I know you’re not a fan of Kim Kardashian. In 2012, the New York Post asked readers to vote for their most hated celebrity and ‘Kim K.’ came in a close second, after Casey Anthony, a mother found not guilty of killing her 2-year-old daughter. (Ouch!) So I apologize in advance for writing about Kardashian, and I only bring her up because there’s a compelling reason to do so.
Earlier this week, Kim made the cover of the New York Post and the caption declared “What the Frock?” Next to the headline was a picture of pregnant Kim Kardashian in a poofy dress that camouflaged her bump. Apparently, the Post, like so many of their readers, is no fan of Kardashian, and clearly not her clothing choices since she’s become pregnant. The Post‘s cover story — obviously the result of a slow news day– is just the latest jab. Ripping Kim’s weight and choice of maternity wear, which has mostly consisted of designer wares in larger sizes than usual for her, has become something of a national pastime with countless newspapers, gossip magazines and bloggers seemingly in competition to see who can be the most catty.
Kardashian isn’t the only woman to receive snark about her weight. Jessica Simpson, Amber Rose and Beyoncé all caught hell because of their expanding size, as if it’s unnatural for a pregnant woman to gain weight, or God forbid, still carry additional weight shortly after they’ve given birth.
Just yesterday, Amber Rose was the latest recipient of the wrath when gossip blogs posted pictures of her enjoying a night out with her her fiancé, rapper Wiz Khalifa. MediaTakeout.com posted images that zoomed in on Rose’s stomach and thighs and the headline read, “We’re Starting to Wonder… Will Amber Ever Get Back to Being the Banger That She Was?” Clearly an editor was horrified that just five weeks after having a child, Rose dared to not have a flat tummy or toned legs.
A lot of people don’t like Kardashian and Rose, and take every opportunity to go in. I’m not here to debate their likability or ask you to love them. I am here to make sure the bashers out there understand the horrific message they are sending to soon-to-be moms and new moms, in or out of the spotlight.
Pregnant women and new moms are all well aware that their bodies are changing without having to look in the mirror or hear about it plastered on the front page of a newspaper, magazine or blog. And they have more than enough to deal with, by, you know, just being pregnant, and all the changes their body and hormones go through creating another human in their wombs. New moms getting barely enough sleep to function are adjusting to caring for a new little person that depends on them for everything. Chiding them about their bodies during and post-pregnancy is the last thing they need to be bothered with.
Critiquing Kim’s weight, and that of other pregnant or recently pregnant woman — under the guise of concern about her style — sends a terrible message to women. What it says is, your sole value and concentration should be on your looks — not the health or welfare of your child. By policing the bodies of these women, we’re implicitly telling non-celebrity women that something is wrong with them too — just for being human, and their bodies doing what bodies do when creating life.
We’re encouraging them to focus on their beauty instead of their babies. That’s not only unhealthy, it’s just plain wrong.
Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria), in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk.