Thursday, October 1, 2009

Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat?

Eating disorder activists Claire Mysko and Magali Amadei's have written a new book, Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat?

The book deals with the anxieties and fears women have regarding pregnancy weight and the celebrity baby-bump watching phenomenon that is making these fears (and expectations of losing "baby-weight" two weeks after giving birth) more and more common.

Jezebel gives a good account of the research found in the book here. But reading Jezebel's comments kind of freaked me out more than the snippet of the book!

Here's a couple:

as a recovering anorexic that didn't tell her doctor about her ED past (because of insurance issues, but that's a whole other post!), i completely agree that pregnancy & the associated weight gain/loss
obsession can wreck havoc on you. i was pretty seriously underweight when i got pregnant and ended
up gaining 42 much-needed pounds. and of course, getting scolded by my doctor and nurses.

i became so fixated on the weight that i had a severe relapse. as in, i was back in my pre-pregnancy
clothes 2.5 weeks after giving birth because i simply didn't eat. and even my family, who knew about my
ED, were just so impressed and constantly cooing about "how quickly i lost the weight!". it wasn't until
months later that anyone realized i was back to being under 100lbs.

so please, if you know a friend of family member has/has had an ED, try to talk to them and make sure
they aren't absorbing these terrible messages.


I will admit that part of the reason why I don't want children is the weight gain and everything else it
does to your body.

I'm heavy, but short and shapely (think a shorter, much darker version of Joan). I'm finally at a place
where I'm mostly comfortable with my weight. I finally stopped weighing myself every other day, but
that's only because I found out that my scale is off by several pounds and haven't purchased another

I know this isn't realistic, but my goal is to simply stay the size I am now for the rest of my days.
Knowing that a pregnancy can alter my body and make it impossible to get back to my smallest size just
isn't acceptable for me. And my skin scars at the tiniest thing. So my future child would cause me to
become this great big whale with authentic markings and push me into the official "Plus Size" section,
preventing me from ever slipping into designer clothes.

I just made myself really depressed. And realize that I have serious body image issues. Damn

WOW! Seriously, wow! I really do want to send out healing energy to those two commenters--so in no way by quoting from them do I want that taken as criticism and I'm really glad that they shared regarding this issue. Birth and pregnancy is a major life-transformation as well as physical transformation and adding this crazy making celebrity obsessed standard of bikini body ready two weeks, a month, six weeks into the equation is cruel and dangerous. We've covered this issue before, but in times like these, where a Senator states in a committee meeting on CSPAN that maternity coverage isn't necessary in a health-care package, we really do need to take some stock in how birth and pregnancy are viewed, in pop-culture and in those important value statements, health-care budgets (yes, your country's budget is a statement of VALUE).

The anti-abortion advocates like to sweep under the rug the fact that serious complications from pregnancy can result in a woman's death or her overall health (think permanent blindness, diabetes, the diminishment of heart, kidney function, and liver health, let alone a host of other problems). This move to systematically hide the side-effects of a complicated pregnancy is political--only dirty sluts have abortions, afterall, goes the refrain. Coupled with celebrity baby-bump culture, healthy and wanted pregnancies (and the realities of birth, unaided by baby-nurses or nannies) can be quite shocking to new mothers (and supportive fathers). Healthy pregnancies, pregnancies that encounter complications--both are extremely hard on the body and sometimes spirit, but that has to be swept under the rug, hidden from view. Considering that a sitting male Senator doesn't see the necessity for maternity coverage to be included in mandates for healthcare policies, its little wonder that the realities of pregnancy and child-birth are so removed from the cultural framework.

The pressures for perfect baby-bumps (which I think means, stick thin arms/legs, perfect basketball like roundness about the abdomen--and if you gain too much weight, which most celebrity watchers thought Salma Hayek did, you get ridiculed)--are now considered standard for all women. Nothing ever goes wrong in pregnancy--those slutty feminists need to shut up already. And of course, healthcare policies don't need to cover a silly thing like maternity care, isn't that elective, like a nose job or breast enhancement anyway? Ugh, the stupid burns. I think that studies and books like "Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat?" are needed and whether or not you intend, or never intend, to become a biological or adoptive mother, think about checking out Mom's Rising
an advocacy group that seeks to enact progressive policies that support work/life and family balance--ideas that are good for single, child-free people as well as marrieds w/ children and single parents as well.

1 comment:

  1. Keyword here is Eating Disorder. If you have an eating disorder you think differently. Many people who deprive themselve of food most over their lives take "eating for two" to the next level.

    Your baby needs fruits, veggies, whole grains. Not the 60 grams fat of a 5 guys Burger.

    Therefore, if you are a thin healthy weight pre-pregancy. Then during a pregancy you gain about 15- 25 lbs you can lose the weight quickly.

    But if you are height/weight chart obsese before the baby. If you gain 15-25 or more people will continue to call you fat.

    But just like with the biggest loser weight loss. You only lose that fast if you exercise 6 hours a day.

    If you are new mom and exercise 6 hours a day. You ain't talking to your baby.