30 July 2013

ignorance about women bodies

Apparently a hot question right now is "Why does Kate Middleton still look pregnant?" It's possible some who ask the Internet this question wonder why the duchess doesn't act like a superhuman celebrity and have an insane body that doesn't follow the standard conventions of biology, but I think most people might just be ignorant.

I don't consider myself desperately ignorant, but I honestly did not know before I was pregnant that after commuting my spawn from fetus to newborn (surprise! a baby!), my weight would only regress about three months at first. I really didn't know!

And, honestly, I still know so few facts about women bodies. There is something very wrong-seeming about that. It might be just that my poor observation skills, as I'm sure I was exposed to hundreds of realistic postpartum figures even if not in my immediate household. But perhaps my attention was also drawn aside to more unrealistic models of womanliness as portrayed in the media I consumed. I don't know that I considered authenticity in those portrayals much at all before surrendering my body to pregnancy, birth, and my child's suckling lips. But these days I think about it a lot, and I wonder why there isn't more open and honest conversation about bodies and how they are made. 

I haven't really followed the press on Kate Middleton, but my impression is that she is authentic in the way she presents herself, unlike many other celebrities out there. It seems a shame that it takes more courage to be natural than to kill yourself (almost literally) to fit some crazy ideal that I'm not sure anyone, male or female, really believes in wholly.`Though we don't adopt such views wholesale, I imagine we all buy in to some degree. 

The older I get, the more I think that our bodies are way more interconnected with every other aspect of our lives than I ever imagined, especially women bodies. Since it's on my mind more these days, I feel like I'm slowly learning things that I really wish I had known and learned about a long, long time ago. And I just have to wonder: Why didn't I know?

Me, 7 days postpartum:


Tyler and Kristen said...

I liked that. I will have to admit I saw post partum Kate and thought the same thing, why does she still look pregnant? Even though I've delivered 3 of my own, and done the 9 months up and down gig, I expected her to be super human because she's beautiful. At 4 months post partum I look more pregnant than my 20 week pregnant neighbor. I struggle with being comfortable and real, or buying a girdle because its embarrassing. Come on world, give us ladies a break!

Amanda said...

I liked this post, Amanda. I think you're right about us buying in at least a little to the unrealistic ideals we see in the media. And I think you're definitely right about there being a general ignorance about bodies, and especially women bodies involved somewhere in the process of childbirth. I remember being surprised when my sisters-in-law still looked pregnant after having their first babies. And there are still a lot of things I don't know. Please reveal your findings as you find them. :)

Sarah said...

I didn't know this either! So thank goodness for Kate, or I would have had quite the wake up call after I have a baby one day...thanks for writing about this :)

Amanda said...

I read this article today and it made me think about your post. I liked what she had to say.


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