I’ve been watching the new NBC show  “Up All Night” starring  Christina Applegate (who is also the show’s creator) and SNL alum Maya Rudolph. It’s a show aimed right at the sleep-deprived jugular of anyone who is or ever has been a new parent. Christina Applegate is a new mom whose husband stays home to care for their baby and Maya Rudolph is her best friend and boss,  a childless diva who’s a big baby herself. A hilarious big baby.

These women are funny. And they know what we, the sleep-deprived masses, find funny because they themselves are part of the sleep-deprived masses.

But I also watch this show based on principle; both Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph look a little different from their previous TV appearances.   Their bodies are rounder.  Softer. Fuller. More than a handful, as they say. They’re sporting what is commonly known as “baby weight”  – as in  “She hasn’t really lost the baby weight.”—this dreaded thing we all accept as temporary until we grind ourselves back to “normal.”

Normal, that’s funny. Like there will ever be a normal again. Like baby weight is a condition you can cure. Christina Applegate’s baby was born over a year ago; by Hollywood’s standards, she should have lost the baby weight 11 months ago. But maybe this isn’t baby weight—maybe it’s the new Christina. A woman whose life has changed and her body has changed to reflect that; she hasn’t simply  “gained weight”…….her body has morphed into a bearer of life.

But no one said  “Let’s delay shooting until the girls get into shape!”   Instead of kowtowing to the unrealistic standard of beauty fed to us by the (mostly male) media mucky mucks,  Christina and Maya have hijacked the airwaves by daring to star in a TV show while mothering, with mothering bodies, without a flow-y peasant blouse in sight. They show off  their curves in pencil skirts and tight belts and plunging necklines, never apologizing for the shape that was created by the act of nurturing. And it’s hot. It’s hot in a very powerful way.

Their new bodies are substantial and meaningful.  And these are the bodies that rule the world.   They are the epitome of womanly, with a heft that is curvy and vibrant to the touch. These are the bodies that say “go to your room!” and “I deserve better than that.”  and “I will love you with a fierceness you have never seen.”

My own body has taken on this shape. I admit, I don’t care for the rolls, but I’m digging the fullness of my curve. The way I look like a grown-up and not a girl. My girlish figure is from another era when I didn’t nurture and protect anyone but myself. I see people with their fragile, girlish hips and I think, “How do you rule the world with those hips? Is your love precious and fragile like your hips?” And by the frequency of the ass-grabbing in my house,  I can confirm that my husband is digging the womanly version of me, too. He assures me that 20 more pounds of naked is still naked. And naked is good. He emphasizes this a lot. Naked is good.

I point these women out not to embarrass them but because they inspire me. Because they are redefining sexy and showing me how to see the sexiness in my full booty. I watch this show religiously so that the mostly male media mucky mucks will have no reason to say  “Why don’t you girls slim down a little. I think it’ll give us a ratings boost.”

They have left their girlish figures behind for something far more desirable. We just have to convince the rest of the world that they’re onto something. Won’t you join me?

For more from Kristin, read her blog, Cabin Crush


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Comments (36)


  1. Posted by: Andrea

    What a nice feature, and so true.

    I would add that I assume both these women must feel so incredibly grateful that they are healthy and there for their families. Christina Applegate battled breast cancer a few years ago, and sadly, Maya Rudolph’s mother died (I believe at age 31) from breast cancer. So, for them to be strong, powerful, and curvy must feel amazing on so many levels.

  2. Posted by: Lisa

    From a new mom who is still carrying around about 10 pounds of “baby weight”, thanks, I appreciate this candid post.

  3. Posted by: Amy

    I so appreciate this post. My 3rd baby is turning one in a couple of weeks. I’m still struggling to lose the last 20 pounds, and am finding it a million times harder than it was after my first two pregnancies.

    I am holding onto a closet full of clothes and constantly putting off buying anything new, because surely I’ll be back in them soon. But maybe it’s okay that I don’t fit into those clothes. Maybe this is my new size!

    You made me feel so much better. Thank you.

  4. Posted by: Andrea

    I love the idea that we are not merely somewhere on a path back to who we used be, but that we are new, stronger, more grounded, better . . . we’ve undergone a sea-change of sorts. Some other lovely words on the power of a woman’s body:

    homage to my hips

    these hips are big hips
    they need space to
    move around in.
    they don’t fit into little
    petty places. these hips
    are free hips.
    they don’t like to be held back.
    these hips have never been enslaved,
    they go where they want to go
    they do what they want to do.
    these hips are mighty hips.
    these hips are magic hips.
    i have known them
    to put a spell on a man and
    spin him like a top!

  5. Posted by: Sonja

    Thank you! It is wonderful way to think about my post baby body.

  6. Posted by: Eleonore

    I really appreciate this wonderful piece. It brought to mind the poem “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou.

    I am happy with my body, but “society” keeps trying to convince me not to be. I love the changes in my body and all of the things they have allowed me to do. It’s nice for once to see women that represent this on television.

  7. Posted by: Ellie

    I thought the same thing when I caught a few minutes of “the office” last night. Pam looks like a mom and I like it.

  8. Posted by: Brandy

    Thanks for this. I was just talking to a friend and telling her that I kinda like my “Mom” body. I earned these curves! Plus, my kids love burying their faces in a chub, not bones…

  9. Posted by: Courtney

    I was just talking about this today. Its something I’ve notice since the beginning of the show, and I absolutely love it. So great to see real moms in their real bodies and looking beautiful, not to mention hilarious! Love that show for so many reasons:)

  10. Posted by: Sarah

    I can appreciate how refreshing it is to see women in the spotlight with curvier, fuller figures, but let’s not forget that many of who’ve given birth to children still have “fragile, girlish” hips afterwards (because some of us are just built like that), and that doesn’t make us any less of a mom, a woman, or any less able to “rule the world” with these hips. Can we please celebrate one body type without putting down another? In my opinion, it takes ladies of all shapes and sizes to rule the world…together.

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  12. Posted by: Emily

    So what if I don’t have a baby? Yes, my body will change over time, but does the fact that my body didn’t produce a child make me less of a woman because I still have girlish hips? I’m all for recognizing real women’s bodies in the media, but it’s not all about childbearing.

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  14. Posted by: mosey

    I agree with commenter – Sarah.
    I’m not a mom yet but hope I’m able to get pregnant soon.
    I have always felt less womanly and worthy because of my fragile, girlish figure that I really can’t help having. I’m tired of a ‘real woman’ being defined only by the ‘real curves’ she has. So I repeat what Sarah says ‘can we please celebrate one body type without putting down another?’

  15. Posted by: Kathy

    You realize you’re doing exactly what you are supposedly against in this article, judging women’s bodies. Now that you’ve given birth and carry more weight, those who have not given birth and have thinner hips are somehow less womanly? How about we stand together in support of all our fellow women and stop saying what the “epitome” of womanly is and what’s not. Being a woman has nothing to do with how wide our hips are our what our bra size is. Please stop degrading body shapes different than your own in order to boost your own body image. ALL kinds of body shapes rule the world.

  16. Posted by: Amy

    “My girlish figure is from another era when I didn’t nurture and protect anyone but myself. I see people with their fragile, girlish hips and I think, “How do you rule the world with those hips? Is your love precious and fragile like your hips?””

    Do us ladies have to denigrate one body type to glorify another? This gives me the sads. :-( I know moms of all shapes and sizes, and the thin ones aren’t thin because they are unhealthy, nor are the curvy ones curvy, because they are unhealthy. Some women gain weight, some don’t. Some women will never fill a B cup, in the same way that some women will never be a size 6. My own mom was always thin, because that’s her natural body shape and I didn’t feel like her love for me was “precious and fragile.”

  17. Posted by: Stephanie

    My entire life I’ve been put down by bigger women for having a tall, size 0 slender body. For the record, I am perfectly healthy at this size. I go through no measures to be this size. It’s just the way I am, how I am built. As much as I appreciate what you’re saying here, I also cringe at yet ANOTHER way for women with curves to put down women without them. It’s like I’m back in Jr. High again. As mothers we should be trying to encourage and empower each other—not put down.

    You write: “I see people with their fragile, girlish hips and I think, “How do you rule the world with those hips? Is your love precious and fragile like your hips?”

    Do you honestly think that hips have anything to do with the ability to love? Or the ability to be a strong woman of virtue? Or that a person has less of an ability to mother with a slender body? I’m sure when it comes down to it, that’s not what you think, but that’s what you wrote.

    I want to point out to you that there are lots of people in this world who are born with bodies different than yours. Over-compensating for any insecurities by putting down women with different bodies is the backwards way to go about gaining confidence or supporting other women. Why are women so competitive in this area at this stage of life?

    I don’t fault anyone for gaining weight during pregnancy. I’m 5 months pregnant and haven’t gained much outside of what is recommended. I was also very sick during the first trimester with horrible nausea and vomiting. But just because I’m not gaining a lot of weight doesn’t mean that I am unhealthy or incapable of mothering in the same way as women who do. I really feel strongly that I should defend that. Our bodies do what they are supposed to do. I can’t tell you how often throughout my life I have had to “defend” my size. I don’t do that anymore…but I do like to try and educate people on how they are coming across and how hurtful comments can be.

    Again, I appreciate the main thrust of your post and agree with most of it. I’m sorry that you (and other commenters) have felt that your normal isn’t OK. I feel that way too.

    So, maybe re-think your approach? and try to be sensitive to the vast array of beauty in this world.

  18. Posted by: Gosia

    I love love love this post. As my extra 6kg I gained with my 3rd baby. After the 1st one I was even skinnier than before, after the 2nd one Ineither gained nor lost extra kgs, this time I’m rounder and I fully accept that. Probably the world doesn’t but who cares? I feel so ‘me’ now. In the prime of my life!

  19. Posted by: Dominique

    This is nice, BUT there are girls who have hips AND are not moms, i.e., me, yet I am not “round.” And I know I can love fiercely. I feel like you’re putting down women who do not have children and assuming their figures are not as “womanly,” in order to make a demographic feel better about themselves when they already should–they’re moms, that’s reward enough. All women, from kindergateners to the elderly, should take note not to put other women down to make themselves feel better.

  20. Posted by: Gosia

    guys, I think the author doesn’t want to offend anyone but we’ve been told for years that skinnier=better that I don’t find it bizzare to find fuller tv charecters exciting and positive! I can’t recall anyone telling me I look worse because I lost about 5 kgs after having my first baby – just the opposite. People would commment how great I looked and how lucky I was. Really? I simply feel better now, after my third pregnency and 6kgs heavier. That’s subjective. Objectively, I wish for all women, those who are moms and those who are childless to age and change physically without remorses hence it’s just natural. And we’ve been deprived to feel happy, positive and ok about it. That’s it.

  21. Posted by: Christi

    This article is great but it’s also stupid, or maybe it’s just poorly written and you didn’t intend to downcast women who are less curvy than you.

    I am full of the utmost respect for women’s bodies in all of their curvy femininity. I dislike the media’s obsession with stick-thin bodies.

    But don’t criticize my “fragile, girlish hips” and ask me, “How do you rule the world with those hips? Is your love precious and fragile like your hips?”

    To answer your questions:

    I can’t have children, but I can bet like hell that I can rule the world just as easily as you. Luckily personality has nothing to do with whether I have a child or well-padded hips.

    My love is fierce and unbreakable. I won’t have the opportunity to love a child born from my body in this way, but I can bet like hell that my love is anything but weak—as you see my body to be.

  22. Posted by: Shin

    I like seeing women with different bodies on television but I hate it when women talk each other down especially towards girls who have super model bodies or are just naturally thinner. It’s just pure jealousy and resentment towards someone who has a better body than yours. This article makes subtle digs at women who don’t have children or “child-bearing hips”. I don’t have a lot of curves and I’m really, really tiny but I’m pretty confident that I can rule the world just fine.

  23. Posted by: karelys

    I had dreaded the baby weight gain in my prior pregnancy (which turned into a devastating miscarriage).

    I feel like baby weight is celebrated this way only from those going from very thin (girlish figure, fragil hips) to a litlte fuller, 10-15 lbs more after baby.

    Ya, boobs and hips are awesome. But if you started really thin and girlish looking then you’ll just look like Marylin Monroe after baby.

    I had a full figure during my teens, early twenties and right before the pregnancy.

    I’m three and some months along. I am hoping that my body won’t go bersek and gain crazy amounts of weight but I can already see the changes.

    Tonight I am meeting with a local photographer to discuss a budoir shoot I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I decided this after I lost my first baby and started gaining weight rapidly while in recovery (without adding extra amount of food/calories to my diet, funnily enough).

    I’ve seen pictures of me in the past, when I thought I was fat. Then, there, there too. I seem to never accept that I was pretty because of the internal changes but I was always trying to hide the natural fat/skin rolls that occur when you spend time reading, with family, in school, at work, etc. and not your entire day working out.

    I feel really fat right now. But I’ve decided that fat is not bad in and of itself. Also, I have decided that if I do, indeed gain much more weight and I can’t lose it fast I will look back to today and think “how dumb! you thought you were fat! you looked great!”

    The photographer said “we’ll get creative to highlight your boobs (cause I told her they are looking awesome right now) and hide your growing belly too” but I’ve decided I don’t want to hide anything. I want to look good but not at the expense of hiding.

    So if I’m gonna be fat I’m gonna be fat and fabulous! :)

  24. Posted by: Michelle

    I completely agree with the main point of your article, but have to critique one part of your argument. Child rearing is one form of power, but it is not the only one. By asking if women can rule the world with delicate, childless hips, you discount the power of women who choose not to, or are unable to bear children. I agree that women should not be shamed for their baby weight, but a woman who lacks it shouldn’t be shamed either.

  25. Posted by: jessi

    Check out Jenna Fischer who plays Pam on The Office. She’s back on after having a baby both as Pam and in real life, and she hasn’t “lost the baby weight” yet. Very inspiring and beautiful!!

  26. Posted by: jessi

    Check out Jenna Fischer who plays Pam on The Office. She’s back on the show after having giving birth both as Pam and in real life, and she still hasn’t “lost the baby weight” yet. Very inspiring and beautiful!!

  27. Posted by: Stephanie

    I really liked the premise of this article (i.e. “Isn’t it great that a couple of women on tv didn’t have to lose the baby weight over an unrealistic timeline, just to appear on tv”), but as many people have articulated before me, the argument descends into something ungenerous. I’m a powerful woman in a powerful career, who has opted to not have children. I was a national-calibre athlete in my youth and have retained my slim and strong body in middle-age (and yes, I have very narrow hips, which probably contributed greatly to my success as a distance runner). When I was younger, I commented to a girlfriend of mine that I did not feel intimidated or somehow out-scaled by the men working around me (I work in a male-dominated profession), in part because of my athleticism. I mused that this was perhaps a “false premise.” She shot back immediately with “The false premise is theirs.” And she was right on the money: A woman in any body can be powerful. I get the vibe from this article that you’re not feeling great about yourself at the moment, and so you’re trying to pump yourself up by taking digs at others. It’s completely understandable and we’ve probably all done it at some point, but I hope that in future you will not belittle women who don’t fit the representation of womanhood that conforms to your own.

  28. Posted by: Nerissa Velazco

    I had to respond to this article as soon as I read it…
    I am glad that you can celebrate your body and your curves but the fact that you send digs to us skinny girls is rather rude.

    I am 23 years old, have always been petite and weigh a mere 94lbs (size 00). This is the way my body was built and it is beautiful. Skinny and petite all over with the lack of curves and all. This does not make me any less of a woman.

    You say:
    “Their new bodies are substantial and meaningful. And these are the bodies that rule the world. They are the epitome of womanly”

    “I see people with their fragile, girlish hips and I think, “How do you rule the world with those hips? Is your love precious and fragile like your hips?”

    Shame on you for saying these things. I am skinny and curveless and I am no less strong than you. My body, as it is, is substantial and meaningful, and will remain so whether I choose to have children or not.

    Yes, I can rule the world. Yes, I can love with a fierceness you have never seen. Yes, I am strong.

    ” ‘Cause I’m a woman, Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman,
    That’s me. ”

    Shame on you for restricting the definition of what it means to be women to mere body size….

  29. Posted by: Melissa

    Wow. I thought this article was great, and I can hardly believe the comments that have followed! People take offense to everything these days! If you aren’t a mom, if you’re a size 0, it’s FINE. This was just a well-written great point about how refreshing it is to see rounder women on TV.

  30. Thank you for this fantastic article. I love your perspective and I love the message.

    Will be sharing with my friends & readers right away :)

  31. It’s interesting to me how polarizing the subject of weight and body image still is for women.

    For what it’s worth, I didn’t understand the author to mean that 20 extra pounds made her a BETTER woman/mom, only that it didn’t make her LESS of one.

  32. Posted by: Zee

    I would like to add to the posts of the women above who are slender and who feel disparaged by your extremely insulting assumptions of and comments to women with small hips…and I would love to see you apologize and explain what you meant…and hopefully you would reflect and refrain from making judgemental statements like that in the future to your loyal readers. I am petite and have been to hell and back in my life…I live in the Caribeban and work with survivors of domestic violence myself having been a victim…I am a leader in my field and love both strongly and fiercely. Women are our own worst enemy…constantly judging and tearing each other down as you sadly have in your post…let us accept each other no matter what dress or hip size we are!

  33. Posted by: Nkoyo

    I love love love this post. I had to re-blog because it just hit home for me. I’m in the process of getting fit and came to the realization that I wasn’t going to look I did in college 4 years because having a baby has made me a woman in every sense of the word. Thank you so much for the post.

  34. Posted by: Danielle

    Loved it, Loved it, Loved the article and so did my husband !!!

    Bottom line, enjoy life because it’s too short not to….

  35. Posted by: Virginia

    Great post! I’m pregnant now.. hips are spreading, things are popping and I know that my body will never go back to what it was and I don’t care. I love it and am proud of it! Bottom line is that we are all capable and strong – no matter what shape and size and it *is* wonderful to see rounder women on prime time.

    One last thing.. I must give credit where credit is due. The sole creator of “Up All Night” is the supremely talented Emily Spivey. check it..

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