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Melanie Rickmann Is Tired of Seeing Moms Being Body Shamed

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Melanie Rickmann has seen her body type in the media — but never in a positive light. “It’s always about how to ‘get your body back’ after having children,” the 31-year-old mother of two said. “I despise this as I’m actually very healthy and shouldn’t be made to feel like there’s anything wrong with me.”

Rickmann, a web developer from Beaverton, Ore., lives with depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). “As someone who’s been in recovery from an eating disorder for many years, I still struggle more during the summer trying to decide how much of my body is OK to show off,” Rickmann said. “If I’m exercising a lot, then I’ll feel OK physically and mentally about showing off my body, But if not than I’m often depressed and stay covered up, even when it’s hot.”

After Rickman gained weight in anorexia recovery, she spent years feeling overly self-conscious. “After having my first child, I felt even worse about how different my body felt and looked,” she said.

Rickmann’s advice to anyone struggling with body image issues? “I think if we want society to change its view on having a perfect ‘beach body,’ then we need to first change our own views,” she said. “If everyone felt confident about their bodies – regardless of how they measure up to society’s current standards – then real change would happen.”

Read More: This Is What It Looks Like When You Feature Disabled and Chronically Ill People in Magazines

Next: Ahmad Abojaradeh Wants Men to Talk About Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Originally published: August 1, 2016
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