Bikini-Ready Moms

Celebrity Profiles, Motherhood, and the Body

By Lynn O'Brien Hallstein

Subjects: Women's Studies, Gender Studies, Sociology, Communication
Series: SUNY series in Feminist Criticism and Theory
Paperback : 9781438459004, 275 pages, September 2015
Hardcover : 9781438459011, 275 pages, September 2015

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Table of contents

Introduction: New and Changing Celebrity Mom Profiles: Theoretical Grounding and Interdisciplinary Rhetorical Approach and Method
1. Contemporary Motherhood at the Epicenter of Intersecting Cultural Changes: The Neoliberal and Post-Second Wave Turns
2. Step One—Becoming First-Time Mothers: Slender-Pregnant Celebrity Mom Profiles
3. Step Two—Being Bikini-Ready Moms: Postpartum Celebrity Mom Profiles
4. Consequences, Rules, and Conclusions about Bikini-Ready Moms
5. Resisting Being Bikini-Ready Moms: Five Strategies of Resistance
Works Cited

Argues that expectations for mothering include a new core principle of "body work. "


Winner of the 2016 Outstanding Book Award presented by the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender (OSCLG)

The requirements of "good" motherhood used to primarily involve the care of children, but now contemporary mothers are also pressured to become bikini-ready immediately postpartum. Lynn O'Brien Hallstein analyzes celebrity mom profiles to determine the various ways that they encourage all mothers to engage in body work as the energizing solution to solve any work-life balance struggles they might experience. Bikini-Ready Moms also considers the ways that maternal body work erases any evidence of mothers' contributions both at home and in professional contexts. O'Brien Hallstein theorizes possible ways to fuel a necessary mothers' revolution, while also pointing to initial strategies of resistance.

Lynn O'Brien Hallstein is Associate Professor of Rhetoric at Boston University and the author of White Feminists and Contemporary Maternity: Purging Matrophobia.


"Bikini-Ready Moms contributes a great deal to understanding both the obsession with celebrity mom profiles and the pressure that mothers are under to conform to and perform intensive mothering as it shifts into another gear to control women. " — Fiona Joy Green, author of Practicing Feminist Mothering