Me and my big old baby belly, that's what. As we meander to the bathroom. For the umpteenth time. Pay us no mind.
My gal pal Monkey has requested a rant from me regarding the difference between a baby "bump" and a baby "belly", but I can't really provide a rant here. The whole thing just makes me sad. Sad that some gals feel pressure to still look Hottie Hot Hot during pregnancy. Sad that we have a culture that seems to expect it. Sad that the media follows celebrities around mere weeks after the celebrity has given birth so that snaps can be taken for close examination as to whether the celebrity has lost the weight yet. Sad that the media will make lascivious comments about a breastfeeding celebrity's newly sprouted bazookas. Sad that young girls want to emulate these celebrities.
Of course, it touches on a much bigger issue of "body image". I've been pretty fortunate, actually. Despite the fact that I had ample access to Barbie and her minions, I had little problem with my body image growing up. For as much as I mock and point at my family here, I will credit them this - no emphasis was given on looks, weight, clothes or anything perceived as superficial while I was growing up. You were given expectations on behaviour and grades, but not your looks. My main points of contention with my looks were my nose, my freckles, my thick eyeglasses and my cowlick, but my family had little to do with that. Fortunately, the freckles faded, I eventually got contacts and I learned how to style my hair around the cowlick. I chalked the nose up to a Lost Cause decades ago and moved on.
Unfortunately, Asshole #1 did a bit of a number on my body image while I was an undergrad - a good 50 pounds ago. However, he was the only guy I ever dated that made comments about my weight and for most part, I've been left unscathed. Oh sure, I care about my looks and try to look at least presentable. And oh sure, I would like to be thinner (hello! Who wouldn't?), but it's not a priority right now and is most definitely NOT a key to my happiness. Actually, the past few years have been the very happiest of my entire life, yet have been the heaviest, weight-wise. Clearly, for me, there is no connection between Inner Peace and my BMI.
Oddly enough, being pregnant is probably one of the most freeing times of my life. No, I don't go crazy with the eating - most of my Meals of Shame at the hands of McDonald's and Taco Bueno are eaten for lunch. Then, I make amends for them with salads or South Indian for dinner (unlike it's Meaty Northern Brethren, South Indian is actually light, healthy fare - not the heavy stuff you find in Indian restaurants specializing in Northern fare). What's been particularly challenging this time is that I've been craving sweets this pregnancy, but have managed to stave the cravings off with fruit, lemonade and an occasional piece of Choxie chocolate. Once in awhile, I treat myself to a pastry (the REAL source of my cravings - fruity pastries) - if I keep my weight to a reasonable level, I am going to treat myself to a Krispy Kreme during week 38 because Oh.My.God. I have wanted one SO BAD this whole time.
So, yes - it makes me sad that women grapple with the emotions of gaining weight during pregnancy - a time of your life when a weight gain is inevitable. Dammit! When a woman is pregnant or nursing, the very last thing she should have to worry about is looking Hottie Hot Hot - her primary focus should be on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking care of herself and her baby. However, I just couldn't muster up a rant about it. Sorry, Monkey.