Queen Beyoncé is so fabulous that merely posting a pic on Instagram can send thousands of people into a flurry looking for hidden meaning and intel on her inner life. This was the case with Bey’s latest Instagram, which had fans asking one question: Is Beyoncé pregnant with baby no.4? But we had a slightly different question to pose to those fans: Why, in 2019, is it still okay to scrutinize women’s bodies for signs of pregnancy? If you really love Beyoncé, shouldn’t you just let her live?
The Instagram in question shows Beyoncé in a close-fitting gingham dress with her arms wrapped around her waist. Commenters seem to believe that the star’s positioning hints at another pregnancy — “IS SHE HIDING A BABY BUMP?????” one comment screams. In the photo before it, Beyoncé is posing in the same dress without covering up her belly, and some swear they see a visible bump. “She definitely pregnant you can see it in her face AND them ankles!! Child!!! I’m so ready for y’all world domination!! Have like 10 Carter babies!!” one comment reads. “Soon as I saw this I said she is pregnant,” another adds — and many, many more echo the same sentiment.
Clearly, the world has largely embraced the idea that celebrities’ bodies are public domain, up for regular commentary as though they belong to us. But even so, some of the comments on Beyoncé’s page had us shook (it’s Beyoncé — if anyone were off-limits, shouldn’t it be her?). Calling out a woman’s “face AND […] ankles” to say she’s definitely pregnant? Yikes! Another commenter puts things more roughly than we would, but her point is valid: “[This] woman had 3 whole babies 3 y’all and she is 37 years old …You really think the only possible way she could have a belly pouch is being pregnant?!?!”
The thing is, there’s absolutely no way to win when speculating about pregnancy that hasn’t yet been announced. If they are, in fact, pregnant and haven’t decided to share it yet, why are we trying to take that away from them? At best, they could simply be waiting to make the announcement in the manner they choose — at worst, they could be facing complications that make sharing the news at an earlier stage a risk they’re not interested in taking. And if the person in question isn’t pregnant at all? We’re pretty sure they won’t enjoy the speculation.
With all the pressure celebrities face to have the perfect body (and yes, female celebrities in particular), why is the public adding on to that by acting as though the only reason for a change in someone’s body could be pregnancy? People’s bodies fluctuate for so many different reasons — there’s no one way to look when you’re pregnant, just like there’s no one way people should look when they’re not. Bey’s not exactly the type to clap back directly to people trolling her comments, but we’ll let Rihanna’s 2017 meme do the talking.
Finally: Didn’t Beyoncé *just* share that her postpartum diet went too far? If she has gained any weight (and honestly, the Instagrams in question are hardly a good indication that she has), that’s something to celebrate. The sooner we as a society can let go of the idea that the only “excuse” for a celebrity not flashing a six-pack in a photo is pregnancy, the sooner people everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief — and stop starving themselves in the months after pregnancy to get back to “normal.” Think about how you’d like to be treated, then treat others that same way, no matter how famous they might be.