Mothercare's new campaign, Beautiful, Isn't She, honours and celebrates the beauty of the post-birth body, seeking to normalise and represent “a part of motherhood that is rarely portrayed in the media.” The campaign features ten mums opening up about their relationships with their bodies after giving birth, as well as the attitudes they have experienced in regard to their bodies.
By spotlighting the mums and each of their unique stories, Mothercare is opening up a much-needed conversation around post-partum bodies, representing the true effects of giving birth and counteracting the sugar-coated portrayals that are too prevalent in media today.
The portraits were captured by photographer Sophie Mayanne, who in 2017 pledged to never digitally manipulate bodies or skin in her work.
“The images depict the raw and incredibly emotional experience of childbirth,” she tells Mothercare. “The aim is for mums of all shapes and sizes to be able to identify with these photos in one way or another, and to feel more confident with their imperfections.”
Sabra, one of the mums, explains how people commented and laughed at her body after giving birth, making her feel embarrassed and pressured to “bounce-back” to her pre-birth body.
“I realised my stretch marks are a sign of beauty and I learned to accept myself,” she says. “I am happy with the changes. And I am happy to share my scars with the rest of the world to show them that they are normal and beautiful.”
In collaboration with Transport for London, the campaign was created as a runner-up for The Women We See competition, which strives to “challenge gender stereotypes, increase diversity and create more positive and inclusive campaigns.”
The campaign has brought raw and honest depictions of post-baby bodies to over 30 tube stations across London. As stated by Mothercare, “at the heart of the campaign is the belief that all mums are beautiful. After all, their bodies have just performed a miracle.”