beauty

Why I'm tired of the hot pregnants

What’s wrong with looking svelte and gorgeous when you’re pregnant? Absolutely nothing, but give the mere mortals a break, please…

Look at this picture Gwen Stefani  posted on Instagram today.

The photo the very hot and pregnant Gwen Stefani posted today.

She is gorgeous. Looks stunning. The woman's 8 months pregnant with her third boy. And 44. And looks like this. Hats off to you, Gwen.

But God, this selfie irritates me.

Because. And seriously, this might surprise you, so take a deep breath. Most women don't look like this when they're pregnant.

Don't get me wrong, most pregnant women look gorgeous. But most of them don't look like 'I'm exactly the same shape as I was before, but I swallowed a basketball.'

And that, thanks to Gwen, Miranda, Gisele and all, is the pregnancy look we're all meant to be going for these days.

I know that they are celebrities, and therefore they are not 'like us'. Which is fine. I don't want my celebrities to be like me. But like bling and gravity-defying bums, the influence of the super-hot pregnant celebrity oozes into the real world.

Looking at pics of hot pregnant celebrities (and my job has often meant looking at lots of pictures of hot pregnant celebrities), many of the young women I know who are yet to become mothers will say, 'That's what I want to look like when I'm pregnant' . Or give the highest compliment of all. 'She doesn't even look pregnant, apart from the bump.'

The gorgeous and preggo Jodi Gordon

Two things: 1. It's really okay to look pregnant when you're pregnant. It's a relatively short time in your life when something really, really amazing and strange and scary and wonderful is happening to your body. You are building bones, and skin, and internal organs. Teeny-tiny fingernails.

This is not business as usual.

The hot pregnants bely this fact. Witness the general abuse copped by Kim Kardashian and Jessica Simpson when their pregnant bodies dared to veer off the 'watermelon down my top' template. It was seen as a sign of weakness, almost a character flaw, that these women looked genuinely different.

Weight can creep on in strange places that don't seem in any way related to baby-baking, and, newflash, the shape and size of your body before has a lot of say in what shape you are when you're expecting. If you are short and booby, it's unlikely you are going to be able to pull off the sleek, tiny little lowdown bump of say, a statuesque Nicole Kidman.

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And 2. When you're pregnant, you don't always get to decide how your body changes. Sure, you can avoid the eating-for-two rubbish, and you can keep up your yoga classes and your gentle jogs and even your CrossFit if that's what blows your hair, but you might not have that much say about say, the size of your baby, or whether you're holding a lot of fluid.

When I was pregnant with my first child, towards the end I was MASSIVE. It was the height of summer, and I had a bump the size of Brazil and swollen ankles and the big puffy lips. All that good stuff. When my little girl was born, she was a dainty 2.9kg. Friends openly said, Í was so surprised when I heard her weight, because your belly was HUGE. What was all that?'

Why, thank you. And I have no idea.

And one more news flash - putting on weight when you're pregnant is a GOOD THING.

Many, many women keep themselves on  a pretty tight rein, food-wise. Rightly or wrongly, we keep a long internal list of things we should and shouldn't eat. When we're pregnant we're encouraged to eat a wider range of foods to help with all that bone-building.

Pregnancy should be a time of  fabulous freedom from the seemingly endless internal pressure to be thin. At the beach in my cossie, eight months pregnant, my huge round belly was a a get-out-of-jail card from feeling self-conscious about my 'beach body'. Everyone was looking, but they weren't looking at me. They were looking at my bump. And I wasn't 'fat', I was pregnant. I know that I shouldn't feel like that, but I did.

So I'm very happy for your pregnancy Gwen, and I'm very happy that you look so healthy and fabulous. I really wish you all the best. But please, help a sister out and post some pics where you're not in your skinny leggings and spike heels. The hot pregnants are making me tired.

Do you agree that pictures of pregnant celebrities looking amazing can be discouraging? Or do you find them inspirational?

Check out these snaps of non-celebrity pregnant bodies, submitted by iVillage mums.