May 8, 2007

What goes "bump" in the night?

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.


Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Wow. I had no idea that women have been reduced to worrying about whether or not they have a "belly" vs. a "bump" and that one means you are a hottie and the other doesn't. Not to mention post-birth breast commentary. I can't wait till we all have to be sexxybacked grandmas too.

PS: freckles are ADORABLE, are you crazy? Okay, okay, I know, skin cancer blahblahblah, I definitely do not envy the fact that caucasians are so much more at risk for that. But aesthetically they are the epitome of "cute". My mom is very fair and she gets some in the's so sweet.

dorothy said...

As someone who does have body image problems, I'm so grateful to have you around to say shit like this every once in a while. I'll probably try that pregnancy thing again, and I'll be calling you periodically to talk me off the scale when I gain MY characteristic 40 pounds. ha!

Modern Day Hermit said...

I tell ya, if it wasn't for having a strong sense of self, I'd have stuck my head in the oven a long time ago, lol.

I think this story is actually hilarious...ex husband and I are riding in the car and he says, "Hey pumpkin, what should we do tomorrow?" Naturally, my first reaction is, "Oh, how sweet, you've never called me pumpkin. You usually say bheta (spelling) or gandu"

He then says, "Yeah, round like a pumpkin! Hahahaha, I'm so funny!"

In any case, I'd rather be smart than good looking any day of the week.


I think it is ridiculous that women expect to be hot while pregnant, that is just ridiculous. Toward the last month or so, I was like a waddling water buffalo, I was retaining so much water I could have easily survived getting lost in the desert.

I pretty much chalk people up to being real jerks if they make commentary on how a pregnant woman looks. Hello, they are only creating a human being and toting he/she around for 9 months! Not to mention how tiring giving birth is and the first few weeks following the birth.


I've developed so many freckles since living in Arizona, right across my friggin' nose. My husband loves them and was upset when I bought makeup that would cover the little devils up.

Rozanne said...

For some reason, the term "Week 38" really sort of made me realize how long a nine-month pregnancy can be. OY!

Def. treat yourself to a Krispy Kreme (or whatever your heart desires) if you are still waiting to give birth at Week 38. My mom made it to Week 38 w. me (I was two weeks late). I don't know if she resorted to Krispy Kreme or not.

Christy said...

I bitch and moan about my weight all the fucking time, yet I am guilty of indulging in way too many sweet treats.

Becuase of my current weight, I really only want to gain 20 pounds with this pregnancy. However, I have been eating ice cream every night. I blame it on stress and sleep deprivation, but I know it is just a lack of will power.

I am inspired my your weight gain -only 10 pounds at 31 weeks! I gained 40 pounds with Porgie, and I am afraid of doing the same thing again.

You are so disciplined - not eating a krispy kreme doughnut until 38 weeks. I really need to work on that will power thing.