Bump-Shaming Is A Thing, A Ridiculous ANNOYING Thing
"Oh my god you're HUGE!" Up there with touching the bump, commenting on the bump is one of the most irritating things to do to a pregnant woman.
Why can't we all just stick to "You look beautiful!" and move on with our day?
When I first heard the phrase 'bump-shaming,' I had a private eye-roll, thinking: God what shaming hyphenate next? Face-shaming for people with stupid faces? Life-shaming for people who are just shit at life?
Then I reflected on how many times people (and not to betray the sisterhood here but if I'm honest, mainly women) had felt moved to comment on me during my first and my current pregnancy. And while I'm sure some of these comments were nice and intended as complimentary (though how "Jesus, You're HUGE," can be construed as positive is beyond even sizeable old me) I still felt somewhat irked by the running commentary that my mere existence was inspiring.
Of course, not everyone is "HUGE", some women are "TINY" or "Barely even look pregnant" and feel every bit as self-conscious about their shape.
Here're a random selection of incidents that I'm sure if you've ever had the joy of gestating might sound pretty familiar to you.
Location: Café, lunchtime.
Pregnant level: 9 FULL months, birth was imminent. Seriously.
Bump-shamer: My dentist who happened by randomly.
Totally unwarranted comment on my body: "I see you're really taking that 'eating for two' thing seriously." I was eating a sandwich. At lunchtime.
Location: French Connection.
Pregnant level: 5 months.
Bump-shamer: Store manager.
Totally unwarranted comment on my body: "WHAT???? You're only five months." Pauses while she looks me up and down (and side to side) "Oh wow. OH WOW." This one was all in the delivery, but let me tell you it felt great.
Pregnant level: 6 months.
Bump-shamer: Random PREGNANT Stranger!
Totally unwarranted comment on my body:
Random PREGNANT Stranger: "YOU don't have long now."
Me: "Oh well, actually I'm only 6 months."
Random PREGNANT Stranger (visibly stunned): "What? Are you sure?"
Me (Oh no she didn't): "Eh, yeah, I'm sure. It's a big bump!"
Random PREGNANT Stranger: "Yeah it is.... Is it twins?"
Me (C'mon, seriously?): "No, it's not twins."
I went on to ask this lady about her own bump, but couldn't shake the feeling that her main point in quizzing me was to highlight just how well she was "doing" pregnancy compared to me. So, ya know, well done Random PREGNANT Stranger thanks for reminding me that I'm not "glowing" or "neat" or "barely showing" or "bouncing back" or whatever the hell stupid state of bodily perfection that pregnant women are supposed to be aspiring to.
'Comparison is the thief of joy' is one of my favourite phrases, now I call it up whenever some total tool feels the need to tell how they were "all bump" or "didn't show 'til eight months".
"Comparison is the thief of joy; Comparison is the thief of joy; Comparison is the thief of joy...." I think-chant.
And sure aren't we all lucky to be carrying big healthy babies anyway, bump-shamers be damned.
So what do you think, is bump-shaming a hyphenate too far? Or a very real, very annoying phenomenon that has to stop? Tell us in the comments...