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.
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