Baby bump photos featuring Zoe Saldana, Rachel Bilson and now Blake Lively abound, particularly now that Mila Kunis and others who were repeatedly shot in recent months gave birth. But some photos show rumored bumps on several stars. One, Jennifer Garner, refreshingly acknowledged the rumored baby bump, and happily admits her bump is now permanent.
Garner proudly appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Monday to promote her new film, Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. At a time when many actresses are obsessed with looking perfect or putting on multiple pairs of Spanx, Garner told Ellen’s audience that it may look like baby number 4 is on board (and the crowd certainly wanted it to be true), but she is not expecting.
“Apparently, I have a baby bump,” Garner cheerfully acknowledged. “I am not pregnant, but I have had three kids and there is a bump,” Garner explained. “Let’s just all settle in and get used to it. It’s not going anywhere.”
The now 42-year-old actress spent a decade as an amazingly fit Hollywood action-role figure before becoming more of a rom-com, family movie star. Her years as Alias’ Sydney Bristow and Elektra made Garner a hot actress. Her approachable girl-next-door features give her credibility that many advertising campaigns have used to their advantage. In addition, the woman looks great in most outfits and glams up nicely for awards functions, even with a little bulge below the belt.
Garner’s trio of children with Oscar-winning husband Ben Affleck – Violet, 8, Seraphina, 5, and Samuel, 2 – made her a spokesperson for protecting children of celebrities from paparazzi. Her comments on Monday undoubtedly made her even more relatable to women who may have tried valiantly, but never saw their figures return to pre-baby shape and have come to the realization that they never will.
There are women who do immediately return post-baby to flat abs, but it gets harder with each pregnancy and with age. Few women in their 40s are as fit as they were in their 20s, even ones who can afford the trainer and time like Garner. By the third child, few women do find that they ab muscles snapped back, even if they did after their firstborn. The skin on the stomach and the underlying muscles are more pliant than before.
The Web is full of sites touting ways to tone post-delivery. Some are questionable mommy blogs, but others offer credible advice from doctors and trainers. But the advice often conflicts too. One site will recommend doing crunches, the next quotes Oprah’s stalwart Dr. Mehmet Oz that “the biggest mistake women make in trying to get rid of their pregnancy pooch is that they start doing abdominal exercises like sit-ups and crunches that only worsen the pregnancy pooch problem.”
There are women who proudly proclaim that they “had a mummy tummy for 12 years” and finally lost it. Good for them. But the refreshing reality presented by Jennifer Garner gives everyone who admits they did not shed their baby bump recognition that is just might be permanent. She happily acknowledged that it is not easy and gave the mothers in the audience permission to realize that it is not them. For some, who are busy living their lives and raising the children, that little bulge is a badge and shedding it may not be that important.
By Dyanne Weiss