I saw footage today of Britney Spears on David Letterman. She had her baby right before I had mine, and I inevitably compared myself with her throughout our pregnancies, because we were always at roughly the same stage.
I'll admit, I identified most with Britney when I saw her interview with Matt Lauer on Dateline--when she was dressed in sloppy, ill-fitting clothes, hair all disheveled and mascara all clumpy; when she was defending her seemingly bad mothering; when she got skewered in the press for looking and acting so...imperfect. I had never liked Britney so much! She seemed so real and normal.
Since then, she's gradually strayed back to the celebrity archetype...appearing naked and sveltely pregnant on the cover of a glossy magazine, going on a relaxing "babymoon" to some exotic and expensive paradise resort, having her baby in a fancy birthing center..and now, showing up on national television all taut, toned, and unrealistically glamorous just weeks after giving birth.
I find myself a little disappointed to have bought in, even for a second, to the myth that a celebrity could possibly be "just like me." I'm embarrassed that I even spent a moment wondering why my post-partum figure isn't all svelte and sleek. I can't believe I even have to remind myself that she has trainers and chefs and maids and nannies and wardrobe consultants and make-up artists and...other luxuries I probably don't even know exist. I'm mad at myself for feeling even that hint of self-recrimination back when I really wanted to go on a pre-baby vacation but couldn't afford it. And I'm especially embarrassed that I actually believed that her marriage could possibly be a happy one!
That's why I'm voting no on comparing oneself with celebrities. (If only I could explain my real ballot choices with such authority!)