I was planning a completely different post for today but after having a discussion about weight shaming, I realized that I have a lot to say about weight shaming, especially where it concerns pregnant women and new mothers. Obviously, I am a proponent of maintaining a healthy weight through eating right and moving more. But that is going to look different for each person. Some of us are naturally bigger or smaller and carry our weight in different ways. Health is not about a certain look or a certain number on the scale. That brings me to my rant about weight shaming that I have seen in the media recently.
You may have heard the story of lingerie model Sarah Stage and seen her baby bump pictures online. I don’t think anyone would deny that she’s a beautiful woman and doesn’t look like most women at 8 months pregnant. These photos seem to have brought out all kinds of people and many horrible comments, including many about her baby being dead or unhealthy. In what universe is it okay to say something like this? After listening to an interview with her, I was even more supportive of her and the pictures she posted. While I’m not a huge fan of skimpy photos like the ones she posted, she IS a lingerie model. She’s also a mother-to-be that is excited about the birth of her first child. And she wanted to document her pregnancy online for her followers. How many of you have posted online photos documenting your pregnancies? The internet wasn’t around when my kids were born so I didn’t post pictures of my pregnancies online but I love seeing pictures of my friends and family. Who doesn’t love baby pictures? And there’s definitely something very special about the glow of pregnancy that makes every mother-to-be beautiful.
As a model, Sarah Stage is very slim and beautiful. I don’t know what her nutrition and workout routine looked like pre-pregnancy, but she has continued working out during her pregnancy. Working out during pregnancy has been shown to be healthy for both baby and mother under normal circumstances and a healthy pregnancy. According to Sarah, at 5’ 8”, she weighed 120 pounds prior to her pregnancy. At eight months pregnant, she has gained 20 pounds. That’s a healthy weight gain and well within the normal, recommended range. Even her doctor says she is very healthy, the baby is healthy, and everything looks good. What do we have to criticize her over and why do so many people feel the need to say such hateful things to her? I just don’t understand why people are shaming her for being a healthy, fit pregnant woman.
On the other hand, we have new mother Kelly Clarkson. According to reports I’ve read about her pregnancy, she gained 75 pounds. Now that she is a new mother, I am hearing all kinds of comments about how overweight she is now. I also don’t understand these comments. She just had a baby and is adjusting to a huge life change. She has that glow of a new mother that is loving motherhood. And she seems more interested in spending time bonding with her baby rather than worrying about dropping the baby weight. Why do we need to shame her for gaining weight during her pregnancy and not being back down to her pre-pregnancy weight within a few weeks?
I just don’t get why we can’t love and support each other throughout the ups and downs of life. Pregnancy and motherhood is a very special time of life and adding in pressure of being too fat or too thin seems completely counter-productive and very negative. For me, this doesn’t just apply to pregnancy weight either. Weight is such a sensitive topic for most women and a huge source of insecurity. What if instead we could support and encourage each other and lift each other up? I’m so tired of hearing women being weight-shamed and want to see it stop. Considering that the majority of women are not happy with their current weight, I find it interesting that so many people are outspoken about women in the public spotlight.
How do you feel about the prevalence of weight shaming in the media? How do you think we can improve weight shaming comments?