"Here's to all the bubblegum belly mamas."
Ask any mom about her postpartum belly, and she'll likely describe it as jiggly, mushy, or flabby—it's the normal and natural result for most women after nine months of pregnancy.
But one influencer and mom has come up with a much sweeter term to describe her stomach: bubble gum. That's the term her 5-year-old used to describe it, and she's hoping it will help other moms embrace their bodies as well.
In this throwback Instagram photo Dallas-based blogger Janene Crossley recently shared again, she's laying down with her three daughters as her 5-year-old and 3-year-old grab her belly. “When your 5-year-old sees your post-partum stomach and gives it a big ol’ tummy twister while laughing hysterically and hollering, ‘IT FEELS LIKE BUBBLE GUM!!!!’, you post that ridiculous, unflattering open-mouth pic instead of the prettier one. Oh, sweet girl…I hope you always feel confident in the skin you’re in.”
The initial post went up in June 2017, and Crossley posted it again to promote the hashtag #PregnantWomenCan.
“Because #PregnantWomenCan love their stretched, loose, and marked up bodies,” she wrote. “I’m 100% proud of this post-partum body, with its jelly abs and shriveled up skin. It made me a mother. Here’s to all the bubblegum belly mamas and, hopefully, when these girls have bubblegum bellies of their own. #embracethesquish.”
Last year, Crossley revealed why she shared the photo the first time around. I "loved this moment with my girls too much to pass it up,” she wrote on her blog, Hello Ivory Rose. “I wanted to remember it and I felt inspired to share my honest and very raw feelings that I understand a lot of us mothers experience.”
Giving birth allowed Crossley to become more aware of the near-impossible standards of beauty imposed on new moms, often exemplified in advertisements on how to “repair the damage” of pregnancy and childbirth.
“Before having babies I was a lot more critical of what there was NOTHING to be truly critical about,” she continued. “Now after 3 pregnancies my body is quite a bit different, but I appreciate what it has gone through to bless me with my children … I feel very proud of my stretchy skin and changed body that will always tell my story.”