Remember When Pregnant Women Were Allowed to be Fat?

Illustration for article titled Remember When Pregnant Women Were Allowed to be Fat?

It would seem that Jessica Simpson has had the audacity to unabashedly gain weight during her pregnancy. How dare she! Doesn't she realize that her reckless indulgence in buttered Pop Tarts could kill her baby? Doctors who don't treat her all agree! Maybe if we all start a vigorous campaign of hand wringing over all the Cap'n Crunch she's been eating we could burn enough calories for her? I mean, someone needs to step in and control these cravings before she and her unborn child end up dying, or worse yet, influencing other women into thinking they're allowed to be overweight while pregnant. It might as well be the tabloid media. So, let the hunger shames begin!

OK, but seriously if you think that eating buttered Pop Tarts is disgusting, you should read the abhorrent things that people are saying about pregnant Jessica Simpson. Over the years, Simpson has become way more famous for her fluctuating weight than her music career. Remember the "mom jeans" incident? Or the horrid Vanity Fair profile on her after she lost the weight, in which the writer of the piece continued to make jabs about her being fat? When she announced her pregnancy in October, I thought for sure that her body would get a reprieve from the analysis, criticism, jokes and insults. Because who would even bother to make a joke about a pregnant woman gaining weight? That's like joking about how shoes go on feet. Like, what the fuck? It's not funny, it's just what happens.


But as Simpson continues to grow in the final weeks of her pregnancy, the attempts at humiliating her—under the guise of concern for her health—persist. She's been subjected to headlines of "Jessica Simpson looks huge, almost unrecognizable" and "It's Not Twins!" In Touch ran a story about her "health crisis" and actually ran a picture of Simpson next to a pregnant Hillary Duff to show just what a needlessly enormous cow Simpson had become. Last week Hollywood Life spoke to two OBGYNs (neither of whom treat Simpson!) about how fat she allowed herself to get and how terrible that is, and one of them actually said:

I usually try to keep my patients at a 25 lb weight gain maximum in order to prevent a possible traumatic delivery with a large child. A pregnant woman should be eating about 1200 calories a day to keep up with baby's nutritional needs.

1200 calories a day!? That has to be an egregious typo.


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There was even an entire panel devoted to discussing Simpson's weight gain this morning on Today. But one of the worst offenders is Babble's Joanna Mazewski, who has done three—three!—underminer-y posts about Simpson's weight gain. Here's a sampling of one:

The Fashion Star judge, who just last week said she is weighing about 170lbs, is clearly lying. And before you start telling me that a woman's weight should be no one's business and that she looks happy and blah blah blah, I'm sorry, but a 60-70 pound weight gain is clearly unhealthy and not recommended by anyone


Some bitch named Dr. Francine Shapiro told Fox News:

Some women take pregnancy as an excuse for "letting go." If she is exceeding medical guidelines by gaining 50 pounds rather than the recommended 25 pounds, she is clearly not a role model for pregnant women.


Dr. Shapiro is right about one thing. Some women do use pregnancy as an excuse for "letting go," but that's mostly because we've been desperately holding it together for so fucking long. I'm telling you, those maternity jeans are so fucking liberating that I started wearing them at eight weeks into my own pregnancy. I had tried everything—crash diets and amphetamines and cleanses and Weight Watchers and The Zone and laxatives and cocaine—in order to control my weight and/or suppress my appetite for like 20 fucking years. For the first time since I was about 13 I was able to eat without any guilt or voices in my head telling me how gross I was. That kind of emancipation was nothing short of amazing. And, I'm no doctor, but I would recommend it to anyone because it really helps to undo a lot of the bullshit beauty standards that is instilled in our heads at such an early age. I gained 80 lbs. I didn't have gestational dia-bee-dus and my baby—although born "fiercely real" at over 11 lbs—was perfect.

I say that pregnancy should be a time of situational obesity, akin to situational alcoholism in college. Yeah, it's probably not the healthiest way to be and there are certainly some risks involved and you certainly have to deal with the fallout (I'm still struggling to lose the baby weight, six months later), but it's a cathartic experience that could arguably make you a better, happier person. But whatever the case, fuck anyone who talks shit on a pregnant woman's weight. As far as I'm concerned, they're the pigs.

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My doctor told me that between 25-40 lbs is normal, I don't know about that whole "maximum 25 lbs" thing. I will say that at 20 weeks I am feeling like a hippo and even worse after going to the dr today and hearing that I have gained 13 lbs, when I'm supposed to be around 10 right now. I went straight out to buy a prenatal yoga dvd and am stressing about what to eat for dinner. I shouldn't feel this way while I'm pregnant; shouldn't I be focusing more on enjoying creating a life rather than what I'm eating or how I'm exercising? I don't think this post could come at a better time, thank you Jessica for making me feel normal