Normally, we are fully supportive of Jameela Jamil’s message of body neutrality and her wish for celebrities to stop promoting diet supplements and an unrealistic “ideal.” But on Sunday, when Kim Kardashian West announced that her Skims shapewear line is expanding to include maternity shapewear, the Good Place actor raised an objection that is, well, a little off the mark.
“What you’ve been waiting for: @SKIMS Maternity is coming soon!” Kardashian West wrote on Instagram on Sunday. “Introducing Maternity Solutionwear™ that offers the best in comfort and support for your changing body during and after pregnancy.”
The new Skims line, which drops on Wednesday, includes a bodysuit, a nursing/sculpting bra, a high-waist brief, tights, and shorts, all of which are available in sizes XXS-5X, and in nine different skin tones.
Almost immediately, people on Instagram criticized the inclusion of shapewear as maternity clothing. Most of those people, we assume, have never been enormously pregnant.
“When I’m pregnant that will be my one chance to enjoy being fat… don’t see the point in this while I’m creating a miracle inside of me,” Sheefatkazi wrote.
Jamil, the founder of the I Weigh movement to get people to talk about how their worth is more than their physical weight, chimed into the conversation.
“I wish we could just Normalize just focusing on the inside of a pregnant body, not the outside,” she wrote on her own Instagram post. “You don’t need your shape corrected or hidden. You don’t need an even more awkward obstacle between you and a piss. You just need to try and ride with this miracle and do your best to be as happy/comfortable as is possible within your circumstances. … If I ever have a baby I’m welcoming the stretch marks, the new curves and I’m sure as shit not gonna rush to try and snap back, I’m just gonna let my body heal from the Massive event that has occurred inside my body.”
on the controversy that is pregnancy shapewear: it’s not to be smaller. these brands aren’t pressuring us to be smaller. thanks for looking out for us everyone but we’re good! https://t.co/8arPjfDiUl
— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) September 13, 2020
Jamil is both right and wrong here. Of course, pregnant people do not need to make their bodies look thinner or smoother or rounder. Of course, they should celebrate every change in their bodies. But that is not always possible, especially as those bumps grow beyond what we’re used to carrying around on our frames. Especially as we’re expected to keep living active lives, despite the human being growing inside us. And for many people, supportive undergarments, belly wraps, or pregnancy belts are the absolute best way to help support our aching backs.
Jamil actually acknowledged that at the end of her post, writing, “And look if you’re just doing it for support then great!” And then she added, “[B]ut for the many I saw saying they need it to look less fat during pregnancy… you look fucking GREAT as you are!”
Correct, Jameela. It’s just, we think this is one issue where you need to let the pregnant people speak for themselves first.
That’s essentially what Chrissy Teigen, who apparently got a sample from her pal Kim, said in the product’s defense.
“On the controversy that is pregnancy shapewear: it’s not to be smaller. These brands aren’t pressuring us to be smaller. Thanks for looking out for us everyone but we’re good,” tweeted Teigen, who is pregnant with her third child.
“If I wear pregnancy shape wear my back hurts like 60% less soooooooo,” Natalie responded.
“Same!! But everyone thinks we actually are dumb enough to believe this makes us smaller,” Teigen responded. We know it doesn’t and no one is telling us that! Like give us all some credit, I feel ZERO pressure to be a small pregnant person.”
That’s not to mention those of us whose doctors actually advice the use of belly support postpartum, to help our abdominal muscles recover from being stretched so far.
Kardashian West finally responded as well, tweeting, “To anyone who has an issue with maternity solutionwear, and if you haven’t been pregnant before you may not know the struggle of what it’s like carrying all of this weight the way I did along with millions of strong women, @skims maternity line is not to slim but to support.”
For her part, Jamil was upset that news outlets like Buzzfeed called her out for the criticism.
This is annoying. I didn’t go after her/the product as I’d read her explanation before saying anything. They weren’t responding to me… I was only commenting on the discourse started by the controversy, people body shaming their pregnant bodies. Which made me sad. pic.twitter.com/sSsXeLHbhm
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) September 14, 2020
“This is annoying,” she tweeted. “I didn’t go after [Kardashian West]/the product as I’d read her explanation before saying anything. They weren’t responding to me… I was only commenting on the discourse started by the controversy, people body shaming their pregnant bodies. Which made me sad.”
On this, we are 100 percent agreed.
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Let’s also all agree that these are some amazing, unique celebrity baby names.