How pregnant are you, really?
No, no, not in terms of weeks or months. Not the fact-y stuff. How pregnant do you look?
Do you have a great big bump? Swollen ankles? Puffy lips? God forbid, are you… pregnant from behind? Like, your bum seems to be growing in line with your bump?
You might have heard about a show that dropped this week called Yummy Mummies. It truly is excellent fun. It takes some of the usual reality show schtick – warring women, rampant consumerism – and adds in something else fun: pregnancy body image.
Listen to Mia Freedman, Jessie Stephens and Holly talk about the rules of baby bodies, here. Post continues…
Actually, really, it is a whole lot of fun, but please, unsuspecting women of the world, do not get this reality show confused with real life.
In the Insta-perfect world of Yummy Mummies, being ‘pregnant from behind’ is a cardinal sin. The stars of the Channel Seven show so far all exhibit the approved body-shape for the stylish expectant mum – slim and toned with a mere basketball-bump disrupting your skin-tight dress. Like maybe you swallowed a watermelon along with your green smoothie and your chia pudding this morning.
There are too many Internet pixels dedicated to dissecting women’s bodies already, so I won’t fling out any more describing these gorgeous examples of womanhood in bloom. But if you are a pregnant, not-yet-pregnant or a may-be-pregnant-one-day woman, there are a few things you might not be seeing on Yummy Mummies that you really need to know:
1. Pregnancy might have become a competition, but you don’t have to play.
If you don’t have an LV nappy bag, a Christian Dior baby bottle and the ability to still walk in heels at 38-weeks, you are not losing. If you do have those things, you are not winning. Or losing. There is not actually a way to “win” at pregnancy. It is the human body’s method of growing a new person and ensuring the succession of the human race, not retail opportunity. Hard to believe, I know.
2. How big your baby bump is is not in your control.
You might be in the ‘swallowed a basketball’ brigade, and if you are, happy days. Baby bump sizes and shapes are varied and many, and there’s nothing less helpful than commenting and comparing them. “But you’re so small!” is every bit as upsetting as “But you’re so big!”
3. For some of us, everything swells. Deal with it.
When Kim Kardashian was pregnant with North West back in 2013, magazines loved to run ever-so-tight close ups of her bloated feet pushed into ever-pointier, ever-more-tightly-laced pairs of improbably high heels. The suggestion was that this was some sort of shame. Some sort of failing. It was messy, out-of-control, something to laugh at. “Kim’s Cankles” became a thing. The message that was missed here is a simple one. If even KIM KARDASHIAN can’t control swollen ankles, with more money to consult more baby experts than any mere mortal could ever hope for, what chance of escaping this does anyone else have?