As moms, we know how pregnancy looks in real life, and for the most part, stock photos don’t capture that truth in any way. That said, stock photos on any subject can be cheesy and exaggerated, but it does seem like pregnancy in particular is given the extra-zany treatment by photographers. According to them, pregnant women love to skip in wheat fields, eat bowls of unwashed and unpeeled vegetables, guzzle milk by the gallon and place random items atop their baby bumps for impromptu photo ops. To sum it up: Go home, stock photos. You’re drunk.
The funniest thing about pregnant women in stock photography isn’t necessarily the few oddball photos—although, hello, pregnant woman holding a rifle—they certainly exist. It’s the repeated themes where some sadly misguided creative director got a weird idea and it just caught fire, replicated over and over, regardless of the concept being not at all based in reality. Here a few that photographers can’t seem to get enough of.
Hell. Yes. Produce.
Fruits and vegetables are the stuff of dreams for the pregnant ladies in stock photos. Awwww, yes. Close your eyes, girl. Tug up your nursing tank to pointlessly expose your linea nigra, put on way too much blush and anticipate that dry, lettuce-y goodness. Ecstasy.
Thousands of stock photo search results don’t lie—pregnant women seriously crave fruits and veggies. And mostly, they want them in their most natural and rugged state. Why cut off stems? Why peel carrots? And while we’re at it, fuck dressing. You’ll never see a pregnant stock photo lady eating salad with dressing. Which is hilarious because what pregnant woman eats salad that isn’t drowning in ranch?
It really can’t be emphasized enough—DO NOT peel, cut or chop anything. Pregnant women fill their bowl with only virgin fruit, never touched by a knife. Strengthen your teeth gnawing through banana peels, ladies. It’s for the baby.
Pregnant women fucking love milk.
Stock photography makes it crystal clear—pregnant chicks cannot get enough moo juice. At the doctor’s office, in the kitchen, in bed—we will drink it literally anywhere, if stock photos are to be believed. Oh, and obviously, we can’t always be bothered with cups. Straight out of the bottle hiding in the fridge like a freak, thank you very much.
Curl up on the couch, cradle your belly, stare at your abundant collection of fruit and let that delightful dairy flow through you. Smell the milk. Drink the milk. Be the milk.
And when drinking it isn’t enough, just let it hit you like a goddamn tidal wave. A classy arm bra and a milk tsunami. This is as pregnant as it gets if you’re taking notes from stock photography.
You are milk royalty. A headless milk goddess. With a baguette for a scepter. Rule over your dairy kingdom in your weird Statue of Liberty-colored outfit.
But in case the message is still not getting through, let this photo drive it on home. Drink milk until you’re literally barfing it up. Then, keep drinking. THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
Give us meadows or give us death.
When you’re pregnant, stock photography suggests you suddenly have a ceaseless urge to spend tons of time frolicking in fields like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. Never mind that they’re probably itchy as fuck and full of bugs, it’s whimsical and close to nature. Just go with it.
According to stock photos, it’s perfectly normal to be knocked up and alone among acres of wheat. Wind moving majestically through your luscious, pregnancy hormone-fueled locks. Owning the hell out of that sundress from Delia’s 1997 spring catalog.
And when you’re done having your magical moment with the wind, definitely stop and sniff some wildflowers. With a giant bow tied to your abdomen. Because that’s something grown women do.
Putting stupid shit on our bumps.
What would a review of stock photography’s version of pregnancy be without a nod to women with stuff sitting on top of their swollen bellies? Like, what would possess a pregnant woman to put teeny shoes next to her bump? It makes absolutely no sense. But buckle up, kids. Things are about to get a lot weirder.
What even is this? What do cherries have to do with pregnancy? It’s weirdly specific. Is she having sextuplets? Is red her favorite color? I need to know.
The most unrealistic image of all. And not just because this model looks totally stoned. What pregnant woman worth her salt takes the time to carefully arrange chocolates in a heart shape over her belly rather than shoveling them all in her face in quick succession? No pregnant woman I’ve ever met.
We leave you with this. Is she a ballerina? A burlesque dancer? Did she win some sweet beads at Mardi Gras in 2001 and just wanted to show them off? Is the baby a dapper little gentleman eagerly anticipating his first bow-tie upon exiting the womb? Trying to make sense of it will make your head hurt. So just don’t.