Karen Macauley’s, 45, like almost every other woman on the planet: she wasn’t thrilled with the way her stomach looked after giving birth. After scrambling to look great in a special occasion outfit, she came up with a great solution; she invented Tum Tape, an adhesive band that pulls the stomach in. She calls it an instant tummy tuck. But is she doing more harm than good when it comes to helping women accept their bodies?
Tum Tape isn’t the first product of its kind on the market, obviously. Spanx promises to smooth unwanted bulges and Latina moms have long bound their bellies with a faja shortly after giving birth to keep their tummies in place. So while Macauley’s contraption is unique in that it actually sticks to the tummy, its purpose is pretty familiar. But in a world where painted bellies and pregnancy photography are asking us to love the bodies that make babies, stretch marks, be damned, it seems a little backwards. Carrying your baby is one thing but bringing him or her into the world safely is something else, and it’s really, really amazing.
Model, first-time mother and MommyNoire columnist Tomiko Fraser-Hines wants us to love the stretched, wrinkly and, yes, maybe even fat stomach that brought a child into the world. That stomach is just as important as your “cute” belly bump. Of course, you want to be able to feel attractive, like your old self and losing the belly is part of that. But maybe you want to leave the Tum Tape, Spanx and other contraptions for a different time. At first, just learn to live with the belly your baby used to live in and take care of yourself in other ways.