Being pregnant is a time of joy for many women, who anticipate with excitement the day they’ll start to “show.” Unfortunately that excitement can be tampered by the folks who react with judgment and disgust to their bodies, as is the case for ABC 6 meteorologist Cindy Morgan.
The Minnesota-based news personality has had it with the people who want to dictate what she should wear as her body changes, and decided to disinfect their ugly remarks with a little bit of sunlight. That’s why she posted some of the nastier things she’s heard on a public Facebook post:
Because Morgan is a public figure, people feel the need to forward her their Very Important Opinions in the guise of constructive criticisms, and the worst offenders include people who:
- Tell her to wear maternity clothes, which she already does, which makes this particular criticism not just weird and creepy, but totally off base.
- Tell her she’s “about to tip over.”
- Tell her she “shows too much of her belly.”
- Tell her that her choice of clothing is “distasteful and disrespectful.”
That last one… wow. It looks like someone got “maternity clothes” and “sending your unsolicited critique of a woman’s pregnant body and the clothes she chooses to wear on said body” mixed up again. The complete lack of self-awareness it must take to make a comment like that one is truly stunning, but all of the creepy, hurtful, judgmental comments that Morgan and all pregnant women are likely to get during the course of their pregnancy need to stop.
It’s not just gross. It’s mean. It’s mean to approach someone and comment on their body in a way that’s meant to be critical. An email, a comment, even a tweet are all methods of approach. People are free to think whatever they want about bodies, and Morgan says this is just “old” thinking burbling to the surface.
But really, it’s just an excuse to be a jerk, because there’s an “old” saying that goes something like, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, feel free to shut your talking hole.”
Women’s bodies have always been viewed as being open for public scrutiny. Don’t be too fat when you go out, but try not to be too skinny either. Leggings aren’t pants, but if you spend the time to put on a full ensemble, you’re high maintenance. This kind of running commentary that women get while just existing is already tedious and gross. Add a pregnant body to the mix, and well…
Go ask a pregnant woman what happens when they have the audacity to be pregnant and out in the open. Suddenly that commentary takes a turn for the absurd. “You show too much of your belly.” Oh yeah? What should she do with it? It’s a pregnant belly, and yes, they take up space. You can’t wrap them down to nothing or minimize their appearance, even in a muumuu.
While all women deal with the opinions of strangers, loved ones and garden-variety Internet jerks during their pregnancies, female public figures have the distinct pleasure of living under a microscope, where they are supposed to take all the criticism in stride as a side effect of their jobs. We tend to advise these women to expect the criticism as an inevitability, albeit an unpleasant one.
We need to stop seeing this kind of jerkiness as an acceptable way to talk to people, no matter the medium. Morgan ends her post by saying:
“I have a public job and there are many things that I choose to do, not do or change because of it…To have these things said is unacceptable. That goes for me, or for any woman. So with that, I proudly say I’m not ashamed of my bump. I will embrace my pregnancy and will gladly continue to visually offend those who disagree. #embracethebump”
We couldn’t agree more.