I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but there’s an epidemic happening in the world of pregnant women everywhere. Aside from the pregnancy body shaming that happens in the media, which I find disgusting and disheartening, there is also an obsession that promotes having the “tiniest pregnancy bump ever.” I like to call it the Oh My God, You Don’t Even Look Pregnant Disease. Full disclosure, I too, suffered from this insanity while pregnant.
Look, people are curious about the pregnant body in general, I get it. It’s fascinating. It’s crazy to watch someone’s body changing, to see the bump grow, to see how the body compensates to build this little life, and when it’s you that’s pregnant, it’s even crazier. Before I had a baby, I would look at pregnant women, and just stare. I mean, not on purpose, but rather in wonderment.
I understand the interest. I also understand the tendency to say what you’re thinking when you see someone’s body changing, evolving into something otherworldly. It might be tempting to blurt out what you’re seeing, because it’s probably assumed that the pregnant woman you’re saying it to, already knows. I mean they’re pregnant after all, right? They might already know that they look like they’re “about to pop” even with four to five months to go, but that doesn’t mean you should say it. So, right here, right now I’m going to make a bold statement that I hope no one ever forgets. If you’re thinking of saying anything other than, “You’re glowing, and look beautiful,” don’t say it. And please, also know that it’s never okay to tell a pregnant woman that her “belly really doesn’t look that big yet, but that her hips definitely look like they’ve expanded,” or after she has a baby, flippantly make a comment like, “Oh, look at you, you’re not fat anymore.” Yes, you guessed it, this bitterness is stemming from a personal experience, both of which were said to me, the first while I was pregnant, and the second about six weeks after I had my baby.
Maybe all the coverage in the media where it’s speculated about how much weight a celebrity has gained during their pregnancy, is what has desensitized us all from being sensitive toward the changing body of pregnant women. People, it seems, have become really comfortable with calling pregnant women fat, and categorizing where a pregnant woman has or hasn’t put on weight.
“Oh, she’s all belly”, is something that is often said to the woman who doesn’t look pregnant when you see her walking from behind, and really, is a nice way of saying, “Lucky you, you only gained weight in your belly.”
And there’s the, “Oh, she looks like she’s having a girl,” which seems to be the nice way of saying, “Honey, you’re wide from every angle.”
It all makes me crazy.
And then there’s the fat shaming. Oh, the fat shaming. Who doesn’t remember the fat shaming of Kim Kardashian during her first pregnancy? The endless speculation of what and how much she was eating. There were pictures of that poor girl’s swollen feet on every gossip magazine at the grocery store, and I swear I remember one article where she was wearing a black and white dress, and they compared her to Shamu. She was pregnant, for godsakes. And Jessica Simpson. Everywhere you looked, there were unflattering pictures, chronicling her weight gain for the entire nine months.
I believe this compulsion to have the “tiniest bump ever” was born from a perverse play by play of any celebrity who has ever had a baby. The constant keeping score of how much this one or that one gained, along with the assessment of how lightning fast the weight is lost post-pregnancy is also incredibly troublesome, and to be quite honest, makes my skin crawl.
I think this weight obsessed society surrounding pregnancy has caused pregnant women everywhere to strive for something unattainable and unhealthy, which is to not look pregnant, when you’re pregnant.
It’s praised when a pregnant celebrity “barely looks pregnant.” There were recent articles praising Coco Austin, and how she barely looked pregnant six months into her pregnancy. The headline read something like, “See Coco Austin’s Tiny Baby Bump!” I think the article also talked about how she was still fitting into her per-pregnancy jeans. And recently, Chrissy Teigen was chastised for “popping so early” in her first pregnancy.
What’s wrong with this picture, people? Yes, it’s not good to over indulge in fried food and sweets while pregnant, and gain a hundred pounds, which can put you at risk for a bevy of complications that are not good for mother and baby. It’s also not good, however, to worry so much about how you look.
I did. I hate admitting that, but I definitely did to an extent.
Let’s be clear, I never let it stop me from eating. No way, no how. I ate, trust me. I was always hungry, and boy, did I ever eat. I gained a substantial amount of weight, too. The problem, however, was that I refused to take pictures of my growing baby bump and pregnancy along the way. I literally have no pictures to look back on, and remember that time in my life. For my entire pregnancy, I maybe took four pictures, one of which I shared in my birth story post, and one that my husband forced me to take when I was on my way into the hospital to give birth. I can’t tell you how glad I am that he made me take that picture. I think it’s sad that I obsessed so much about how my body should or shouldn’t look that I never fully let go, and enjoyed the ride.
For the Average Joe, eh Jane rather, the media and society can alter the way we think of the pregnant body, if we let what they say dictate how we think.
No, you’re not supposed to fit into your jeans when you’re three months pregnant like that celebrity on the cover of the magazine, so let’s agree to stop perpetuating this notion, K? Yes, it’s normal to “pop early” if that’s how it all evolves for you. Everyone is different. Everything is normal.
So, please ladies…
STEP AWAY FROM THE SKINNY JEANS.
STEP AWAY FROM THE SKINNY JEANS THAT USED TO FIT YOU. THEY’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO FIT YOU ANYMORE, YOU’RE PREGNANT. AND PLEASE DO NOT REVISIT THESE JEANS FOR A VERY, VERY LONG TIME AFTER YOU HAVE THAT BABY.
Are we clear?
I’m not going to lie, I wrote this post for a reason. I wrote it to start a revolution against the obsession with the teeny, tiny baby bump, and the fat shaming toward pregnant women everywhere.
So, now I have to ask…
Who’s with me?