Women can shape-shift to different identities. They're mothers, friends, CEOs... But they're also compassionate. Strong enough to be vulnerable. And they literally have the superpower to create life. They're amazing. To show that women don't need fancy filters to be appealing, Instagram account womenirl has been sharing real, raw moments of their everyday life. By doing so, they've already accumulated nearly 150k followers, and this number is constantly growing. What's also cool about this project is the fact that everyone can participate. All you need to do is tag your Instagram photos with #WomenIRL and you might get featured.
"I was in the waiting room at the doc office today and this lady walked in with her sleeping baby! They handed her paperwork to do & as she was sitting there trying to figure out how to hold her sleeping baby while filling out the paperwork, this man, from across the room, ask's her if she would like for him to hold her baby while she did her paperwork!! She smiled and said that would be wonderful!! This man went over there and rocked and loved on that baby like he was his!!"
"Shout out to all the women who are trying.
Trying to look in the mirror more often at the gym.
Trying to get in the photo.
Trying to take off the cover up at the pool.
Trying to add more weight to the bar.
Trying to order the two piece.
Trying to speak up for themselves.
Trying to start hard conversations.
Trying to do push-ups.
Trying to allow themselves to be seen.
Trying to silence the negative self-talk.
Trying to learn.
And to accept their journey.
Even if today was hard.
I woke up this morning and I honestly didn’t feel like trying. My head was in a weird place. Already sweating, got to the gym, and felt my stomach hanging more than normal. I felt it taking up space. I felt it being noticed. And yet, more often than not, I found myself looking in the mirror.
Even in a moment of feeling defeated, I noticed myself trying.
It was simple.
But it meant everything."
"A friend’s daughter-in-law was told to 'cover up” while feeding her baby, so she did,' said Carol Lockwood in a FB post that has now gone viral. "I’m SO over people shaming women for nursing," she continued."
"My hubby snapped this pic as I fell asleep sitting up, breastfeeding our 2 week old twins. Exhausted doesn’t fully describe this experience as I was healing from 2 types of births (Baby A vaginal, Baby B cesarean) and my body is working non-freaking-stop to make all the milk for these boys."
"This mom *thought* she was having a third baby girl — and now the exact moment she found out she actually gave birth to a boy"
"What does a pregnancy give you? stretch marks, loose skin, weight gain, hair loss, saggy boobs? Or does it give you a baby? Both are probably true - you get both of the above, but what should we focus on? I mean... you just made a baby, you made 10 fingers and 10 toes, a tiny nose, you made a person, you did THAT. If you looked exactly the same after, it would be very rare, what’s normal is to change, so why is society shaming that change? We rarely receive comments about how amazing our bodies are after a pregnancy, what we do see, hear and read is how we need to “get back to normal”, “loose our baby weight”, “use these creams to prevent stretch marks” (sorry to break it to you ladies but you can’t prevent stretch marks to begin with) “get a boob job to “fix” the damage breastfeeding did”, “hide your scars” and on it goes. This is so sad and I feel like some of us get robbed of the joy of becoming a mother because they feel the need to start changing back to “normal” instead... I think we should bring the focus back to what our bodies have done, what they’re capable off - and be damn proud of how we look because of it ♥️ that’s where the focus should be, don’t let anyone make you believe otherwise ♥️"
"Why is it that people we haven’t seen in a while or even complete strangers ask us if we’re #married or if we have kids? I get messages from complete strangers asking about my relationship, asking when I’ll get married & asking why I haven’t got children yet as I’m ‘getting on’. It’s annoying & to be honest, it’s downright rude.
What business is it of other people? Why do they feel the need to comment on my life? I’m HAPPY and honestly, that’s all that really matters.
If you’re going to ask an old friend a question or worse yet, someone you don’t even know; let your first question be 'HOW ARE YOU' or ask if they’re happy or living their best life? Ask them if they’re ok? - You might be the first person to check in with them!
To all my #ladies (and men) who feel behind in life… trust me YOU ARE NOT! Although it might feel like everyone around you is getting married, having #kids or growing up… it’s just your focus. Trust me that there are equal if not more people starting new relationships, ending relationships, going back to uni, starting uni, traveling the world, throwing in their jobs or changing careers to purse what truly sets their soul on fire. There’s no right or wrong with life - you just do it the best you can & honestly as long as you’re happy that’s ALL THAT MATTERS
This is your little reminder that no matter where you are in life, you are NOT behind. You are not in front. You are not at the top. You are not at the bottom. You are exactly where you need to be. So let’s stop asking questions & making people feel inferior, let’s instead start asking how they are - because being #kind is all that really matters "
The perfect mom:" Recently someone responded to my postpartum body with these words: “disgusting, I don’t know what husband would ever want to come home to that.”
First of all, shame on her. If anything is disgusting it is those words.
Yes, my body has changed quite dramatically since my pre-baby days, as you can see. But let me tell about the woman in the top photo with the gorgeous tan lines and flat tummy. She mastered shaming her body. She had such a distorted idea of body image and struggled to understand self-love and self-care. She would look into the mirror and find everything wrong with her body and worked hard to fix it.
Then there is the woman in the bottom photo. She may not have the perfect tummy, gorgeous tan, and a stretch mark free body BUT she has more confidence than she ever has in her life. She knows the value and meaning of embracing your new body and loving yourself. She takes care of herself by reminding her of the beauty in the body staring back at her in the mirror. She is beautiful and can find strength in what some people would call her flaws. Her body is beautiful and she worked hard for exactly what it is now.
Carrying a child, let alone 3 at one time, is not an easy task. Yes, the journey came with a whole new body, but I am also a whole new me with a greater understanding of loving myself and that is a GIFT!
It takes time and daily affirmations of love and body positivity to really embrace your new body. You can change your perspective! You can find the beauty! You must have grace for yourself. And Don’t compare yourself to the old you and pick out all the imperfections in your new body. It will cause more harm than good. Instead, remember this, you’re on a journey. One day at a time, choose to see the beauty because it is there."
"I saw a guy insult another woman for her cellulite and it really bummed me out for a second but then I remembered that women’s bodies don’t exist to please men "
"Sometimes you just have to make it work"
“What a journey this has been! From the huge shock of learning there were three, to people’s reactions, the numerous scannings/checks and all the preparations and planning for this life-changing event,” said triplets_of_copenhagen, who documented her pregnancy before giving birth a few days ago. “Nothing like the ordinary.“
Her baby bump weighed 20 kg total and she’s so ready for the next chapter. “It’s strange to have ended up with such a big belly and it’s even stranger that it can stand out like that without falling down,” she said.
"No babies. No weight fluctuations. Just a girl who’s lived 30 years and got something to show for it"
"Sometimes I hear the rare negative comment about my decision to go to school instead of being home full time with my kids.
It’s hard to not get offended at these comments. It’s hard to not question myself and question if I’m really doing what’s best for my babies.
But then I have days like today.
A full day of clinical hours, gone before they wake up, home just in time to get going again (to study) then this... My little guy running toward me, all smiles and excitement and I just know, I’m doing something right. "
"Yes, I do I have a valley of lines mapped across my belly, mountains of stretched skin left over my mid section, lightning bolts on my sides and back, all signs that I carried life inside of me.... five times!
I also have a cesarean scar reminding me that my belly was cut open twice!
My body is amazing.
My body is beautiful.
My body is powerful.
My body is strong.
My body is capable.
My body made me a mother.
My body grew a human inside.
Not everybody has that privilege.
So while society wants to sit behind a screen and label us as flawed, I am here to remind myself and all of you that to our children we are perfect. They see behind the stretched out skin, marks, and lines. They see us for who we truly are. They know our hearts and love us unconditionally. And that is all that matters."
“A letter to my one year postpartum self, Stop hating you for thinking you have an ugly stomach and start loving you for how absolutely stunning and beautiful you were and still are for carrying and caring for you two gorgeous little humans. Stop thinking about how hard you need to work at bouncing back after baby even if at 1 year postpartum you still look pregnant and focus on your objectives at staying healthy and happy and active. Stop worrying about what others will think if they see your wrinkled stomach and start thinking about how absolutely blessed you are for what you've created. Be you! Be the best you, your negative energy about you and your body shows and it's ugly. Give yourself some grace (a lot) and time (a whole lot) to heal emotionally, mentally and physically. You're one tough mama and you've got this. :muscle: Embrace you today and remember that your kids adore you, in the world of so much hate let their love nurture you back to loving you! Now, tomorrow when Levi turns 1, don't just celebrate him, celebrate your "birth" day and know that you are amazing no matter how you feel. With all the love, Your dearest self!”
"The first and last time my precious Hazel ever nursed. I didn’t know that one person could feel so proud and so broken at the same time, right now I am a hormonal, emotional, and mental mess. Raising my arm in this picture was very difficult for me as I had to fight through uncontrollable tears: this picture meant that I would never breastfeed my Hazel ever again. I have been nursing for so long, that I don’t know what it’s like to not nurse anymore. As I looked behind the camera, Tim is crying like I had never seen him cry before, like seriously, a deep gut cry. I was her comfort, her safe place, and I hope she still finds me that way. A month shy of 2 years old, she finally has a bed in a shared bedroom with her sister. We bought Hazel her first bed, used any distraction we could come up with, snacks and new toys to keep her mind off of it. Tim has taken over bedtime completely, including all nighttime wakings. We are on our third day, and every day gets a little bit easier. The guilt I feel for not putting her to bed is so intense and I can’t wait to go back to it once she doesn’t ask to nurse anymore. Closing a chapter is painful, but I am hopeful that this new season of our lives will also be special in its own way. Through this maturation step she will not only grow more independent, but I will get a much needed break. She unlatched for the last time and sobbingly I said to Tim: 'I did my best.' He hugged me and responded with: 'No. You did THE best, because you gave her your all.' I love my family and am so thankful for such special and unforgettable moments like these. "
"The pictures of ‘perfect bodies’ you see on Instagram... don’t let them get you down,” said influencer Rini Frey. “Most of them don’t represent reality and if they do, it doesn’t mean that these bodies belong to a healthy and happy human,” she continued. “It’s just what we are made to believe, but it’s mostly not true.”
“Stop worrying so much about not looking like you’re a brand new and shiny human,” said Sarah Nicole Landry on a recent IG post. “Because you’re not. You’ve lived. Loved. Experienced. Your body in its own way will show itself through those memories. Whether you live it out shabby chic or get refinished, it doesn’t matter. Because ultimately you are something that has grown in worth, not lessened. Not one bit.”
But the blogger didn’t always feel this way—after having kids, she lost 100 pounds and struggled with body image: “I found myself faced with so much self-loathing and worked my way through that and realized I had worth,” she explains to health magazine. “Even amid the scars and stretch marks, I still had beauty. I knew that if I felt this way, others must too. So I decided to be vulnerable and put it out into the world to share.”
"Here I am, nursing Miles on the ground because I’d rather J be on my back than on Miles’ face. Not posed or looking cute. Surrounded by laundry on the floor. Dishes sitting in the sink. Dogs barking through the fence with a hole in it."
“It took me 4 days and several internal battles to finally decide I would post this picture. Why? because this photo was never intended to be seen by anyone, in fact, when my husband took it my first words were “OMG DELETE THAT NOW!” You see, this photo highlights so many things that are deemed “wrong” with the postpartum body.
Stretchmarks, loose skin, and a big, round belly. Surprisingly, though, none of that bothers me. The reason why I hate this picture is because it shows the giant, sagging bulge of fat that hangs off of my midsection. The “mom pouch” that makes all other mom pouches look like an ad for the perfect body. The mom pouch that I always hide behind high waisted bottoms. The mom pouch that made me hate myself for several months postpartum. This photo reminds me of that hate; how I used to stare in the mirror, rub that pouch and think “I’m hideous, this child destroyed my body”. I hated those days and this photo is a reminder of who I was before I truly loved myself.
I want to be clear, I love my body. Now, more than ever I had embraced every “flaw” and I truly love myself and how I feel. Becoming a mother helped me realize that I am made of magic and no matter what I look like on the outside, I am worthy and beautiful. We all are.
Just because I spread body positivity and selflove doesn’t mean I’m perfect. Far from it, in fact.
I still struggle with that mom pouch; yes, I wish it wasn’t so saggy and maybe just a tad smaller, but I no longer hate myself because of it. I no longer look in the mirror and call myself names or try to push it in so it won’t sag down as much.
I am no longer defined by that damn pouch.
It doesn’t hold me back anymore or make me feel inferior.
This mom pouch is a much a part of me as my arms, legs, breasts…so I have chosen to embrace it because hating it means hating a piece of myself, and that just won’t be tolerated.
Once you go down that road towards self love you realize that although you may have bad days, you are still worthy of all the love and magic in this world."
“Dear postpartum depression,
If you weren't so ugly, I would have 10 more babies.
Dear postpartum depression,
You've been the toughest years of my life, to the point where I almost wanted to end it.
Dear postpartum depression,
You're a cheat and a theif, and it's so not cool that you've stole some (what would have been) very beautiful moments from me and my young family.
Dear postpartum depression,
Why do you feel the need to hit me at my most vulnerable state? Do I not already have enough to deal with at this whole thing call motherhood?
Dear postpartum depression,
You're not welcome, and I'm here today to tell you that I've won! Stop trying to creep in, stop trying to make me feel like I'm nothing, stop making me feel so guilty at how I choose to mother my babies.
Dear postpartum depression,
Pack your bags, while you're at it, pack all you've got cause I'm sending you to a place where you can no longer touch me.
Dear postpartum depression,
This is where we part! I survived! I'm a survivor. I'm a warrior mom!
Mamas out there, let's recognize how to deal with these feelings and know how to treat them. I'm here to tell you, it's not you... It's PPD. Let's talk!”
"Mara Martin walked the SISwim runway while breastfeeding her five-month-old daughter and we are here for it. “I can’t believe I am waking up to headlines with me and my daughter in them for doing something I do every day,” said the model the next day. “I’m so grateful to be able to share this message and hopefully normalize breastfeeding and also show others that women CAN DO IT ALL.”
"One week postpartum.
I will heal slow and gentle.
I will take long hours swaying and just breathing.
I will release all expectations.
I will not hurry.
Or be anxious.
This week I will savor and trace your outline.
For I plan to remember how you feel tucked against me for as long as I live.-Mia"
“Motherhood is not a one size fits all—what works for one family may not work for the next,” said diaryofafitmommyofficial in a recent post. “So who are we to judge another mom’s choices or reasoning?” Fed up with haters who claim she’s not doing motherhood “correctly,” she posted a list of everything she’s been called a bad mom for to make an important point: “Workout out during pregnancy.
Working out while having kids... period.
For caring about my looks and health.
Working out in Target.
Using canned goods and plastic crockpot liners.
Having tattoos and piercings.
Enjoying wine every now and then.
For letting my kids use technology.
For letting my kids have sugar and happy meals occasionally.
For not ‘covering up’ around my kids.
For running a full time business from home.
For co-sleeping with my kids.
For collecting sports cars and motorcycles aka having a hobby.
For taking time for myself.
For having abs.”
"Someone once needed to drop something off to me and asked 'what time works for you?' I responded with 'anytime, I’ll be home all day.' The comment back shocked me, they said 'gosh I wish I was a stay at home mom so I had all the time do anything.' That was 3 years ago and I have never forgotten those words. So let me tell you what I do with my time all day. I breastfeed my second on demand all day. Thats 109,500 mins a year (but most likely more). I breastfed my first until 3 so that’s approximately 328,500 (who yes I continued to breastfeed on demand the whole time) and approximately 164,250 with my second so far (taking only a 3 month break in between). I change diapers all day sometimes multiple times an hour. I do loads of laundry, dishes, pick up toys about 100 times a day, heal ouies with a kiss, bounce a crying baby, play dress up with a wild toddler, figure out how to make teething more comfortable, cook breakfast lunch and dinner, teach colors, numbers, letters, shapes, and words, rub backs, and take care of sick children even when I’m sick. I read about 50 books a day and help paint a multitude of pictures. I rarely sit to eat, have a break to watch tv, or simply go to the bathroom alone let alone take a shower. I’m a cook, a cleaner, teacher, 'doctor,' a healer, comforter, lullaby singer, mother, and wife. I have no sick days, no time off, and barely any alone time. Yes it’s exhausting and yes it’s a lot of 'work' but I know for me, and I think for most, wouldn’t change it for a second. Because in all the chaos and piles of laundry there are millions of moments that fulfill me more then I could every dream. There is joy in the chaos and love in the mess. It is hard for all mothers whether working or stay at home. One is not better then the other and one is not harder then the other. Working or stay at home, we are all mother working 24/7 So let’s stop assuming what a mother’s day is like and praise every mother for all the work that they do."
"Pro runner Stephanie Rothstein recently shared what her stomach looks like 3 years postpartum, revealing that she still has Diastasis Recti: “This is as good as it will get for me,” she says. I still have a 1 finger gap, extra saggy skin, and stretch marks.” But she’s grown to love her body for more than just looks: “My core is also the strongest it’s ever been, and the proof has been no major injuries in my hips, glute, back, and core since giving birth. This is how I look, but not how I feel. When I’m training hard, lifting, sprinting at the end of races I feel the strongest core possible. It doesn’t look the same as the women I race against who haven’t given birth, but who gives a crap. It took me a while to be comfortable in my own skin, but every time I run in a sports bra, wear crop top shirts I grow a little more confident in my postpartum body.”
“I am 5'6, 138lbs. I eat a balanced clean diet 85% of the week. I don't count calories, macros or build, bulk, drop at any point during the year. I don't binge all day Sun and starve myself the other 6 days. I don't detox, I don't take supplements, I don't have a secret meal plan and I'm not obsessed with kale. I listen to my body when it speaks to me and I remain disciplined and make smart decisions throughout the whole process. I connect to my daily needs within the gym and workout according to that desire. I want to look good for a beach vacation and I will proudly admit to doing more cardio when it's crunch time. I want my jeans to fit right. I want to be proud of my strength when the sleeves are off. I want to live a healthy life. I don't punish myself for wanting guacamole and chips on a Wednesday night. I don't expect one spin class to drop 5lbs. I have built a LIFE around balance and the understanding you must work hard with a level of consistency, determination and focus to get what you want and this mindset stems much beyond the walls of health and fitness. I make time and prioritize what is most important to me. I wake up with the motivation to become the best possible version of myself. I have to cut time in my schedule to get stronger and find peace within my mind. I make sacrifices. I work my ass off in the gym. You may see me eating a massive pizza with a side of boneless buffalo wings with an incredible margarita but please don't chalk it up to having a "good metabolism" or getting to workout all day...Bc I don't. I am still very much and will always be a work in progress. Start to change one thing today that will help you live a more balanced, happy, healthy life. Whether it's finding time to call family on the way home or a 10 minute walk on the treadmill. Just start. Start with the understanding that it will not be easy but you are surrounded by support. Stay committed, driven and focused to whatever goal or dream it may be. Consistency is key. Never sacrifice your dreams or the things you love. Strive to find a balance on every level and what once seemed like a burden will inevitably just feel like a way of living.”
Note: this post originally had 76 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.