"Your body is a wonderland! Real guys rhapsodize." #pregnancy and #bodyimage
And that's a direct quote...from this article on Fit Pregnancy last week. I think it's troubling that a website which professes to be a "prenatal and postpartum guide" features an article, authored by a man (of course), that focuses on sex appeal. "What's the big deal?" some may say, or, "how fun/cute/cool!". Here's why I object to articles like this:
When the focus is on a woman's body, it's easier to disregard her feelings, her thoughts, her experience. It's easier to treat her like an object, instead of a real person with wishes, fears and dreams. When the focus is on "sexy", the focus is on the body, not on the woman. The difference is slight but important. So, here's an alternative: how about instead of focussing on how pregnancy is sexy, we focus on how women can feel good about themselves when pregnant? Not as cool, sure, but crucial.
We need to be more concerned with how women feel about something, not less. We need less objectification of women and their bodies, not more. This is true for all women but especially true for pregnant women: she is more than just a vessel for a baby.
I think the intention behind articles like this is a good one. But the way that this message is delivered, with the emphasis on how attractive pregnant women are to men, is completely off base. It shouldn't even need to be said but here it is: pregnant women's bodies are not on display for the male nod of approval.
Already, everyday, many times a day, women get the message that how their body looks is more important than their mind, than what they do for work, than how they care for their family. It's more important than anything else. I think we can do better. But that means more women (hopefully you) speaking up against damaging body shaming messages. It takes a moment, yes, and sometimes it's a Debbie Downer but women dominate every social media platform except one. Even if we just took our battle to the internet, we could do a world of good. Let's use that power.
How? Share this post. Write a quick comment when you see an article like the one I'm writing about here. Facebook or Tweet why sexualizing pregnant women's bodies is a problem.
What say you, pregnant ladies? How do you feel about articles like this? Leave me a comment below. Thanks for sharing.