The body shaming of pregnant women

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I recently read an article about how skinny, pregnant celebrities in Canada are being blamed for eating disorders (pregorexia) among pregnant Canadian women. I can’t help but compare my body to those of other pregnant women and think; “did I gain too much, she is not as heavy”, and celebrities are of course part of the women I compare myself to. But my question is; why do they feel the need to be skinny? Could it maybe, just maybe, be because they get bullied otherwise?

The media is to blame for the body shaming of pregnant women, not the celebrities themselves. Even though I think that celebrities need to take responsibility as well, we are still talking about women who are constantly being judged by their looks in public, and the media have bullied them – pregnant, post-pregnant, or not – for being too fat while pregnant, for not losing weight fast enough after they’ve given birth, and so on.

Me, about 7 months pregnant.
Me, about 7 months pregnant.

On Jessica Simpson: “While every woman is expected to gain weight during pregnancy, the question still remains: How much is too much?” 

and:  During yesterday’s episode of The View, Joy Behar referred to Jessica as “fat,” saying, “Most women who are pregnant are not supposed to gain more than 25 pounds. She looks like she gained a lot more than that.”

About Aishwarya Rai: “Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, a former Miss World and one of India’s most beloved Bollywood stars, is getting slammed for taking too long to lose her post-pregnancy baby weight. “SHOCKING! Fat Aishwarya Rai!” and “Aishwarya’s Baby Fat Woes!” are just two examples of the headlines that have triggered an international debate over India’s perception of women and fame.”

Women who lose weight fast, on the other hand, are quickly rewarded:

 about Kate Hudson: “Kate Hudson switched her eating plan from her previous eating plan to a higher protein diet. And Kate did it!”

about Nicole Richie: “She looked absolutely amazing — anyone who didn’t know would never have guessed she had given birth just a week ago.  She even looked well-rested!”

At the same time as these women are being bullied for gaining too much weight and rewarded for losing it as fast as possible, “we” then turn around and punish them once again when “we” think that the weight loss is excessive, which is what happened to Angelina Jolie .

When we’re pregnant, everybody is an expert and seems to feel the need to tell you about what you should and should not do with your body. People aren’t shying away from telling you how big you are or how tiny you are. Suddenly your body and what you do with it is everybody’s business. And it’s hard, if not impossible at times, to just shake that of. Pregnancy is hard enough as it is, without the constant pressure on how our bodies look. The constant media-obsession on how fast celebrities lose the baby weight is then a big problem, and the thing is that whether they like it or not -whether they want it or not – celebrities are role models and should own up to that. But they are not the source of evil when it comes to the body shaming of women – the media and their bullying is.

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