Kayla Itsines Criticized for Posting Slim, Ab-Flaunting Photo at 8 Weeks Postpartum

Some fans of the fitness influencer found it "very disappointing" that she isn't more "raw and honest" about her postpartum body

Kayla Itsines postpartum
Photo: Kayla Itsines/Instagram

Kayla Itsines’ followers aren’t happy with her latest transformation photo.

The popular fitness influencer, who is known for sharing impressive before-and-after photos from people who used her BBG workout program, is now eight weeks postpartum since welcoming her first child, daughter Arna Leia, at the end of April. But her fans aren’t happy that she’s already back to posting heavily angled, ab-filled photos just like she did before her pregnancy.

Itsines wrote in her Instagram post that she’s just getting back to “LIGHT workouts.”

“Having been cleared for LIGHT workouts for over a week now (by my doctor and physiotherapist), I’m starting to really feel like myself again and not just in a physical sense,” she said. “I am so motivated right now because for me, fitness is my self-care, my time out and my PASSION. Being able to share my passion with YOU, the #BBGCommunity is helping me to get out of bed every morning (not forgetting my incredible family)!! #comeback

But many of her nearly 12 million followers were frustrated that Itsines was only showing a polished side of postpartum life.

One user wrote that Itsines’ body already looked like something that was unachievable for the average person.

“These kind of pictures are exactly the kind that makes women hate their bodies,” they wrote. “Most of women can never get your body because of genetics, no matter how much dieting or exercise they do. Having perfect abs a couple of weeks after baby is also extremely rare.”

Another echoed that comment, adding, “Honestly with an account following of nearly 12mil really wished you would of posted a more raw and honest journey of your post pregnancy experience. Very disappointing and you’re just adding to the unnecessary pressure from social media for new mums to look like yourself in just a few weeks after birth.”

And one commenter argued that Itsines needs to make it clear that genetics, not her workout plan, is what enables her to have abs so soon after giving birth.

“Kayla is selling a fitness program, stating her underweight body as a goal,” they wrote. “If that inspires you then great, I already found more healthy fitness role models.”

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But others pointed out that criticizing Itsines’ body for being too slim after giving birth is a form of body shaming.

“Can we please stop and be a community of women that supports one enough instead of shaming because of a person’s weight,” one person asked. “Everyone is different and fit strong looks different on everyone because not everyone has the same body shape genetics.”

Another said that this is just Itsines’ body type.

“Kayla owes us absolutely nothing about her pregnancy journey. This is what she looks like post-baby. This IS her realistic image. It’s disgusting the way some of you choose to attack her as if her current body isn’t ‘bad’ enough to make you feel better. You want to see a different body after they give birth? Go find a different account then, you insecure vultures.”

Itsines initially shared photos of her postpartum progress, but stopped after three weeks. In her first postpartum post, one week after giving birth, she admitted to being wary of putting the photos online.

“If I am honest, it is with great trepidation that I share with you this very personal image,” she said on May 8. “Every woman’s journey through life but especially pregnancy, birth and healing post-birth is unique. While each journey has a common thread that connects us as women, our personal experience, our relationship with ourselves and our body will always be our own.”

Itsines said that she hopes all of her followers will embrace their bodies, rather than compare themselves to her.

“As a personal trainer, all I can hope for you ladies is that you feel encouraged to do the same regardless of whether you have just given birth or not, celebrate your body and the gift that it is,” she said. “No matter what journey you have been on with your body, the ways in which it heals, supports, strengthens and adapts to take us through life is truly incredible.”

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