I've always suspected that supermodels were an entirely different breed of human beings, the equivalent of greyhounds to our Labs and beagles and shar-peis.
It's almost impossible not to feel that models are an alien species while watching a fashion show or looking at print ads. I swear their legs are two inches longer, their ribcages two inches narrower. They seem impossibly lithe and sleek.
I've never hated models for these features, however, or even envied them, because it simply seems too preposterous to do so. The gap is simply too large! It'd be like a hedgehog comparing itself to an antelope. There's just too much difference between the two.
The latest example of the alien attributes of models compared to us mere mortals comes from Irina Shayk, who less than a month ago gave birth to her first child with partner Bradley Cooper.
Today, she posted the following picture:
And in case there were any doubt about whether this was a throwback pic, Shayk cleared that up with a simple hashtag in the caption: "#currentsituation."
So, less than a month after giving birth, Shayk, either an extraterrestrial or simply an incredibly gene-gifted human being depending on your tolerance level for conspiracy theories, shows off her #CurrentSituation lounging in a pool, floating lazily on a pair of inflatable lips looking impossibly good in a tiny black bikini.
Do you know what I was doing a month after having my daughter? Recovering from my C-section and hobbling around like an 80-year-old, still wearing (and, if we're honest, loving) those giant pairs of disposable underwear they give you at the hospital. I'm fairly slim, but I definitely still looked five months pregnant. And I would never have worn a bikini — not because I still looked five months pregnant, but because my formerly tiny boobs had grown to such grotesque proportions that I felt obscene wearing anything more revealing than a turtleneck.
Not Irina Shayk, though. Irina Shayk got up this morning, looked at herself and the sunny day outside and thought, "Yes. It's bikini time."
And you know what? Good for her. Let's not waste one moment tearing her down over this or turning it into some sort of bizarre mommy war, OK?
Regardless of how good she looks, Shayk has still gone through the overwhelming transformation we all went through after becoming mothers. She's not sleeping any more than we did (actually that may be what she's doing out there... having a quick pool nap! Genius!) and she too feels like she's drowning at times.
I can also almost guarantee that this serene pool moment was cut short by a crying baby or a need to breastfeed or pump or mix formula, to change a diaper or simply because she missed her child, as we all do.
And I'd be willing to bet that she too feels the inevitable isolation new motherhood can bring. The loneliness, the sense of your own self being subsumed by someone else. Being a supermodel doesn't protect you from that. Nor does looking better a month after giving birth than most of us ever will.
If Irina Shayk posted this picture to remind herself (and us) that she's still desirable, good for her. If she needed to be seen for a moment as a woman and not a mother, good for her. If she looked at her body in the mirror and marveled at the fact that it was capable of creating life and bringing it forth into this world of ours and wanted to capture that awe, good for her.
And even if she's been dieting and working out (like she might have to do, given the fact her body is her livelihood) and if she took this picture because she's proud of the results, proud of how much time and effort she's put in to look this toned so soon after having a baby, good for her.
What new mom doesn't want to feel like a woman again, sexy again, fit again after having a baby?
Irina Shayk may be impossibly different from most of us in every physical way possible, but motherhood irrevocably changes us all and that, at least, we have in common.
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