by Marissa Marangoni
If you’ve never watched any of the #IMOMSOHARD video series on Youtube and you’re a parent, know and love some parents, or have interest in perhaps becoming a parent yourself, you’re missing out. Stop reading this review and remedy this situation immediately. Yes, moms are the target audience here, but I’m pretty sure most people will find something to laugh about.
It was fitting that directly before I attended #IMOMSOHARD at the Akron Civic Theatre, I found melted chocolate on my purse. What was more fitting was that I didn’t clean it off and took it with me anyway. In a crowd of mostly moms, chocolate smears on a purse were probably some of the lesser purse atrocities.
Youtube stars Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley of the #IMOMSOHARD series brought a humorous and fun-filled evening to Akronites on July 12th. They drank wine unapologetically, gave everyone free yogurt (they were recently sponsored by Yoplait), talked a little about their kids and husbands, more about periods, and really shone a spotlight on the realities of the female body, especially after birth.
Being in the audience and witnessing this event was like eavesdropping on the conversation of close female friends. It was finding out that you’re not the only one who’s sad about deflated boobs as the result of breastfeeding or trying to figure out if no pair of jeans in any size fits you or if your stomach really is just going to sit on top of your waistband from here on out.
You know how when women post pictures of themselves on Instagram or Facebook, showing their bodies in less-than-perfect states? And how people comment about how brave this is and blah blah blah? Jen and Kristin sort of embraced this. I say “sort of” because when they both raised their shirts and stood on stage for a good five minutes showcasing their lack of abs and the delightful paunch that, more often than not, graces a woman’s body post housing a baby, they didn’t tout their actions as brave or courageous. They were being real.
The first half of the show consisted of banter and dialog between Jen and Kristin, with a fun bit where they collected random purses from the audience and showcased their contents, including an impressive collection of tampons in a single bag. The second half of the show was devoted to answering audience questions. The pair addressed inquiries about sex education, sexual positions and menstrual cups.
The laughs continued until the very end, where a clip of the video, I Spanx So Hard (the video that made #IMOMSOHARD the powerhouse it is), played as the moms left the stage. And when they returned to the stage donning Spanx and dancing, they got a well-deserved standing ovation.
#IMOMSOHARD features two women, two mothers, who have ended up pretty darn famous, and it’s not because they’re cellulite-free or because they only eat cheat meals once a week and post pictures of their smooth stomachs in the midst of their six children and accuse anyone who doesn’t look like them of being lazy. No, Kristin and Jen are famous because of how relatable they are. They are famous because they embrace the changes that life throws at them, because they live normal lives and laugh in less-than-perfect moments.
Finding the humor in normalcy, celebrating the drudgery of the mundane, and overall, working to lift up the connections between mothers is what #IMOMSOHARD is all about, and the thing that stood out the most to me at the live show was how those connections became tangible in the sea of mom purses and mushy middles thanks to some honest and entertaining women.