Just Me and My Bump. And Unsolicited Opinions.

One of the many things I’ve found weird about pregnancy is how freely people will comment on your body. Like it’s no big deal. Here is a sampling of the observations I’ve received thus far:

  • I’m carrying high.
  • I’m carrying low.
  • My feet are swelling.
  • My face is “glowing.” (What the hell does that even mean?)
  • I’m massive.
  • I’m tiny.
  • Am I actually pregnant?

I also have been on the receiving end of many a warm nod toward my bump from just about every old person I see. While on the bus/train, people will stare at my bump for a moment or two, then offer up their seat to me in a panic. Yes, panic. Like I might go into labor any minute if I don’t sit down.

It’s so odd to be so conspicuous.

My feet are massive! Wait, no... they are tiny!

My feet are massive! Wait, no… they are tiny!

The Feet Swelling comment came from none other than my co-worker Myna, aka the Queen of Oversharing and Inappropriate Behavior. She looked me up and down, landed on my feet and announced “You’re feet look really big. You’re swelling.” Followed by a 20 minute monologue about how her feet swelled 3 whole sizes by the end of her pregnancy. Sigh…

First of all, it was the end of the day after the first warm day of the year. Yes. My feet were swelling because they do that sometimes even if I’m not pregnant. But mostly I just thought “I’ve just been checked out by my coworker. And that’s creepy.”

Think about it for a minute. It’s totally weird that for a brief period of your life, everyone feels it’s okay to stare at your body, analyze, and offer up commentary about it. Of course, as women, our bodies are always subject to some inane form of public scrutiny, but I feel like there is something different at play here. I’ve been looked up and down before by skeevy boys on the street, but it was rarely followed by “Damn, girl…. you’re feet look really big.” I find this behavior appalling, even without the odd comment about my feet.

Can we start some movement about street harassment for pregnant women? As far as I’m concerned, it is never okay to make comments about other people’s bodies. I’m not sure why it is cool to do this just because I’m harboring a tiny life form. But as with most things in pregnancy, rules are rewritten and bizarre expectations are set.

Perhaps next time I should say “My feet look big? Well, your crow’s feet are coming in gloriously!”

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16 comments

  1. thebarrenlibrarian · May 21, 2015

    All within one day this week I was told that “you’re not even that big” and “you look like you’re going to explode any minute!”

    My point is, I hate people.

  2. My Perfect Breakdown · May 21, 2015

    Aren’t people wonderful?! At least there is almost always some humor within the inappropriate comments!
    P.S. I totally think you should tell people their crow’s feet are getting bigger!

    • thecommonostrich · May 27, 2015

      I’m trying to think of a list of inappropriate comments I can make. Crows feet? Beer bellies? Balding? Any other suggestions?

  3. AndiePants · May 21, 2015

    It doesn’t stop after you’re pregnant. People who knew you were pregnant will openly comment on your weight loss or lack therof. Ugh.

    • thecommonostrich · May 27, 2015

      Ugh x 2. I’m dreading that. “You’ll get rid of that pregnancy weight in no time, I’m sure.” or “Say good bye to that bikini, ha, ha, ha!” It’s already started, and I haven’t even birthed yet.

      Pregnancy rage or no, sometimes I just want to punch people.

  4. InfertileGirl · May 21, 2015

    Ha, yes to the crow’s feet comment! My coworkers are THE worst, constantly making comments or looking me up and down. It drives me absolutely mental!

    • thecommonostrich · May 27, 2015

      It’s so creepy. I work mostly with younger men. They are almost all horrified by the fact I’m pregnant so have avoided making eye contact with me. This is a better alternative than being leered at, and also a sad, sad statement.

  5. Haisla · May 21, 2015

    Heh, heh.. And how is it that the commenting rules always seem to be written by the non-preggers people anyway?! Maybe we should start producing t-shirts that say something like: “I don’t appreciate unsolicited comments about my bodily form”, or something more direct such as: “Make a comment about my body and I’ll punch you. #pregnancy hormones#”.. xx

    • thecommonostrich · May 27, 2015

      Yes. T-shirts, signs, something that gives people ample warning that I’m about to get medieval on their butts…

  6. lucy50 · May 21, 2015

    You become public property during pregnancy.
    And just try taking an infant in public. It gets worse.
    Mostly older ladies make comments. Maybe when I am old, I will also do this.

    • thecommonostrich · May 27, 2015

      Hopefully when I’m old, I’ll tell the other ladies to shut the fuck up. That’s my plan anyway.

  7. AdoptiveBlackMom · May 22, 2015

    Yep I’m all about that crow’s get comment, but I’m petty like that. 🙂 People love to say wildly inappropriate stuff. They deserve some snark back.

    • thecommonostrich · May 27, 2015

      I would hope that it underscores how inappropriate their comments are. Then again, some people are so thick, I don’t think they’d get it.

  8. julieann081 · May 22, 2015

    The crow’s feet comment made me laugh. 🙂 I went to a car dealership with my mom today to get some help with a car seat. A young-ish man in his 20’s helped us. He looked at my mom and then me and then my mom and then me. Then, he asked my mom if the baby was going to be a boy or a girl. I responded as I am clearly the pregnant (and fat) one. Ha. People are so strange.

    • thecommonostrich · May 27, 2015

      That’s HYSTERICAL. Like you can’t look the pregnant lady in the eye or it might be catching?

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