Open Letter to the Commenter Who Said “Having a Baby Ruined My Body”

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To the Commenter who Said “Having a Baby Ruined My Body”:

You left a comment on one of my Postpartum Workout Videos. Perhaps the irony of that is lost on you. You body shamed me in a place where I am striving to be healthier and encourage others to do the same.

My body isn’t here for your pleasure.

commenter-postpartum

The first of your comments said: “Clearly having a kid messes up your body. You look like you gained a lot of body fat. However, I still like your workouts.” 

When another commenter defended me you responded with: “Yeah b–ch, she put on weight and fat, Get your eyes checked you moron” “…you disgusting piece of feminist s–t. I’m in great shape. I didn’t just shit out a kid” and “Actually C–t, I would never be stupid enough to s–t out a kid and ruin my body. So kiss my a$$ you b–ch.”

The comments that you posted are NOT okay. Verbally attacking me, and other people is NOT okay. The viewpoints that you apparently felt such a compulsion to express….NOT okay. Are you getting my point?

I am in fact one of those “feminist pieces of s–t” that you refer to in your comments. Your objectification of my body, and your attempts to minimize me to only my physical appearance….NOT okay.

I am curious, why does a higher body fat percentage ruin my body? Because you don’t enjoy looking at it?

You see, my workouts are about being healthy. They are not about achieving some bodily ideal set for me by society, or by the unrealistic expectations of strangers. My focus is on health, not body fat percentage. I don’t appreciate you trying to tear me down, or tear down any woman who is postpartum and has to read your vitriol.

As a female, I have had to deal with unwanted comments about my body since I was 12-years old. It takes strength to feel comfortable in your own skin when society is telling you that you are not good enough. The pressure is even higher after having a baby, when there is so much focus on achieving your pre-pregnancy weight and physique, before your body has even recovered from labor. It took my body more than 9-months to grow to accommodate a child, and now I am supposed to magically return to my pre-pregnancy shape instantly? Why? Because you think having a kid messed up my body?

Sorry, I’ll pass on the crash diet and self-hatred.

In five days time I will be 4-months Postpartum. Your first comment was posted on one of my workout videos one month ago (when I was nearly 3 months Postpartum). My life, body, hormones, emotions, went through major changes. I have not set a deadline to achieve a certain body fat percentage. I will not succumb to the pressure from you, or any other person to feel badly about myself for not meeting unrealistic physical expectations.

I like my body. I like it with extra body fat. I like it with muscle. I liked it when my body fat percentage was lower. The amount of fat on my body does not define me. My body is strong and healthy. My body carried a child for more than 9 months, and went through more than 27 hours of labor to deliver a beautiful baby boy into this world. My body is strong and capable. I refuse to hate my body.

Having a child made me realize how much stronger, and more capable I am. Having a son makes me realize that my reactions and responses to the world will teach him what it means to be a man, and how to treat a woman. I will not passively accept that comments like yours are something that I have to endure.

Your comments are one small representation of the attitude and pressures facing women each and every day. Today, instead of just hitting delete and ignoring the problem, I am standing up and saying it’s not okay.

Melissa

72 thoughts on “Open Letter to the Commenter Who Said “Having a Baby Ruined My Body”

  1. Stephanie

    Well said! There are too many comments out there shaming other women who enjoy working out simply for the health benefits. Working out actually keeps the mind healthy as well! I love your workouts. I’d rather do one of your workouts and follow you compared to other workout sites. I love your energy and positivity!
    All I can think of is that people who write disgusting comments that are shameful are jealous .
    Keep up the good work and continue doing what you are doing.

  2. Laura Goldman

    You go, Melissa!

    As a young lady recently battling an eating disorder (by recent I mean within the past 2 years), it really hit home to hear you acknowledge and repudiate the silly ideation that body fat percentage somehow in our culture defines us as people. I feel sexier, stronger, healthier and everything in between being at 19% BF vs. a measly 12% two years ago.

    You SERIOUSLY look amazing, strong, and beautiful at this point in your life just as you did a year ago. I am so happy to see that you did not let this lowlife effect your feelings about your body in any way. Posts like this are why I’m so proud to be a dedicated patron of BenderFitness!

    P.S. (in reference to your passage on your Patreon site) I think BenderFitness apparel would be adorable!

  3. Katheen Baggio

    Thank you for sharing. I know from personal experience that being in the public eye can lead to unwarranted scrutiny and yours certainly was down right awful and undeserving to say the least. You are a bright and powerful individual that adds to my day (and others) and I thank you for that. I was on one season of a TV show that my husband and I created and you wouldn’t believe some of the comments we got from around the world, from I hate your voice to I want to cut your head off and crap down your throat. Some people are just miserable and it oozes out of them as a reflection of themselves not of us. Blessing to you and your amazing family. Thinking of you.

  4. Mel

    I am beyond disgusted. Anyone who has to body shame anyone is just showing how they feel about themselves. Shame on you to body shame ANYONE. whether they had a child or not. SHAME ON YOU for thinking you are better then anyone else in this world and SHAME ON YOU for thinking you look better then anyone else in this world . YOU are ugly because your comments about women having babies and gaining weight and being rude makes you ugly. There is more to a person then a nice body. SHAME ON YOU! IF IT WASN’T FOR WOMEN HAVING BABIES YOU, MY DEAR WOULD NOT BE HERE. SHAME ON YOU AND EVERYONE THAT THINKS LIKE YOU! Do us all a favor and take a long look in the mirror and rethink what kind of person you are. Melissa Bender is trying to help us all reach our goals in life, what are you doing for anyone but yourself? There is so much I could say to you right now to make you feel like a hopeless piece of garage, but I won’t. All I will say is shame on you for being such a sad excuse for a women.

  5. Mel

    I need to take myself off this thread because that piece of trash really rubbed me the wrong way and I would hate to be as ugly as them and lower myself to their level.

  6. Kathleen angel

    I am so appalled at that post that woman made. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised but I am. I am sicken by it. Melissa you know you are awesome and healthy and with such a beautiful baby. Thank goodness there’s more positive voices than one person who obviously has many issues. Keep doing what you are doing. I am inspired

  7. Well said, Melissa! Thank you for all your great free workouts, they are helping me get fitter and reach my goals, not look a certain way. You are a beautiful person inside and out, and your videos never shame us, just educate us.

  8. Siobhán

    I’m glad you didn’t ignore them – such a ridiculous comment by someone who clearly hasn’t a clue. My daughter (3 years of age) always asks to put the exercise girl on – she doesn’t care what you look like – she loves that you jump around and that gets mom jumping around too. You’re positive attitude is an inspirational to every generation.

  9. Joanna

    Amen sista!! I have five beautiful children. They are a blessing that have enriched my life. Yes they have taken a toll on my body, but those are reminder of them. From varicose veins, to stretch marks, to the last a c-section. They are reminders of the love God place in my heart, to bear them and raise them, with my husband. Melissa you look great, and I appreciate the workouts!! You are strong mentally and physically. And Maverick is a blessing on your family. Great job to both you and Jesse!!

  10. Mayleesa

    Melissa this was a strong and powerful response to a very weak minded and self righteous self-centered person. I’ve very much appreciated all of your workouts and I think that you look incredible. I know it takes 10 comments -10 good comments that is – for every 1 to even out, but I can assure you that you will get and probably have had way more :). thank you for bringing us into your home, into your life, and being a wonderful female role model for us all. And on a personal note, I continue to think about having a child and you have set a high standard of amazing health, wellness, and physical achievement that I would like to see myself achieve when that day comes.

  11. Anonymous

    Thanks for this awesome post! I’m currently 19.5 weeks pregnant with my first child and a regular follower of your blog. I have loved everything about the fit pregnancy posts and look forward to following your postpartum workout plan when able after delivery! I have struggled with body image for years and have found you/the way you’ve continued your fitness journey through and after pregnancy to be inspiring and a huge motivator. You look incredible; Your strength is impressive; And you’re balancing your life and workouts amazingly! I’m proud that you have the courage to stand up for yourself and others against this outrageous body shaming! Thank you for sharing realistic fitness goals, safe modifications, and your real self. It means a lot to me and I’m sure for many other followers!

  12. Lindsay M

    Wow! Melissa you looked better then most of us the day before you delivered. The post from whoever it was is really just comical to me. Maybe she lives in Barbie Doll land. Clearly more focused on herself to think having a child is a ridiculous idea because your body will change. I feel sorry for someone that self involved because as most of us know, if a child doesn’t change your body, age will at some point and you cannot choose not to age.

  13. Mallory

    Thank you for choosing to stand up for yourself and other women! It’s bad enough the criticism and pressure put on us by men, but it’s appalling to me that another woman would be so critical and hateful.
    Not only did you grow and birth your sweet baby boy but now you have the amazing privlage of feeding him as well. Your healthy body is giving your son all the nutrients he needs. It’s amazing process and not one to be ashamed of in the slightest.
    Keep up what you’re doing, please! You are so inspiring for all of the right reasons.

  14. Mel

    Keep the comments coming. I want this person to remember every single one of them when she’s working out to a Melissa Bender video. This isn’t about who looks better then who did when, it’s about knowing that body shaming and bullying is unacceptable.

  15. Anonymous

    You are a beautiful person Melissa. You have helped so many achieve their goals…you were beautiful before,during your pregnancy and just as beautiful now…us moms out there that have decided to make commitments to have babies and stay healthy by keeping fitness in our lives…we are the strong ones the dedication is strength. To the person who puts others down and being so rude….well,your weak..you better look in the mirror cause im sure your far from perfect……Melissa keep up the great work your amazing.

  16. Felieta

    Thank you for your courage and patience. This type of criticism is difficult and it takes a strong leader to deal with it appropriately. I appreciate your example.

  17. Karen P

    Melissa, we’re on your side. You are even more beautiful now…Maverick is so lucky to have a superwoman as his Mommy!! Hugs and love to you!!

  18. Anonymous

    So well said !!!! You are beautiful inside and out . It always makes me sad when people post ugly comments. More people should do as my Mom always said “If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all”

  19. Sara

    Melissa,
    So sorry this happened to you. You are a very beautiful person inside/put. I love your videos. I have struggled with my weight all my life. I have learned a lot from you these past few years I have worked out with you. As a woman we already have issues with our bodies. I love your response to this person that did this. Keep up the amazing work & workouts.

  20. Marla Primack

    Melissa.. Those comments broke my heart for you. You are an inspiration to all! Fit, healthy and beautiful! Please do not let one bad, malicious comment ever make you think you are anything less than beautiful. Pay it no mind! There are evil, unhappy people in the world who take great pleasure in hurting others because they are so unhappy themselves!

  21. Alison

    You are amazing! And you performed the highest honor on earth, creating a life and giving birth to that sweet boy. The negative and hateful things coming from that person who left such a disgraceful comment offends all women whether we have given birth or not. Her words speak volumes about how she truly feels about herself. You keep doing what you’re doing. You are a positive force in this world. So much brighter and stronger than any small, demeaning comment.

  22. Anonymous

    “Actually C–t, I would never be stupid enough to s–t out a kid and ruin my body. So kiss my a$$ you b–ch.” Thank God you will never have children. Clearly this individual is not worthy of parenthood. By the way, men may find you passingly attractive but it’s unlikely you’d ever stick out in a crowd. A female’s body changes after pregnancy, making her indescribably sexy. Or so men tell me. Melissa, your workouts are amazing. The love you have for your son is evident. You motivate millions of women and help us want to be better. The hell with people like that twat-muffin.

  23. Cindy

    You go Melissa she is the one who has a problem and will live a very shallow life and not enjoy life to the fullest by being a mom and friend and she will just be a body that one day will get old and lose its appeal…

  24. Stephanie J

    Thank you so much for posting this. It brought me to tears. I was never in great shape, but four years and two kids later I am much heavier and have been having a lot of self doubt. I’m seven months post partum and recently started your six week post partum workout series. Two days in I haven’t been able to complete either work out and felt so incredibly discouraged, but now reading this I know that that’s okay. I can see that you just want other to be healthy! I’ve always loved that during your workouts you say to focus on how you feel, not how you look, or how good you’ll look, or any of that.

    So thank you. Thank you for not allowing this hateful commenter to change who you are. Thank you for helping others to be healthy. Thank you for your encouraging words.

  25. Anne

    Have always hated when people, especially other women feel the need to bring their negativity to the world and try to bring even one woman down. How dare they? I absolutely love your response, love your workouts, and everything you do to help us all be healthier. To the troll that sat behind the computer screen body shaming, and throwing insults around, find somewhere else for your negativity, Melissa Bender Fitness is nothing but genuine positivty in a negative filled world. Keep being a light to so many Melissa, you are beautiful no matter size, weight, or body fat. Love all you do. ✌❤

  26. Kate

    These comments are so cartoonishly awful, it’s hard to believe it’s a real person. I smell a troll. No matter what their external appearance may be, on the inside they’re slimy and green (with envy), and live alone under a bridge. You, however, are beautiful, amazing, successful, hard-working, and beloved. You stand in the bright sunlight, surrounded by throngs of friends and supporters.

  27. Grace Richards

    I cannot believe that someone would write these horrible things!! As someone who suffered from an eating disorder for over 10 years, I more than despise any form of shaming of another person. I am recovered from my eating disorder and you can take a lot of credit for that. Over the years that I have followed you, you have taught me valuable lessons about health and body image. I am currently pregnant and I take massive inspiration from you to maintain a healthy lifestyle for myself and my baby. Your body is not ruined, far from it. You are healthy and beautiful, and no one is entitled to an opinion about your appearance except for you. Keep doing what you are doing, you are changing lives for the better xxx

  28. Olena

    You are gorgeous and you are doing such a great job! You are the ambassador of health, fitness and self-love for me and my frienda whom I got hooked on your workouts! Thank you for standing up for all of us women outthere! Hugs and love to you and your lovely little one!

  29. Wow. People can be so awful. That keyboard warrior brings nothing to the world but negativity, which the world can do without. Melissa, you are an amazing and strong woman. I’ve been following your workouts on an off for about 2 years now and you were fit before,during and after having a baby. What you do and your husband do is inspiring to so many people, young and old who are trying to keep fit or get in better shape. You are bringing good to the world. Keep bringing it!
    Michele

  30. Stacey

    I am in shock someone would ever write those words never mind what was written, that is so wild and disgusting like Mel said. Melissa good for you for advocating for yourself and others who may not advocate for themselves. You are making a difference for others daily. I am really in shock I can’t believe it. I’m so sorry someone would write those things. To me none if it was true so it seems like some wild random comment.

    Actually in my head when I was watching your videos I was thinking I couldn’t tell if they were prior to your baby. You look amazing either way, but either way your right it’s so about the health of it, You have helped me with anxiety, I do your videos almost daily and it helps me working in crisis that I feel a huge difference and can manage my job.

  31. Ayelet

    Well said! You are beautiful woman inside and out, been a parent definitely makes us better human beings…. Keep doing your best LOVE YOU

  32. Terri

    The need for someone to tear you down says a lot about their own self-worth. Shame on them. God Bless you for all you do and for standing up to this cyberbully. You have many more supporters than this person can ever overcome. Keep doing what you do and taking care of you and your beautiful family. One day, maybe that person will learn what it means to be happy and have enough self-worth to not tear others down.

  33. Elizabeth PILNY

    Melissa you are great!! your workouts are great and your beautiful growing family is great!! Unfortunately we will always have the “debbie downers” who will always be a bully and look at the glass half full….. And of course those people love the drama it put in your life that was not needed…. hugs prayers and well wishes to you and your family and keep going with your positiveness!! We need it! As the Robots movies said that me and my sons just watched last night and you do a great job of…. “See a need….fill a need” you go above and beyond of doing this…. My 5 and 6 year old love doing your exercise routines with me.

  34. Please repost his name or handle so that it can be tracked down and marked as the dumbass he/she is. I have found your routines useful to me A MAN, and my wife, please accept my apologies as a member of the male gender, for this jackhole of a creature, and also as a human.
    Thanks for taking the time and effort to share your knowledge, and for showing how you have worked to regain your strength. Being fit is not about looking good, is about feeling good.

  35. Claudia

    I am sorry someone feels that sad in life to type something mean and completely false. I felt the opposite during your entire pregnancy and postpartum. Meaning I was thinking, “This woman is pregnant and still looks better than me and OMG she just had a baby and her stomach is tighter than mine.” Not that it is healthy for me to put down myself or compare, but still. I wish I could just refer this person to a optometrist but their need of help is far beyond eye sight. You are a triple threat: beauty, brains and heart:)

  36. Vanessa Headland

    Bravo Melissa, excellent response. When they go low, we go high.
    Love your workouts and attitude towards fitness and health. You are great at what you do and a true inspiration!

  37. Kim

    Amazingly, I recognize this youtube troll (he’s got a Cyclops from x-men profile pic right?) ; he’s an anti-feminist/redpill/”mgtow” type. This type of sewage can’t even contain their rabid hatred of women to their own pathetic circle-jerks, they’re obsessed to the point of polluting the entire internet with it.

    Bender Fitness does a lot of good in the world, infinitely more than this sad sack of shit ever will. You also look amazing and have a happy family, once again something he’ll never know 🙂

  38. Dana

    Wow, I’d really love to see what this so called perfect, unruined body from not having a child looks like. I have had two children myself. Yes your body changes after having children but why is that such a bad thing ? In some cases it makes you more aware of your body. I have always had body image issues but have finally learned that it’s impossible to be this picture of perfection that society paints. I am more comfortable and confident now than I have ever been in my entire life. Being healthy is far more rewarding than any quick fix. It takes lifestyle changes and major dedication. I am so happy that I came across your workouts over a year ago. I look forward to doing them every day and they have made a huge difference. Keep up the good work do what you love and don’t worry about what those so-called people think. You are amazing!

  39. Leah

    You rock, Melissa! I loved you before, but I do even more so now after reading your reply to that idiot. Thank you for all you do and for setting such a great example for women and girls everywhere. It’s bedtime now for my 5 mth old, which means workout time w/you for me!

  40. Angela

    I cried when I saw that someone had said such things to you because you have helped me sooo much. I’m such a busy mother of six kids, 4 whom I carried and birthed. Yet your workouts are efficient enough for me to fit in my extremely busy schedule. I’ll never look like you looked before or after your pregnancy but I am in shape. I run half marathons, do sprint triathlons, mountain bike and participate in century road rides. I’m stronger than almost all my peers and it’s all because of you. I should have thanked you before. I really can’t tell you how much I appreciate the work you do. And yippeee! Fitness is free! I’m never paying to go to the gym! You’re the best and you’re beautiful!

  41. Anonymous

    Bravo Melissa! You are strong and beautiful and you excel and what you do. I respect you for standing up for yourself and women around the world! Stand tall and be proud!!

  42. Rachel

    Don’t worry about that comment…haters gonna hate. I am now almost 7 months postpartum and thanks to your workouts I can finally zip up my pre pregnancy pants!! You are an inspiration to so many.

  43. So sad to read those comments, but you’re a rock star and took it like a mature adult. P.S. you look fantastic, and as long as YOU feel good who gives a S**t 😉

  44. Katie Gillies

    You are AMAZING Melissa! You inspire and lead so many through this fitness journey (and at no cost to boot!). Keep kicking butt, and keep up your inspirational journey. You look AMAZING!

  45. Stacy

    You’re truly an inspiration! Well said. You are a beautiful and strong person inside and out. And in case you hadn’t heard yet, your son is beyond adorable! Thanks for everything you provide to all of us out here trying to live a healthy lifestyle.

  46. Laura

    I’m sorry that you had to read that. No matter how positive an attitude we have its hard not to be hurt by something like that. You are right, what’s important is that you are healthy but there is nothing for you to be ashamed of.

    I hate the idea of what a perfect body is. It was nice being pregnant because I didn’t have to worry about what was ok for me to look like. Now that I’ve had my baby I’m struggling to have a positive attitude about the way I look.

  47. Cynthea Gunderson

    Wow…you look utterly fantastic..this doesn’t even make any sense. I was just thinking I can’t tell which workouts are reruns. Obviously she’s (she’s? really?) got giant issues that need to be passed around.

  48. People who send these kind of negative message are unhappy miserable ignorant bullies. Bravo to you Melissa for sticking it to them. You are gorgeous because you are healthy and happy ! And that is the most important thing!

  49. Lisa Vargas

    You don’t have to Explain anything for having a baby! These Shallow people aren’t worth your precious time. ,, not even a thought . You enjoy your beautiful son and you are a beautiful Mother!

  50. Adrienne

    Thank you for sharing and speaking out Melissa. I have been on this journey with you off and on for about 4 years now…through the birth of my first baby and now excited to go back and do your pregnancy workouts with you as I start my journey with my second. A changing body can be a struggle, but it’s so uplifting to have the support of others as we strive towards greater health while maintaining love for ourselves. You are a huge inspiration to me and so many others, thank you for what you do and the way you go about it!

  51. Anonymous

    Melissa, I love your website!! Thank you so much for being so positive! What a beautiful example for all of us ladies!
    Thank again
    Becky. Mom of 3

  52. Anita

    There is something really wrong with a person that feels they need to say such things that are obviously intended to hurt another person. Jealousy is my first thought. Of course, everyone has their problems, but to those looking, you may seem to have the perfect life. Happily married with an adorable baby, along with a great career, AND you are beautiful, regardless of whose measuring your body fat – that’s just rediculous. I can’t help but feel sorry for whoever this person is. They must be very unhappy, and with the kind of feelings they shared, I doubt they are capable of ever finding real love and peace in their lives.

  53. Vickie

    Well said Melissa! You are beautiful in many way. Keep doing what you’re doing. I like training with you and all your family. Thanks for sharing your lifestyle with us. You are awesome!!!

  54. Irina

    From personal experience- having a baby have “ruined” my body…twice, but the “damage” is so-o-o temporally and everything gets back to normal very fast, especially after you stop breast feeding.
    But this incomparable pleasure which your baby brings every single second – this is precious and this is for life!
    Melissa, don’t pay any attention to comments like this and don’t be so hard on yourself, all extra will go away by itself, even if you stop exercising, once you stop breastfeeding, i know, i’ve done it twice! 🙂 and yes, your body and soul are still very beautiful, only miserable, person who cannot be pregnant and never was will never understand the beauty of motherhood!

  55. Rebecca

    She forgot she came to this world because her mother appreciated more having a baby than paying attention to her temporarily “ruined” body

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