It’s a slow news week, so the New York Post decided to shame pregnant celebrities for page views. Why not?
“Medical professionals say a woman should gain anywhere from 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy, but many boldfacers take the old ‘eating for two’ adage to heart,” wrote a female journalist in the New York Post this week. She then went on to list all the weight certain celebrities gained while pregnant, along with predictable blurbs about them “getting their bodies back.” Ugh. The only time I ever want to hear the phrase “got her body back” is if a celebrity has literally been body-snatched in an alien invasion.
The article begins by focusing on Kim K, of course, since the celebrity tweeted this week about her pregnancy weight gain. The number on a scale is something that causes some women a crippling amount of agony, so Kardashian’s willingness to be open about the weight she’s gained is a good thing. The Post writes, “Mamma mia! Yesterday Kim Kardashian tweeted that she’s packed on 52 pounds since becoming pregnant with her second child — and she still has six weeks to go before giving birth.”
The Post then goes on to list the individual weight gain of Beyoncé, Leah Remini, Pink, Jenny McCarthy, Kendra Wilkinson, Jessica Simpson, and Kate Hudson. Then the rag uses clichés to slam each woman for how they looked: Beyoncé “tipped the scales at nearly 200 pounds,” Jenny McCarthy “had the mother of all pregnancy bellies, ballooning by 80 pounds while carrying her son,” Kendra Wilkinson “went from petite to plump with both of her pregnancies,” Jessica Simpson “gained 70 pounds during a seemingly endless pregnancy with her daughter Maxwell.”
But fear not, each story is punctuated with the “happy ending” of the women returning to working out and eating strict diets to get back into their skinny jeans.
Pregnancy is a time when women have to prioritize their health over the way they look. This is new for a lot of us — crazy as it sounds. We’re pummeled with the message that the weight that we carry is an indicator of what we’re worth, for most of our lives. It’s exhausting. To still focus on that number on a scale when a woman is literally creating a human is just gross. It turns out creating a human makes you hungry. It makes you retain water. Your body is changing and growing and each woman is different. Gaining more weight than average is not a failure — it’s just a fact for some women. Can you imagine what this article would be like if these women hadn’t returned to their former glorious figures after giving birth?
It’s a shame that the judgment women endure regarding their bodies can’t even be put on hold for nine months while they gestate a living being. Kate Auletta, Huff Post Voices Editor, said it perfectly in her post about the article, “The open season effect for pregnant women in our society is disgusting. You feel crappy enough for 10 months; the last thing you want is people asking you — or worse, ‘reporting’ on — how much weight you’ve gained, and what that means for you as a woman.”
I’m with you, Kate. If we don’t have each other’s backs… no one will.