Earlier this week, Bugaboo, an Amsterdam based stroller company, released a picture that features international supermodel Ymre Stiekema running and pushing a Bugaboo stroller with her daughter, Lymée, strapped in. It has been getting a lot of buzz this past week, especially from women and mothers, but the overall response is mixed. Some are in support of the picture while others are critical of the standards being proposed by this picture and this company. Below is the much-talked about picture:
Now, there aren't many mothers who go running in a bikini or feel comfortable showing that much skin after having kids, so it's understandable for criticizers to say that: 1) this certainly isn't a depiction of an average mother, 2) it forces a specific body image onto mothers, and 3) Bugaboo is just trying to "pretty up" their advertisement. However, there's a lot to consider about this photo and what Bugaboo is. Bugaboo produces a lot of different strollers for many different situations. The one pictured here is specifically for bringing kids out when the parent(s) want to exercise and run and the stroller company recently stated on their Facebook page that this specific stroller was designed with "active parents in mind." Additionally, Stiekema's job is to be a supermodel and so she has to be physically fit, even after having her daughter.
With all that's been said, it's not necessarily in defense of Bugaboo or whoever directed the photo shoot. A bikini while running isn't realistic and normal attire (and by the way, the physically active dads on the Bugaboo site definitely are all wearing shorts and a shirt). Women looking at this picture may feel uncomfortable or inadequate, which brings up the most important take-away from this picture: the body types of women are all different, but none of these types are inferior to the other. The appearance of one active mother can be totally different from another equally active mother. What's important is that a woman feels amazing in her own skin based on her own body image standards, not others'. A woman's body is beautiful, no matter what.