Norwegian soccer wife and fitness blogger Caroline Berg Eriksen is under fire for sharing a photo of her flat stomach four days after giving birth.
Yes, four days.
Needless to say, the image went viral on Instagram, and many who saw it were not pleased. In a matter of days, Eriksen was the new Maria Kang.
“This is not a selfie. It is an act of war,” wrote one Australian blogger in response. “This whole situation has become ludicrous. There is no other word for it.”
“The competition for women to give birth and then immediately remove any trace from their their bodies that they ever carried a child is OBSCENE.”
Eriksen posted the photo of herself on Instagram, along with the caption, “I feel so empty… 4 days after birth,” rapidly igniting the online backlash.
“Women are sick of this omnipresent pressure to get our bodies back,” wrote another blogger in response to the picture, which she called a “toxic message.”
“When you’re juggling a newborn’s needs, running on no sleep and trying to take care of yourself,” the critic added, this is undue and unreasonable pressure.
Twitter users called Eriksen, the wife of soccer star Lars-Kristian Eriksen, and her abs “intimidating,” “unhelpful,” “obviously a freak,” and “unfair to all women.”
Is that taking it a little too far, though? Some would say so.
Australian Telegraph writer Sarrah Le Marquand offered a more balanced review of the situation, tweeting that yes, Eriksen is a “shameless exhibitionist.”
However, “slamming the super-fit and genetically freakish likes of [Eriksen]” is also casting judgment, and moms “are faced with far too much of that already.”
Prenatal nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Melinda Johnson also warns against jumping to conclusions here.
“Obviously, what we’re looking at is someone who is genetically gifted,” she tells Yahoo Shine. “But we can’t say she’s unhealthy, we can’t say [what] she is.”
The picture alone is of one woman on the Internet, and “doesn’t tell us anything at all about her health, the health of her pregnancy [or] even her happiness.”
On Instagram itself, the controversial photo of the fit mom has been “liked” more than 21,000 times and counting, and comments have been overwhelmingly positive.
There, Berg Eriksen supporters note, “U rock girl! I have three kids and I’m a blimp,” “Body envy is an ugly thing,” “I applaud you,” and “Beautiful!”
Love it or hate it, the photo of this mom and her washboard stomach is just the latest online blowup in the ongoing discussion of pregnancy and body image.
Don’t look for the tensions to subside anytime soon, either.
What do you think of Caroline Berg Eriksen’s photo?