It’s Time to Normalize Post-Baby Bodies, and Jennifer Garner Wholeheartedly Agrees
"It's just a body. Be grateful to it. It carried you this far."
Jennifer Garner's body isn't the same as it was before having three children, and she's okay with that. On Monday's episode of the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast, the 13 Going On 30 star told host Giovanna Fletcher about her post-baby body changes, pregnancy speculation, and why she thinks body gratitude is the best way forward.
She started by noting how some women's bodies "bounce right back" after having children, but that hasn't been her experience. "It's incredible. I have so many girlfriends who have that physique, and I'm so happy for them," she said, adding, "I am not one of them. That is not my gig."
Garner had her three children—son Samuel Garner, 9, and daughters Violet Anne, 15, and Seraphina Rose Elizabeth, 12—with ex-husband Ben Affleck. The actress, who's been known to keep up with some pretty intense workouts, explained that her body will always show signs of her previous pregnancies. "I can work really hard, and I can be really fit and I will still look like a woman who's had three babies, and I always will," she said.
Like many women in the spotlight, Garner has been the subject of various pregnancy rumors, which she discussed in a 2014 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. On the show, she confirmed, "I am not pregnant, but I've had three kids and there is a bump. From now on, ladies, I will have a bump, and it will be my baby bump. Let's just all settle in and get used to it. It's not going anywhere. Its name is Violet, Sam, and Sera."
On the podcast, she reflected on this time, saying, "I just thought, I might as well address it and Ellen was so sweet to let me. But I just felt like we might as well?"
She continued, explaining how she's still being targeted with pregnancy speculation now. "It's still happening," she said. "I'm 48, and I'm single, and it's still happening. So you might as well take that bull by the horns."
Aside from tabloids and media speculation, Garner has also been steadily receiving and shutting down pregnancy rumors on social media. In September, the actress and Once Upon a Farm co-founder was just trying to rock some overalls and introduce her followers to some farm animals when an Instagram commenter asked if she was expecting.
"I am 48, have three healthy kids, and am not—and never will be—pregnant. We can lay that pupper to rest," she wrote, as captured by the Comments by Celebs account. "Have I gained the Covid 19? Possibly. But that is another story 😂🍕🌮🍩🍫🍷."
Garner responded to a similar speculation a month later after posting a photo of herself holding a jack-o'-lantern, which some mistook for a pregnancy announcement. "STILL NOT HAVING MORE BABIES 🙈🙈🙈," she wrote. "Good grief, I didn't even see it, i just saw matching smiles 🙈🙈🙈."
Even with all the constant attention on the slightest changes in her weight and shape, Garner herself is just focused on showing gratitude for her body. On the podcast, she gave the perfect statement on her approach to body acceptance: "It's just a body. Be grateful to it. It carried you this far. It carried babies for you. What else do you want? My goodness."