so tone deaf and blind to the needs of such a huge chunk of their clientele.
What hit me the most, I think, was what Blake Lively wrote next. Because you can tell that even though she is aware that she is perhaps one of the most beautiful women on the planet, and can demand whatever she wants, and even understands why she is feeling what she is feeling, none of it changes or underscores what she is feeling in the moment. Her insecurities are legit. Her disappointment is legit. And her calling out fashion brands for their lack of body acceptance is a 100% legit and needed.
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Blake wrote, “And I wish I felt as confident then as I do now, a year later looking back. That body gave me a baby. And was producing that baby’s entire food supply. What a beautiful miracle. But instead of feeling proud, I felt insecure. Simply because I didn’t fit into clothes. How silly is that in retrospect.”
Sucks, doesn’t it? Here we are, making a massive hoo-haa about motherhood being this beautiful experience. But we’re also kinda sorta ruining it for them too, aren’t we?
Blake Lively ended her post by mentioning Megababe founder Katie Sturino, who is amongst several other women calling for more inclusive sizing. Lively stated that these women’s stances were reminders for others like her that they could and should demand the brands that they like to do better and make clothing more inclusive for all sizes.
I, for one, am glad that women like Blake Lively, whose voices can make a difference to the conversation, are speaking up. It isn’t just a cause for postpartum size inclusivity or plus size inclusivity but also about just being inclusive in general so that women don’t really have to slot themselves under labels. The only labels that we do enjoy are the brand names that we are expected to pay a bomb for and to covet because they are all about making a luxury statement. Well then, here were are, lining up with our money. Are you going to keep starring at us with a vacant expression on your face or are you going to dress the hell out of us, irrespective of our shape and size?