Dear God, Let Me Be 'Skinny' Pregnant
Stand in any grocery checkout lane, you'll see one face—or rather, body—plastered across nearly every magazine: Kim Kardashian. Whether you love her, hate her, or couldn't care less, the media commentary and "fat-shaming" over her pregnant shape affects us all.
There have been all kinds of wild accusations. Apparently, poor Kim is gorging herself. No wait, she's on an extreme diet. Star magazine clams she's gained 65 pounds and "binges on pasta, cake, and ice cream." In Touch countered with claims that she is nearing 200 pounds and actually prefers "waffle cones and fries." One cover said, "With 4 months to go, she already 'hates' her body… Plus: her meltdown over a busted zipper." Then there's the "who wore it best" comparison of a black and white clad Kim Kardashian next to a killer whale.
As Isabel Wilkinson of The Daily Beast points out, the coverage of pregnant celebs like Kim is "raising questions about how we have begun talking about pregnancy and women's bodies." The harsh headlines normalize critiquing any pregnant woman's appearance, famous or not. They put our baby bumps and broadening rumps on display. They prompt us to think of pregnancy in terms of shape and appearance, and base our worth and contentment on these external traits.
What does this brutal reaction to a buxom pregnant body say about our cultural obsession with always being thin, even during pregnancy? "Having a female body that is anything other than thin – whether it be average, overweight, or simply pregnant – is being cast as both a crime and a punishment," said an article on Huffington Post Women.
Of course, being pregnant is neither a crime nor a punishment… as long as you are "skinny" pregnant or "cute" pregnant. Many stars have been lauded for their perfect pregnant frames, from Katie Holmes to Kristen Bell, and even Kim's sister, Kourtney Kardashian. The goal is to only gain weight in the belly region, but a little extra in the bust ain't bad.
As one blogger described it, "Your hips should not widen. Your butt should not expand. Your arms must remain perfectly defined. And your [face], while [it] should 'glow,' should not be round." Even Khloe Kardashian once aspired to this ideal (though she has recently spoken out in support of Kim, as well): "I want to be a skinny pregnant person, like how my sister Kourtney looks so cute pregnant. I can't be a house…."
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