For Jenna Elfman, youth is a state of mind.
In a recent interview with Glamor, the Dharma & Greg star reflected on life at 50, gaining perspective and what she wished women were more honest about.
“After you have a child, it just feels very lonely, what happens to your body, and no one talks about that,” said Elfman, who has two children with her husband, Bodhi.
“When I was pregnant with my first child in 2007, my body really changed afterwards and it did not bounce back,” Elfman said. “Seeing all of these ‘body after baby’ media releases about celebrities after they have their children and how fantastic they look. And I did not look like any of them.”
Elfman soon found herself caught up in the world of “snapback” culture. After giving birth to her son, Elfman hid her postpartum belly while on location for a movie, something, much to her dismay, the media took and ran with.
“I had to bind [my belly] down and cover it with a coat,” she said. “There were paparazzi taking pictures of me filming and then captions that said like, ‘Body after baby.’ I felt like I was betraying women…but I didn’t put that headline there.”
Elfman said the pressure she felt to return to her pre-pregnancy body was exacerbated by silence.
“And I was always trying to find, do other women look like what happened to my belly? It only got worse after my second kid. It was extreme, and you’d never show that,” she said of that time. “No one seems to want to talk about it or share that because it’s really vulnerable.”
Now, however, Elfman considers there to be less stigma surrounding the realities of pregnancy and life postpartum due in part to social media.
“I feel like it’s much better now with social media — people are definitely sharing more, but there’s communities. I feel like it’s a much more welcoming, open place, the world,” she said.
A lot has changed for Elfman since 2007 but her lust for life has yet to falter at 50.
“I feel younger than I’ve ever been. I feel like I have so much more knowledge about life, about myself, that I’m truly, genuinely enjoying life, and that gives you energy,” she said.
For Elfman, year 50 has been hallmarked by heightened perspective and very little care to give.
“You really, really stop being so concerned about approval from other people. It doesn’t matter. They’re not living your life,” she said.
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