One Australian influencer is getting praise for sharing a “real” postpartum message, along with a photo of her derriere, and explaining why she no longer feels obligated to look “flawless” on social media.
Polites’ Internet stardom hasn’t come without its fair share of backlash, however.
Before welcoming baby son Arlo in June, the 28-year-old was blasted for having “too large” of a baby bump and staging a full-on photo shoot with her husband and young daughter Evaliah while she was in labor.
The blogger’s most recent Instagram photo, however, is being championed as an empowering inspiration for other new mothers.
“Not your typical transformation pic,” Polites captioned a two-part, side-by-side “belfies” in an Aug. 1 Instagram post. “This is me on the left at 8 weeks postpartum, not posing and no makeup on for what was going to be a 'before shot.' This is also me on the right posing and 'photo ready' post Evaliah.”
“I’m not perfect in either photo because perfection does not exist but it’s taken me a while to realize this,” she continued. “I obviously still want to look and feel my best but I’ll no longer get ready just for a photo if I’m not going out, put cartoon filters on my face or hide my body because I’m not 'done up' or where I want to be yet.”
“It all hit home when someone offered to take a photo of me and Evaliah when I was pregnant and I declined because I had no makeup on. Evaliah said 'But why mummy? You are so beautiful though,' the model said.
“I’m a proud mama in sweatpants and equally proud when I’m glam and don’t smell like vomit,” Polites went on.
“I’ll never be perfect or flawless and this doesn’t define my worth,” she declared. “I’m still going to smash [fitness] training when I’m up to it but I refuse to live for the ‘after’ shot and I’ll love myself regardless.”
In the hours since, the woman’s post has since been liked nearly 25,000 times and received hundreds of supportive comments.
“You are so naturally beautiful! It is nice to see you without makeup on!” one user gushed.
“I love this! I often wondered why you used filters when you are so beautiful anyway!” another agreed. “You have a very wise and gorgeous daughter.”
“I needed this! 10 weeks postpartum and feeling weak!” another said.
Other skeptics, meanwhile, argued that it was high time the blogger had a reality check.
“Let’s not teach our kids to be insecure Hannah! Good job for having that realization and sharing it with others,” one chimed in.
“You’re perfect in both photos. I have a flabby belly,” another moaned.
The next day, Polites shared another casual-looking photo taken at home, featuring the proud mom kissing a smiling baby Arlo on the cheek.
“My dumpling,” she wrote of the family moment.