Mothercare Body Proud Mums
British retailer Mothercare has been running Body Proud Mums, a press, outdoor and online campaign addressing body image issues relating to birth. Research showed that over 80% of mums in the UK have admitted comparing their post-baby bodies to unrealistic ideals, with 90% of women aged 18-25 expecting their bodies to compete with celebrities and what they see in the media. Mothercare worked with McGarryBowen to find women to pose for photos that would celebrate the post-partum body, encouraging new mums to feel proud and confident about their bodies. The Mothercare campaign, featuring un-retouched photographs, complete with stretch marks and scars, appears on screens throughout the London Underground, as well as on Mothercare’s instagram site, alongside stories from the models. The Body Proud Mums campaign was created for Transport for London’s “The Women We See” competition, which called on entrants to produce ads that “reflect London’s diversity, feature women from all backgrounds and move away from harmful gender stereotypes.” As the contest’s runner-up, Mothercare received £50,000 of digital advertising space. Mothercare found women to participate in the campaign via open casting calls and social media posts.
The mothers posed for British photographer Sophie Mayanne, known for her photographic focus on women with scars. “The images depict the raw and incredibly emotional experience of childbirth. The aim is for mums of all shapes and sizes to be able to identify with these photos in one way or another, and to feel more confident with their imperfections,” says Mayanne.
One mother, Tesha, who was photographed 26 weeks after giving birth, said she was initially “devastated” and “ashamed” of her new-mom body. But she concluded, “I’m learning that this is the new me now. My stretch marks are going nowhere and nor is my scar; they are reminders that without them I wouldn’t have my son.”
Kesia, pictured 17 weeks after childbirth, said, “I always knew my body would be different after giving birth, however, I didn’t expect my mind to take so long to get used to seeing myself.” She added, “I wanted to take part to show people that it is normal to look like this after having a baby. I want to show the baby is more important than the marks!”
The Mothercare Bodies After Birth campaign was developed at mcgarrybowen London by executive creative director Angus Macadam, creative directors Simon Lotze and Miguel Nunes, art directors Anders Wendel and Laura McGovern, copywriters Elliott Tiney and Sarah Watson, photographer Sophie Mayanne, head of design Andy Breese, designers Luke Ridgway and Simon O’Brien, head of account management Rachael Ford, account director Kate Scrutton, strategy director Chris Turner, and strategist Ali Wynter.