Kim Kardashian is pregnant. My 6-year-old is learning to read.
On the surface, these sentences are unrelated. What does one have anything to do with the other? Nothing really. Or everything. Depends on how you look at it. Kim Kardashian is pregnant, and like most women who have experienced pregnancy at some point, she has gained weight. Here is where my 6-year-old learning to read comes in. Standing in line at Target, she turns to me and says, “Mommy, why is that magazine calling that lady fat?” You see, kids learn to read by rhyming words. They start with words like cat, change a letter and it becomes bat, hat, sat and of course, fat.
I was at a loss to answer. I have had two children. And with each pregnancy, I gained far more then the “recommended” weight. I was hungry ALL THE TIME and ate ALL THE TIME. Did I eat healthy? More or less (and less meaning I had a weakness for cookies with kid 1 and cake with kid 2). I also worked out 5 days a week throughout both pregnancies. If someone had called me fat, I would have sat on them. Whilst eating my cake.
Regardless of your feelings about Kim K and the Kardashian klan, (for the record, I like the Kardashians, I think they are a family who loves each other and are pursuing their version of the American dream. I don’t think they are role models. Their show is mindless adult entertainment.) when did it become ok to call a pregnant woman fat?
For those of you who haven’t been pregnant you might want to stop reading because I’m going to share some harsh truths with you. Pregnancy can be the most awesome, wonderful thing. You are creating life, and that is super cool. However, pregnancy also makes you fat in places you didn’t know you could be fat, you have gas, your boobs hurt, your bits get sore, you get hemorrhoids, you cry a lot, it’s hard to sleep, there is an alien creature practicing their floor routine in a space that also holds your bladder, and strangers want to touch your belly. Oh and after the kid comes out, we are expected to look exactly the same as we did before we got pregnant, 10 minutes later. It’s a lot of stuff to deal with and being called fat on top of it is not something any pregnant women asks for. Yes, Kim Kardashian is a celebrity and has exposed herself to commentary. But that commentary is what my young, impressionable child is reading.
I gained almost 50 pounds with each pregnancy. I tried to stay on track and follow what the medical community recommended. And yet, within moments of peeing on a stick, I had gained 10 pounds, most of which was on my ass. If I looked at food, I gained another pound. Would you have called me fat?
We are both aggressors and victims of a bully culture. We judge each other by our looks but get upset if we are judged. We talk about living healthy and eating right, and then lament the size of our backsides. We ridicule someone like Kim Kardashian because she is famous but eat our cookies hiding in our cars so that people don’t see what we are doing and judge us for it.
Kim Kardashian is pregnant. My 6-year-old is learning to read. And what’s she’s learning is that it is ok to call a pregnant women fat. But the deeper subtext is this, instead of reading words and dismissing them as such, she will learn, early on that she will be judged not for who she is or what she has accomplished but by what she looks like and how her body is. And that scares me more than 50 pounds of weight gain ever did.
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About the Author: Courtney Abrams is a Health Coach and Founder of Roslyn Wellness. Trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she helps clients work within the realities of their day to day lives to find ways to make small and manageable changes to their health that can maintained over time. Her clients include people trying to lose weight, beat sugar, increase their energy, cook simple healthful food and reduce stress to name a few. She also shares a passion for food policy and educating people about the foods they are eating and the governmental role behind much of it. You can learn more about Courtney and Roslyn Wellness at http://RoslynWellness.com.