In early 2023, Kelly Osbourne and her boyfriend, Sid Wilson, welcomed their first child. While this should have been a joyous and celebratory time, Kelly chose to keep her pregnancy away from the public eye. The reasons for her decision became clear when, on August 1st, she posted new photos of herself on Instagram. One comment caught everyone’s attention: “I never saw a pregnant picture of you. Did you hire a surrogate?”
Kelly responded with a poignant admission: “There are no pictures of me pregnant because I hid for 9 months because I did not want to get fat-shamed.” This statement not only reveals the deep-rooted fear many people have of being fat but also highlights the pregnancy-related fat-shaming and unsolicited comments folks receive during pregnancy.
The Weight of Pregnancy Expectations
Pregnancy is a time of immense change, both physically and emotionally.
The expectation that pregnant individuals should maintain their pre-pregnancy body shape and size, and/or “bounce back” after pregnancy is not only unrealistic but also harmful.
Here are some key points to consider:
The Expectation of Perfection:
Society often portrays pregnancy as a time of glowing beauty and serenity.
The pressure to maintain this appearance can be overwhelming, leading many to hide or try to change their bodies through intentional weight loss.
The Prevalence of Fat-Shaming:
Fat-shaming is pervasive in our culture, and it doesn’t spare pregnant individuals.
Negative comments about weight gain, body size, and stretch marks can be both stressful and emotionally and mentally exhausting.
Impact on Mental Health:
The fear of fat-shaming during pregnancy can have a profound impact on mental health.
It may lead to anxiety, depression, and a sense of isolation.
Every individual should have the autonomy to make decisions about their body during pregnancy, free from external judgment and expectations.
The Intersection of Body Liberation and Pregnancy
Kelly Osbourne’s experience shines a spotlight on the intersection of body liberation and pregnancy. Lindley Ashline has a definition of body liberation on her website that sums it up so nicely, “body liberation is freedom from social and political systems of oppression that designate certain bodies as more worthy, healthy, and desirable than others.”
It’s about recognizing that every body is unique and that no one should have their value or worth or in this case body judged or shamed for their appearance, especially during a life-changing event like pregnancy.
Challenging the Norms:
Pregnant individuals, just like anyone else, have the right to challenge societal norms and expectations. They can choose to share their pregnancy journey openly or keep it private, without fear of judgment.
Supporting One Another:
In a world that often scrutinizes pregnant bodies, it’s crucial for us to support one another. This includes refraining from making unsolicited comments about someone’s pregnancy, weight, or appearance.
Empowering Pregnant Individuals:
Empowering pregnant individuals means respecting their choices and affirming their right to define their own pregnancy experience, free from the constraints of societal beauty standards.
No Need Hide a Changing Pregnancy Body
Pregnancy is a diverse and individualized experience. Bodies change, and that’s entirely normal and beautiful.
Instead of fixating on appearances, let’s celebrate the incredible journey of creating life and the strength of those who go through it.
As advocates for body liberation, we stand with everyone who has ever experienced pregnancy-related body shaming. No one should ever feel the need to hide or be ashamed of their changing body during this transformative period (or ever!)
Let’s continue to challenge societal norms, embrace body liberation, and support one another.
Please note that while this response and the original article provide insights into the issue of pregnancy fat-shaming, it should not be interpreted as medical advice. Every pregnancy is unique, and individual circumstances vary.
We encourage open conversations with healthcare providers to ensure that your pregnancy journey aligns with your physical and emotional well-being.