Toronto mom Erin Keaney isn’t afraid to let her muffin top show.
The 43-year-old stand-up comic lets it all wiggle and bounce in her hilarious “Muffin Top” video posted this month on YouTube, and she’s sharing her message of body acceptance with the world.
The next time you wave your hands in the air,
Don’t be shy, let it fly, there's no need to be scared
Your muffin top just wants to come out
There's nothing wrong, sing this song, then start to shout
Bounce, carbohydrate, bounce
My muffin top
Bounce, carbohydrate, bounce
Embrace your mother load, we got to lead the way
Teach our kids to be confident in their bodies
Turn down the voice of peer pressure
We come in all different sizes, height, weight and colors.
Keaney has two daughters, ages 7 and 10, and said she wants her video to be a counterpunch to all the magazine photos of celebrities who appear to bounce back to their pre-baby size within weeks of giving birth.
“It’s not a realistic view of females' bodies,” said Keaney, adding that her 10-year-old already notices celeb photos in magazines.
“We don’t talk about thin or fat in our house," she said. "We just talk about what your body does for you."
“I wanted my girls to know that I love my body. “
A TODAY/AOL survey of 2,000 adults and 200 teens found that 60 percent of women think negative thoughts about their bodies regularly, and 57 percent of moms worry about passing on their body image issues to their children. And Keaney is right, girls do notice those impossibly flat tummies on the supermarket tabloids: 80 percent of teen girls say their compare themselves to celebrity images.
Keaney, a former dancer, acknowledged she did dislike some of the uncomfortable physical changes that accompany pregnancy, such as stretching skin, widening ribs, acne and facial hair. It took her six to eight months to lose the baby weight, she said, and as any mom knows, her body never quite resumed its former shape. She's OK with that. “I made two babies,” she said. “I had two miracles. It’s fine.”
She penned the song about four years ago and performed it live in her sketch comedy troupe.
Her husband, Brett Heard, called his wife’s lyrics “funny and poignant” and says her song has just the right perspective. “You have to be aware of the messages our kids are getting,” said Heard, who runs a video production company. He shot the video on Feb. 12 and posted it online the very next day.
The video was filmed in the home of friend Lori Sears, 44, who said Keaney “asked me to expose my muffin top and I respectfully declined, but I told her I would help her in any way that I can.”
Sears, who has three children, describes herself as fit and active but acknowledged that peer pressure sometimes transcends adolescence.
“I think women put a lot of pressure on themselves, and on other women sometimes, too,” she said.
At 5’8" and 140 pounds, Keaney is a healthy, normal-sized woman. But put her next to an airbrushed model, she said, and she would be considered plus-size.
Keaney has no problem with cosmetic treatments – she had plastic surgery to remove a bump on her nose when she was 27 – and says that women should do what makes them happy.
“I just don’t think we should feel like we have to be somebody else,” she said. “Just be your best you.”