Babies or No Babies: Communicating with Feminine Bodies in Mom Lit

  • Handojo P.F. English Department, Petra Christian University, Surabaya
  • Djundjung J.M. English Department, Petra Christian University, Surabaya
Keywords: Mom Lit, Feminine Body, Silent Body, Maternal Body, Motherhood.


Mom-Lit, or Mommy Literature, can be seen as a form of challenging the feminine body’s ideals and motherhood ideology. The article studies how the feminine bodies are represented in three Mom Lit: Baby Proof by Emily Giffin, Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella, and Confessions of A Bad Mother by Stephanie Calman. The way the women describe different bodily experiences prompts questions and challenges to the ideal feminine body and womanhood, which are associated with motherhood. Using the review of Motherhood Ideology and the concept of Silent Body, this article takes a closer look on how the women in Mom Lit think and talk about their bodies. The analysis shows that Mom Lit presents silent body to relate with the childfree choice and offers different maternal body experience that is in contrast with the feminine body ideals. In the end, it can be concluded that Mom Lit constructs a new site of women’s liberation by being receptive and communicative to the body.


Download data is not yet available.


Arendell, T. (2000). Mothering and motherhood: A decade review. Journal of Marriage and the Family, Special Issue: Decade Reviews, 62(4), (n.p.). Retrieved from berkeley/papers/3.pdf

Barker, C. (2002). Identity, equality and difference: The politics of gender. In C. Barker (Ed.). Making Sense of Cultural Studies (pp. 108-129). London: Sage Publication Inc.

Beauvoir, S. D., Borde, C., and Malovany-Chevallior, S. (2010). The second sex. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Calman, S. (2005). Confessions of a bad mother. London: Pan Macmillan.

Faulkner, S. L. (2013). Bad mom(my) litany: Spanking cultural myths of middle-class motherhood. Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies, XX(X), 1-9.

Giffin, E. (2007). Baby proof. New York: St. Martin's Griffin.

Hewett, H. (2006). You are not alone: The personal, the political, and the “new” mommy lit. In S. Ferriss & M. Young (Eds.). Chick lit: The New Woman's Fiction (pp. 119-138). New York: Routledge.

Kinsella, S. (2007). Shopaholic and baby. London: Bantam Press.

Lehmann, S. (n.d). Why mom lit? Retrieved from

Maynard, M. (1998). Women’s studies. In S. Jackson & J. Jones (Eds.). Contemporary Feminist Theories (247-258). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Peterson, H. & Engwall, K. Silent bodies: Childfree women’s gendered and embodied experiences. European Journal of Women’s Studies, 20(4), 376-389.

What is chick lit? (n.d.). Chick lit books. Retrieved from>