Baby bump photos are generally well received, but for Sarah Stage, a 30-year-old LA-based model, she's experiencing the opposite. Every time she posts a photo of her pregnant belly, she receives criticism that she's too skinny, too small and that she's putting her own needs ahead of her baby's.
Yes, she is extremely physically fit, even at eight months pregnant. Her abs are still abs, just with a small bump to go along with them. Her gorgeous bod is gaining critics out the wazoo, however, because skinny shaming is a real thing, and it's even more prominent when the skinny person is pregnant.
Even though everyone who carries a child actually carries a child in their womb, there are no set body changes that every single person goes through. Yes, many of us gain weight and experience an expanding waistline — a waistline that challenges not only our clothes but our skin itself as the baby grows. Other moms-to-be don't gain a lot of weight, and some moms never really get much of a bump. In fact, some women go through an entire pregnancy never realizing they were pregnant, often partially because they never grew a big baby belly.
I think the backlash Stage is receiving is because she works out and tries to stay fit, as though this means there is something wrong with that. Women who exercise before pregnancy are usually not only allowed by their health care providers to continue, but they are often encouraged to do so. And if a woman wants to start working out, that is usually green-lighted as well as long as certain precautions are adhered to.
Body shaming of any sort makes me sick. Fat shaming is horrible, but we have to remember skinny shaming is no better — and complaining about a pregnant woman being too physically fit? Come on, now. How about we all worry about ourselves and leave our opinions of other people out of the equation? This is Stage's life, and it's her baby. A physically fit mom-to-be should not be a target of our ire, no matter how "small" we deem her belly.
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