“You’re huge! I bet you’re having twins!” is maybe the last thing a pregnant woman wants to hear out of a random stranger’s mouth.
Telling people they’re so fat they must be having multiples is only marginally less irritating than actually laying a hand on their pregnant bellies. This doesn’t get any less rude if done via Twitter, nor if it’s done to a model, as the very lovely and very pregnant Chrissy Teigen recently learned.
After posting a belly pic to Instagram, Teigen received some tweets informing her that she had popped too much to be expecting just one single baby; surely at her size, she must be having twins. Teigen, who has had several ultrasounds thanks to using IVF to get pregnant, responded in a memorable fashion to the people who took the time out of their days to let her know they think she’s gotten too big: “Get out of my uterus.”
Teigen’s experience is probably worse thanks to her being a celebrity and a model, whose body is under constant scrutiny for blemishes or pooches even when she’s not pregnant. But this kind of comment, even when made idly or in jest, is just another example of the kind of body-policing all women, and especially the pregnant, are routinely subjected to. Anyone who’s ever been pregnant hears it all the time: You look too big. You look too small. God, your boobs have gotten huge, it’s so weird! Are you eating enough? Are you eating too much? Why are your feet so swollen? Haven’t you tried doing anything about that? And so on, ad infinitum, or at least ad nauseam. And pregnant folks have enough nauseam going on to begin with, thank you very much.
(The size-policing doesn’t stop if you actually are having twins, by the way. When I was expecting mine, the joke I got to hear was, “Oh boy! Did they find a third one in there yet, or what?”)
In the end, it doesn’t really matter if these comments were well-meant or feeble attempts at humor. The contents of Chrissy Teigen’s uterus — or any pregnant woman’s uterus — are best managed by her and her doctors. And if you want to put a smile on a pregnant woman’s face, maybe telling her she’s gotten way fatter than you expected isn’t the best way to do that. (If, rather than trying to lift her spirits, you’re trying to have a laugh at someone else’s expense, maybe go sit on a pineapple and spin instead.)
Pregnant women have better things to do than worry about whether the way they look is meeting your current expectations for size and shape. So next time you feel some variant on “Boy, you sure are fat!” shaping up in your mouth, try swallowing it instead.