Congratulations! How far along are you? Is it a boy or a girl? Wait, are you pregnant!?
I’m not a tiny woman by any stretch of the imagination. I am well over 150lbs, and I am not ashamed of my body. More than weight, I care about my health. I put nutritious food in my body and I exercise quite regularly. I don’t care to be a size 3, 4, or 5 as long as my doctor says that I have a clean bill of health. So what am I ranting about then, huh? Well I’m glad you asked.
The thing I am most proud of in this world is being a mother. I am blessed to have three wonderful children. It just so happened today that I was asked twice if I was pregnant at a function, and then on my way into my house my neighbor congratulated me because she thought I was expecting. I thanked her, then told “I’m not pregnant.” She felt really stupid and apologized to me. The encounters really made me think, because it happens way too often with family, friends, and strangers alike.
Even if I was pregnant, is it really anybody’s business? No. Me being pregnant does not change your life in anyway, so why do you feel the need to ask?
I get it that people think they’re being polite, supportive, or even positive. But asking a woman if she’s pregnant is rude, insensitive and hurtful. How? Let’s take these scenarios into consideration:
- Let’s assume I am pregnant, but I was raped and I don’t believe in abortion so I’m keeping the baby. Would you congratulate me then?
- What if I was pregnant but had a still birth or a miscarriage, would you still want to know if it was a baby inside my stomach?
- What if the bulge was a tumor or another illness that I was dealing with? What if the bulge was me dying from the inside out? Would it matter if there was a child inside my stomach?
- What if I’m already insecure about my body but I’m trying really hard to stay positive and you asking me if I’m pregnant while I’m just “fat” was the straw that broke the camel’s back and spiraled me deeper into my depression? Would my pregnancy matter to you then?
- What if I’ve been trying to get pregnant, but I can’t conceive and I’m just bloated or put on extra weight from the medications I was taking to help me conceive. Would my pregnancy matter to you then?
It wouldn’t right? You’d probably feel really bad for asking/commenting on my pregnancy then, wouldn’t you?
I seriously don’t understand what the fascination is with other people’s bodies. We are not all built the same way. Some of us are big, some of us are small, just like some of us are tall while others are short.
Why does this pregnancy thing make me so upset? Because it ties directly into these unrealistic ideas of beauty that society has casted upon us. The idea that we have to be ashamed to be beautiful because we’re not “skinny,” or “thin.”
I hate that society has so many of us brainwashed to think that we have to conform to a certain types of beauty and that if we don’t fit in those categories then we are not beautiful. I hate that we think that someone that 100lbs is more attractive than someone who’s 200lbs. I hate that we tell people outside of a certain weight class that there is something wrong with them and that they have to change. I hate that we force each other to believe that we are inadequate because we are different.
I wish that people would stop being insensitive. I wish that people would stop acting like they aren’t flawed. Even more so, I wish people would stop shaming MY body, the one that I am NOT ashamed of! This is a body that carried three children and nursed them for years. I
Do me a favor, the next time you see a woman in public (ESPECIALLY IF YOU DON’T KNOW HER WELL) and you think to congratulate her or ask her how far along she is, DON’T. Just keep it moving, smile, say “hello,” “have a nice day,” compliment her hair, or something, and go on about your day. Don’t mention her stomach, because whatever is in there has nothing to do with you.