One social media fitness star is facing backlash after sharing a photo of her “unrealistic” post-baby body.
Australian fitness-mogul Kayla Itsines is one of the biggest names in the fitness world, earning millions of followers for her popular weight-loss and exercise plan Bikini Body Guide and online workout tools.
According to Business Insider, the 27-year-old has earned a reported $46 million from her workout empire, but some fans are not too pleased with Itsines after giving birth to her first child, Arna.
In her latest post to Instagram, Itsines shared a photo of herself taken one week after delivering her daughter via c-section.
“If I am honest, it is with great trepidation that I share with you this very personal image. Every woman's journey through life but especially pregnancy, birth and healing post-birth is unique,” the new mom writes.
She adds, “For me, regardless of how my body healed post-birth, I felt it was really important for me personally to embrace, appreciate and celebrate my body the same way that I tell all the women in this community to celebrate their body. For me right now, I celebrate my body for all it has been through and the absolute joy it has brought into my life with Arna.”
Despite having documented her entire pregnancy with her more than 11 million followers, Itsines’s photo received some harsh criticism online.
“I don’t think this post is helpful,” one female follower wrote. “You cannot see the effects of carrying a baby, the scars, the bulging etc. It is not promoting the real body image of many mothers post pregnancy…. Do you know what most bellies look like at this time? I can tell you it is not like this picture. I am happy for you but this is not helping others.”
“Sorry Kayla,” another said. “I admire your intentions and positivity but I think this post is unhelpful. It’s not showing the reality for most women and you look amazing still. I wish you had said that your post pregnancy body is off limits because it’s not relevant.”
Other followers said Itsines should have had the foresight to anticipate the backlash, given that her pre-baby body was slim, toned and not to mention she is a professional trainer by trade.
“Kayla I think sharing that was a bit naughty. It will cause women to increase their self loathing,” wrote a follower named Susan. “I wish you all the best but maybe you could have shared your clients one week post birth photos. Apples and oranges darling.”
While arguments could be made that comments against Itsines are considered body-shaming, many of her critics called for an end to post-baby body photos. Period.
“Posting these postpartum pics serve no purpose other than making others feel badly about themselves. There is no average or normal...Just makes those who have been blessed with a child feel as if they should look a Certain way when they should just be focusing on their sweet baby,” user Nicole King Walters wrote. “If you look like Kayla postpartum then good for you but maybe you should realize posting post baby pics serve no other purpose than showing off how great you think you look. Really what’s the purpose? It’s time to stop making women so validated about their appearance, ESPECIALLY after having a baby!”