The Shape Of A Mother: Attention Getter

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The Shape of a Mother blog aims to show off real womens' bodies after having children, stretch marks and all. | The Shape of a Mother

One of the qualities most associated with womanhood is being a mother -- so why don't we know what a mother's body looks like under her clothes?

That's the question being asked by Bonnie Ratliff Crowder, the creator of The Shape of a Mother, a blog dedicated to mother's bodies, loose skin, stretch marks, infertility struggles and all (Ratliff Crowder has another site, This Is A Woman, for ladies in general).

With all the perfect bodies, Photoshopped or not, constantly being shown to women around the world, it's no surprise that self-esteem can take a beating at times, and women who have been through childbirth are not particularly inclined to show off their less-than-toned stomachs and arms.

Campaigns like XOJane's Real Girl Belly Project and Dove's Real Beauty advertisements have put more realistic images in the public eye, but that hasn't stemmed the flood of full-time-job bodies shown everywhere you look.

And when it comes to moms, the pressure can be even worse, with features on Hollywood celebrities showing off newly toned bodies weeks after giving birth -- but without showing how pregnancy truly affected their bodies.

The Shape of a Mother celebrates the changes that are so often seen as flaws, and the site's honestly about women's feelings about their bodies ("My journey from hating myself to, well, not hating myself as much," one contributor wrote to describe her pictures) creates a forum that welcomes every shape and size.

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