Kelly Ripa can be a polarizing figure. I admire her scrappiness and energy, but also clearly recognize when she’s tone-deaf, violating her kids’ privacy, or not letting her co-host/husband finish a sentence. That being said, Kelly shared a story on her podcast this week that I think warrants full sympathy. Kelly was on the seminal soap All My Children for many years in the 90s — where she met her husband/co-host Mark Consuelos — and revealed that after giving birth to their first child, son Michael, in 1997, she had to be back for filming a mere nine days later. Not only that, but when she arrived on set the show’s wardrobe stylists said something absolutely heinous about her body:
Kelly Ripa is opening up about the difficult days that followed the birth of her first son, Michael.
On Wednesday’s episode of her podcast, Let’s Talk Off Camera with Kelly Ripa, the Live with Kelly and Mark host, 53, opened up to guest Hilarie Burton Morgan about a particularly unpleasant experience she had on the set of All My Children, the soap that launched her career in 1990 — and led her to her husband, Mark Consuelos.
“I think all women who have given birth will tell you that they are on an island,” she recalled of her first postpartum experience. “I don’t care what the support system is like — my in-laws moved in with us and I felt like I was on an island because I didn’t recognize my body.”
Ripa then revealed that she “had to go back to work” on All My Children just “nine days after giving birth.”
“No!” Burton replied as she called the quick turnaround “brutal.”
“It was brutal,” Ripa agreed, before adding an even more devastating detail. “And then the wardrobe people were like, ‘I thought you’d be smaller by now.’ I was like, ‘Well I’m not gonna be smaller any time soon. I don’t know much, but here’s what I do now. This looks like it’ll be here for a while. I’m not in any rush, so.’”
Ripa previously spoke about the difficulties of managing her pregnancy with her work on All My Children. Since Hayley wasn’t going to have a baby, the show went to ridiculous lengths to hide the 60 lbs. she eventually gained. “Initially, I would carry luggage with me everywhere,” Ripa previously told PEOPLE. “Then I started to carry guitar cases. Then I carried trees. Trees!”
“I thought you’d be smaller by now,” at nine days postpartum. You know what I would’ve said back to that stylist? “And I thought you’d be smarter by now.” Good for Kelly for sticking up for herself in the moment, and with pretty tactful language, too. My reactions tend to air on the side of salty (see above). Also, notice how the props they used to hide her baby bump got heavier and heavier? “Yes, let’s have the fully pregnant woman carry around some large musical instruments for a 16-hour day shoot, perfect!” This entire story makes the 90s sound more like the 50s for pregnant and postpartum women. That’s why I so appreciate the body–positive stories we’ve been getting from celeb mamas. Women are defining their own physical experiences and redefining body perceptions and goals. And telling their haters to FAFO. But in a motherly, educational way.
photos credit: Darla Khazei / Avalon, Cover Images and via Instagram
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