There are many perplexing elements to this image of Dutch model Ymre Stiekema running with her toddler. It is hard to rank them in terms of their individual bafflement ratings, so instead I’ll list them alphabetically: full hair and make-up, lack of bust support, no socks, potential chaffing issues, running in a bikini, unfair abs situation.
The number of celebrities with perfect post-baby bodies is infinite: Victoria Beckham, Kate Middleton, Abbey Clancy, Nicole Richie, I could go on… They are perhaps all guilty of getting too thin too quickly after giving birth, but for some reason, Mums on Facebook have gone potty (!) for this image. Potty in a bad way.
Mainly, I think, they are jealous. I am jealous. I have two children and I do not have those abs. For the record, if I did have those abs (currently, the chance of me even feeling my abs again is nil) I would not run in a bikini. I would not run in a bikini because many people frequent my local park. People who would laugh.
Rather predictably, the ranting Facebook Mums are horrified that Bugaboo has aligned itself with an image of a mother who looks so bloody fabulous. I’d like to point out that Stiekema’s daughter, who is hiding underneath that blue hood, is two years old. I’m going to put my Mummy neck on the line here and say that I think it is ok, admirable even (cue hate mail), to have a bod like Ymre’s two years after delivery. Come on, it’s not as if she popped out a munchkin last week.
That Bugaboo is involved in the furore is just plain marketing. The Runner, as modelled by Ymre, has just gone on the shop floor and it is, after all, a buggy designed for mothers – and fathers – interested in fitness.
There are so many other, worthier, post-natal body questions that could, and perhaps, should, have got the Facebook Mum’s more engaged. Like the fact that everyone – myself included – applauded Kate Middleton for her leaving hospital bump-abandon, but no one noticed that she was flat-stomached again a couple of weeks later. To me, that’s more intriguing (and perturbing) than Ymre and her chaffed fou-fou.
Alice Olins is a style journalist and co-founder of the Step Up Club, an online magazine for working women