Beautifying for Labor: Shallow or Genius?

Annie Krasnow

With my first daughter I planned for my baby's first photos -- with me in the picture. I was induced so I thought it would be easy. I blew my hair out, bought and washed my cool, black leisure suit, and got a mani-pedi. My mascara was packed and my subtle lip gloss tone was prepped. But, when it came time to say cheese, I was still in my hospital gown, my hair was pulled back, and popped blood vessels were in plain sight. I didn't care -- at the time.

However, when I go to my in-laws' home and there are framed photos of me on display holding my newborn with dark circles under my eyes and loose boobs, I'm annoyed at myself. I can pretend people are only looking at the baby, but, like I would do, people are also analyzing the real, exposed me and it's not so cute. This time, my shallowness will be planned out much better and I think it's the smart choice.

I wish someone had told me about what I needed to do to be photo ready. I know in theory it should be all about the baby, but I feel like when a mother starts thinking that way, she loses herself in motherhood and it's a recipe for disaster. Mothers who let themselves go aren't the happiest women, especially when they are looking at photos of themselves.

This time, I'm going to make sure my hair is brushed. I'm going to take the three seconds it takes to put on mascara. I'm going to put on a bra and zip up my cute hoodie. While I'm prepping, people can take as many photos of my baby as they'd like. As most of us agree, it's all about baby.

Once I'm prepped, I will pose happily with my new family. I'll feel confident that I look great. I'll know that if one of these pictures shows up on Facebook, even untagged, I don't have to worry that some guy I slept with 20 years ago sees it or that some future employer knows what I look like at my rawest. I will also be able to proudly display the photo in my house, something I don't do now.

Does this make me shallow or smart?

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