Major News Outlet Wants Feminist Author to Explain How She Lost the Baby Weight

Illustration for article titled Major News Outlet Wants Feminist Author to Explain How She Lost the Baby Weight

Jessica Valenti has a baby and a new book. And like any proud new book-parent, she's been promoting the book by pitching pieces to other news outlets about topics covered in the book. But one outlet in particular wasn't interested so much in her feminist take on society's depiction of pregnancy and parenthood. Instead, they were interested in learning how she, author, thinker, and feminist, lost her baby weight. Oh, brother.


Why Have Kids? turns a critical eye toward the decision to become a parent and, like Valenti's other books (The Purity Myth, He's a Stud, She's a Slut, etc), practically begs to open new discussions about old tropes in the national media. Valenti explains, via her blog, that when she pitches book-related pieces, sometimes she gets pushback. She just didn't expect the type of pushback she got from one outlet. Here's an excerpt,

Would Jessica be interested in writing something about weight loss after having a baby? We're doing a lot of coverage around Jessica Simpson's efforts to lose the baby pounds, and we'd love to hear from Jessica Valenti about what it was like for her to shed the weight. She can get as personal as she'd like-our readers love personal stories. Along with the actual process of losing weight (what she ate, when she exercised, etc), it would be interesting if she could focus on setting realistic expectations for yourself as a new mom. I feel like a lot of conversation among our audience has turned to the fact that new mothers aren't prepared for the onslaught of all the worrying that comes with having a baby, including her looks.

That request is made even assier when you consider the fact that, as Valenti explains, her baby was born 3 months early.

[Jessica Valenti]

Image via Zhang Kan/Shutterstock



I don't have kids, but I can only imagine how incredibly insulting it must be if you do, and the first thing everyone wants to know during the first year of your baby's life isn't "What was his/her first word," or whatever but instead "So when are you going to get rid of all that extra weight? How much have you lost?" Uuuhhh... priorities?

I had a friend/coworker back home in Canada who was SUPER tiny... I mean she was barely five foot fuck all (her own measurement), but she was so scrawny too, she looked like she was about twelve. But she was actually older than me, married... and so HUGELY pregnant it looked like she was giving birth to a flock of beachballs, so you can imagine the stars she got from people who thought she was barely old enough to drive, if that. During her pregnancy, she put on some weight... but not so that you'd notice unless you knew her before. I mean, she was still so itty-bitty, and yet all the women we worked with wanted to know "what she was doing to lose that baby weight", and were constantly offering her tips... she finally snapped after a few months in the breakroom and screamed "MAYBE I'M TAKING UP CUPCAKES AS A HOBBY". It was the greatest meltdown ever. Especially the way my boss slooooooowly stuck his head into the room from his office with these huge "what the hell?!" eyes.