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What is it with reports of women ‘flaunting’ their baby bump? Is looking hot during pregnancy going to become yet another beauty standard for women?
What is it with reports of women ‘flaunting’ their baby bump? Is looking ‘hot’ during pregnancy going to become yet another beauty standard for women?
Women and pregnancy have always constituted a dynamic interface with society. And in the recent past, I notice another facet of this dynamism.
There are umpteen examples these days, of reports and stories covering pregnant women (read, pregnant public figures) as ‘flaunting’ their baby bump. And as passive readers, we too just cannot stop obsessing over such reports of how ‘amazingly’ beautiful a public figure looks despite the baby bump…how fantastic her ‘pregnancy fashion sense’ is…how an over-sized stomach can actually be made to look ‘diva like’…how shockingly hotter she can seem despite the protrusion…and so on and so forth.
Well, a baby bump is a baby bump. And that’s that. It is but obvious that if a woman is pregnant – she is bound to have a protruding stomach and hence, there is bound to be a visible ‘bump’ on the body. So, when every single mommy to be on Earth would in all likelihood ‘have’ a baby bump at some stage of her pregnancy, then what is the USP that makes people believe that the ‘bump’ may be ‘flaunted’?
I don’t have a problem with the fact that a woman can choose to do whatever she wants to do with her pregnant body. She may cover the baby bump with an additional layer of cloth – whether simple or designer. Or she may simply choose to just let it be – as a passing phase of her body and life. Love it and celebrate it. It is a personal space and any physical expression of that still lies in the personal space. This is because a pregnant body must be treated ‘as normal’ and as natural as any other body form.
However, I have a huge problem with the psychology that makes people believe that a ‘baby bump’ can be treated as a prized ephemeral artifact and hence can be ‘flaunted’. This sort of pokes at my sensibilities. In fact, the very thought of ‘flaunting’ the baby bump makes me cringe within because ‘flaunting’ an integral part of the body is nothing but a behavior that is preparing the stage for yet another form of objectification of the woman’s body. Haven’t we had enough of mannequins with the perfect curves and shapes throwing piercing glances at us via the glass walls of showrooms?
In any case, I believe that attempts at looking fashionable despite a large stomach and attempts at trying hard to beat the body shape by wearing the perfect designer dresses… may be simply counter-productive. While on the one hand women are anyways fighting against the undesirable pressure of looking beautiful all the time in the non-pregnant state, now – as a result of glamorizing the baby bump – the same pressure will soon be reinforced in the pregnant state too! For all you know, there might already be an emerging market for ‘the most rounded/ the hottest/ the most wholesome/ the most moon shaped’ baby bump contest!!
I am nowhere implying that women don’t look beautiful in their pregnant state. Yes, they do. Naturally. However, this does not need to be proved vide reverse engineering to state that ‘See…my stomach with the baby bump is also as gorgeous as it was when it was tucked-in’! It must be. It will always be. But let us not drive it to the point of being used as an accessory!
Be pregnant – watch the external visual manifestation of the baby bump – be safe – deliver the baby – and move on. Let’s not allow it to be treated as yet another tool for the already skewed beauty industry that is ever ready to lap up the overbearing possibility of making women look eternally amazing! Lets celebrate pregnancy and the ensuing baby bump as a phase of our ‘life’ and not allow it to be reduced to yet another facet of body image!
Top image via Pixabay
I am a corporate communications consultant, columnist, and former lawyer. I help organisations speak to their stakeholders effectively. read more...
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Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
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