- Chris Jackson/Getty Images
- Meghan Markle is pregnant and due in spring 2019.
- People are analyzing the size of her baby bump, even speculating that she might be having twins.
- Pregnancy is not an invitation to scrutinize or comment on women’s bodies.
Even before Meghan Markle announced her pregnancy, fans and interviewers alike were asking intrusive questions about when she and Prince Harry were going to have kids. Now that she’s pregnant, people can’t stop talking about the size of her baby bump.
— Daily Star (@Daily_Star) December 4, 2018
It’s one thing to pay attention to Markle’s style – the outfits she chooses sell out instantly and even create new jobs at small companies due to increased demand. And in some cultures, calling a pregnant woman “fat” is a compliment. But public discussion of her body or “bump shaming” her for getting bigger is an unnecessary and inappropriate form of scrutiny.
She’s pregnant. Pregnant people’s bumps often increase in size. This should be news to no one.
Pregnancy is not an invitation to scrutinize or comment on women’s bodies, even if they’re in the public eye.
Author and feminist Chimamanda Nogozi Adichie kept her pregnancy to herself to avoid such unsolicited attention, only revealing that she was breastfeeding in a 2016 interview with The Financial Times.
“I have some friends who probably don’t know I was pregnant or that I had a baby,” she said. “I just feel like we live in an age when women are supposed to perform pregnancy. We don’t expect fathers to perform fatherhood.”
- Jack Taylor/Getty Images
As public figures, members of royal family are expected to perform pregnancy and motherhood. Why else would Kate Middleton greet photographers outside the hospital mere hours after all of her children were born with blown-out hair and heels?
Just because pregnancy is visible doesn’t mean it’s fair game.
Every body experiences carrying a baby (or babies) differently, so there’s no way to deduce anything about someone’s pregnancy just by looking at them. Some baby bumps remain small throughout the process, and some are the size of watermelons by the first trimester. Some people have retroverted uteri, causing their pregnancies to grow backwards and barely show at all.
Markle probably won’t have to deal with strangers in the supermarket touching her bump without permission given her royal security detail. Still, “bump shaming” her by fixating on her body during pregnancy needs to stop.
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- Read more:
- Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s cutest moments of the year
- George Clooney’s cousin says he’d make a ‘wonderful godfather’ to Harry and Meghan’s royal baby, and insiders say he’s ‘a shoe-in’
- Meghan Markle’s best outfits during her pregnancy so far
- Amy Schumer said it’s ‘not fun’ being pregnant at the same time as Meghan Markle, who is ‘walking around in heels’ while Schumer is ‘barely wearing underwear’