The “baby bump” (translation: pregnancy) is super in around Hollywood right now. It’s very chic to appear at awards shows in expensive, designer maternity dresses and high heeled shoes, smiling, glowing and pretending that your feet and back are not probably killing you.
Then – give birth, and in the shortest time period possible appear publicly in designer non maternity clothes showing no outward sign whatsoever that your body just performed a lengthy and difficult miracle.
I’m not specifically picking on Beyonce here, I really like her. I think she’s talented as an actress and a singer and I’ve purchased a lot of her music. I will continue to do so. I’m just using her for an example because she happens to be the subject of the most recent article I’ve read by the Hollywood media praising her for her “flat tummy” and “tiny waist” after giving birth to her baby daughter.
American entertainment media is fawning all over itself at the moment to shower her with praise for her incredible post baby body, for looking miraculously as though the baby had never actually existed inside her at all. I’ve seen the ugly flipside of that behavior too. A lot of it was directed at Mariah Carey who had the audacity to appear in public after giving birth to twins… looking as though she’d given birth to twins. How dare she?
This is Beyonce today:
She gave birth on January 7th, 2012. Two months ago. Slow down and consider that again: TWO MONTHS AGO.
Do you think she’s had any time to be still and enjoy the wonder of her newborn child? Or do you think she’s been too busy working out continually so as to avoid criticism when she has to appear in public ever since then?
Or maybe everyone in Hollywood just has incredible bounce-back genes that let them shrug off pregnancy like it was nothing.
Yeah… I wasn’t really buying that one either.
Look, I’m a mom but I’ve never given birth – I have a stepson. I sometimes refer to that as the easy route to female parenting: I get the child without the physical aspect. At age thirty seven with no plans for a baby it is extremely unlikely that I will experience childbirth in my lifetime. I am well satisfied with my choice, and my family. However I am still aware that with that choice I have said “no thank you” to the incredible offer of assisting God in performing a miracle.
Pregnancy and birth are difficult, messy, almost always painful, and I hold immeasurable respect for each person that gives so intimately of themselves to perform it – most especially my own Mother. So I guess what’s bothering me here is that in expecting women, even praising them to pretend that it didn’t happen afterward… doesn’t it devalue what they really did?