I wrote this as a personal facebook update a few days ago. It was a vulnerable post, one that I’ve been mulling over writing since I started showing in my pregnancy. At that same time, I started to get commentary on my body’s appearance. This felt strange to me. This felt unnatural to me. Most of all, the words hurt at times.
I was finally able to write this post not from an angry or confused place, but from a healthy and inquizitive place.
I wrote this post as a reminder and to create space around a topic I know, from lots of conversations, that I am not the only woman to experience. I’ll follow up more at the end of this post. ~ Rose
Would you tell a woman who is not pregnant that she looks huge or big?
I sure hope not.
To comment on the bigness or size of anyone, even if that woman is carrying a CHILD in her body, is a form of criticism.
Seriously, my people, the subtle body shaming is so deep in our culture that we don’t even realize we do it when we do it.
For instance, when people comment on how big or small my pregnant body appears that day, I’m often confused. It never ever reads as a compliment. Ever.
I wonder: ‘compared to what, or ‘compared to whom’ are you remarking about the size of my baby growing in my body?
Are you comparing my pregnant body to your non-pregnant body?
To a celebrity’s body that you’ve never seen in real life?
Are you really talking about yourself right now?
Also, it’s simply rude to comment about someone’s physical body unless you are asked your opinion.
Things that you can say to a pregnant woman if you want to comment on her pregnant body:
(Nothing at all).
You look beautiful.
You are radiant.
How are you feeling?
Our bodies, pregnant or not, are alway changing. We are human. And it’s a freaking miracle to be here on this earth, right now.
We are all children of God, and our bodies know exactly what to do to be in balance at all times. This isn’t going to look one way or the other to the human eye.
There’s a whole world going on underneath our skin that is amazing and mysterious and fragile.
We all need to love and appreciate our bodies more. So consider this today a permission slip, a reminder, and a gentle embrace to love yourself wherever you are.
And a gentle reminder to please please, please pause before you speak. Always.
I write this from a place of love. I am not upset at the people who comment on my body. Yet, I feel strongly to give voice to what I experience and observe, mostly from women to women.
I write this knowing that if I have been feeling this, then I am not alone.
E m b r a c e.
I had incredible and beautiful feedback on this post.
I heard from women who were also shamed about being too small during pregnancy.
I heard from Dads and Moms who also get a lot of commentary that comes off as criticism on their parenting or family size.
I was really surprised at how universal this unwanted commentary on body or parenting was.
I most of all desire you to go away from this post with this:
if you are a commenter on other pregnant women or people with children, then please pause before you speak.
if you are receiving the comments I invite you to use this statement:
Your words are not very helpful or uplifting to me right now.
Walk away, brush your shoulder off, and give yourself a sweet embrace.
Together we make a stronger voice and unite under the one umbrella of LOVE and humankind.