Indigenous TikToker celebrates her ‘sacred’ postpartum body: ‘If you don’t love your body, who will?’

·3-min read

TikToker Michelle Chubb (Cree), aka @indigenous_baddie, is proud of what some TikTokers call her “tiger stripes.”

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Otherwise known as stretch marks, the lines that appeared on Chubb’s stomach during pregnancy and after have become like badges of honor, marking an incredible physical and emotional event — in this case, carrying and birthing her daughter, Pîsim.

On Chubb’s TikTok feed, which has about 573,000 followers, the 24-year-old First Nations mom has been vocal about body positivity and acceptance, reminding her followers that her body — your body, too — is “sacred.” She even partnered with Summersalt swimwear to remind women, and new parents specifically, to “love your body” because “you only have one.”

“New moms out there shouldn’t be so hard on themselves,” Chubb told In The Know by Yahoo via email. “You just gave birth to a newborn, and right now your baby is your priority.”

Chubb, who is from Winnipeg, Manitoba (aka Treaty 1 territory), gave birth to her daughter late last year. She admitted in one post that, like many new moms, she had some insecurity when it came to her new postpartum body.

“It’s a big step to falling back in love with your body after birth. It’s part of life & it does take time,” she wrote.

But she stresses that new parents should focus on self-love in the whirlwind that is postpartum life.

“Make sure to take care of yourself too,” she tells In The Know. “Self-care is just as important.”

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Representing in more ways than one

These words are especially meaningful coming from someone who also happens to be a model — a profession that’s not exactly known for its inclusivity. And Chubb is representing in more ways than one.

Not only is she showing the world that postpartum bodies deserve to be celebrated, Chubb is also adding to a small but growing group of Indigenous women who model, including Quannah Chasinghorse (Hän Gwich’in/Oglala Lakota), Ashley Callingbull (Cree) and Naiomi Glasses (Diné). She’s appeared in ads for brands including Sephora, BonLook as well as Summersalt.

“It’s pretty bada**, not going to lie,” she tells In The Know about being another face of the Indigenous community. “My younger self is super proud and probably crying right now.”

And while representing her Indigenous roots is admittedly bada**, what Chubb’s especially honored and humbled by, she says, is “to be on the path to decolonizing minds.”

Of course, “being a baddie doing it” is just icing on a hopefully soon-to-be-decolonized cake.

What makes Chubb’s modeling journey especially poignant (in addition to challenging body type and racial standards) is that she was also born with a cleft lip and palate. The new mom has used her platform to detail surgeries that she’s endured over the years to repair her lip, reiterating that each patient has a different story to tell.

And while she’s had to deal with her fair share of trolls, she has taken the time to explain the condition as well as how doctors treat it.

“I’m happy to spread awareness,” she shares.

Spreading the sacred

With all of her revelations about body acceptance and positivity, Chubb wants to ensure that her daughter will feel that her body is sacred as well.

“I’m going to be careful with the words I use around her,” Chubb tells In The Know, “and also teach her how to love her own [body] and to take real good care of herself.”

That’s the message she hopes resonates with her child but also with her hundreds of thousands of TikTok and Instagram followers.

After all, she adds, “if you don’t love your body, who will?”

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