Appearance and the Transition to Motherhood: An Exploration of Identity Construction among New Mothers

Date
2016-11-08
Authors
Brown, Victoria
Hodges, Nancy
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Abstract

Becoming a mother is a life-changing experience, and one that has a profound effect on a woman's identity. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore what it is like to be a new mother and to consider the role of appearance in this experience. Twenty-four in-depth interviews and two focus groups were conducted with first time, biological mothers to understand the experience of becoming a mother. Three themes were identified and were used to structure the interpretation: New Motherhood and the Self, Just the Two of Us, and Me, Baby, and the World. Findings offer important managerial implications, such as the importance of offering this consumer segment clothing that is comfortable, stylish, and conducive to a new mother's needs. Further inquiry into the relationship between new motherhood, appearance, and identity is needed, as it will continue to shed light on how women experience this incredibly transformative journey.

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