The Pregnant Lady's Perspective The One in Which Maybe We Leave Jessica Simpson the Hell Alone Sarah Spangenberg

So, I went for a doctor’s visit the other day because I’ve been having trouble with kidney stones (oh my God, have you ever) and after walking through the door and checking in, I realized, with a sinking feeling, that I’d have to hop on the scale, since it was my first visit to my primary care physician since I had my baby – almost three months ago. I didn’t need to get on that scale. I know how much I weigh. I don’t bug about it, because it’s my business and I’m not going to rattle my own cage over something that’s going to work itself out anyhow, so I did it to placate the nurse, and for the sake of “tracking healthy weight” within my medical record. You get it.

With a sigh, I heaved myself up on the unforgiving digital (!) devil and shot an apologetic glance out of the corner of my eye as the impassive nurse penciled in a number that made me roll my eyes. She didn’t even say anything, but then, she didn’t have to, because I said it all: “You know I don’t normally weigh this much but I gave birth just ten-and-a-half short weeks ago and I had a c-section, so duh, like, obviously sit-ups were out for awhile and you know things have been busy -” and I stopped. I stopped and I shut the hell up. Because really, why did I owe this lady (whom I didn’t even know) an explanation about the three meaningless numbers that popped up on the office scale? Why did I owe any explanation to anyone about the weight I’d gained during my (very well-fed) pregnancy? It was nobody’s business but my own, and the fact that I’d caved to the pressure of “Oh my God, she must think I’m a lazy heifer” really disappointed me and I came to a realization: we’re all being conditioned to be the same Gisele Bundchen-type when, in reality, not all of us are.

Later, I got to thinking about how poor Jessica Simpson must feel, having to uncomfortably laugh off her pregnancy weight gain in every single interview and in every single photo shoot she’s done since announcing her fetus-carrying earlier in the year. And you know what I thought? I thought, IT’S NOT FAIR. What the hell do I (or Jessica Simpson) owe to anyone? I mean, were you there rubbing the knots out of my back when cramps practically destroyed my muscles? Did you turn on the nightlights when I had to pee (sixteen times) every night? Were you holding my hand when I was told that I needed that emergency c-section? No, you weren’t. So why you feel you have any right to discuss how many damn pounds I put on while I was carrying either one of my children is beyond all comprehension, and I’ll bet that Jessica probably feels the same – she’s just too polite to say so.

Jessica Simpson is probably the most real, most down-to-earth celebrity going, and in the day and age of celebrities gaining twelve pounds during their pregnancy (7-8 allotted for the baby and 4-5 specially reserved for placenta, water weight, breast swelling and pure pigging out you little swine, you), it was a travesty that – heaven forbid! – Jessica Simpson experienced what your average woman experiences at least once during their 2.4 lifetime pregnancies: a bit of weight gain that has nothing to do with baby and all to do with an unverified excuse to eat what you want. Honestly, do you know how many things come up when you Google “Jessica Simpson pregnancy weight gain”? A TON. And most of the headlines sound like this:

Pregnant Jessica Simpson’s Weight Gain Bashed

Jessica Simpson Gains Excessive Weight During Pregnancy

Has Jessica Packed On Too Many Pregnancy Pounds?

Jessica Simpson’s Excessive Weight Gain Has Doctors Worried

Oh, okay, I see – women are supposed to feel like failures if they go above and beyond the 25-35 pound recommended weight gain during pregnancy, is that right? Come on.

You know what I’m sick of? The thinly-veiled condescension for pregnant “fatties” disguised behind a false layer of “concern” for the mother’s well-being, her risk for gestational diabetes, whether or not the children will have ADD in ten years because mom packed on the pounds while she was carrying him and how pregnancy obesity is driving your health insurance rates. You know what? Get over yourselves and mind your damn business. I’d like to see how some of these non-famous, non-personal-chef-having, non-eighty-grand-costing-home-gym-owning childless average women (and men! MEN!) react when they see what can happen to your body during a time of complete upheaval should they have to go through it themselves.

Maybe – just maybe – their tunes will be a bit little different then, hey?

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  2. Thank you for this post!

  3. I totally agree with this post. The idea that people judge others for things that are CLEARLY not their fault is so sad.
    http://fannatabulous.tumblr.com
    @AnnaStarMoon (twitter)

  4. Thank you for this. I am constantly struggling with how people must look at me, because I’ve had excessive weight gain without being pregnant. I used to be able to lose weight just by cutting out certain foods (see: junk food) and exercising regularly. Then recently, I started packing on pounds for, what seemed like, no reason. I started to relapse into my eating disorders, but thankfully my husband caught it in time. It turns out I have hypothyroidism, and I’m still (frustratingly) gaining weight because of that. And because I’m not pregnant, there’s nothing giving the unknowing person an idea of what is going on. But you’re right, it’s none of their business. So what if I went from a size 8 to a size 12. Hopefully the doctors will get my medication levels right so that I can start losing weight again, but until then I’m going to continue to eat healthy and be active and do my best to not care what people think Also, my mom had a botched c-section with my youngest sister, they totally ripped up her abdomen and her muscles didn’t come together correctly. But she works out every day (a ton more than I do), eats healthy, and is the most beautiful woman in the world to me!

  5. I have two beautiful children. During my first pregnancy I hardly gained any weight and he was a small baby. My second pregnancy, I was literally hungry all the time and my daughter was bigger baby. I find it repulsive that any woman should be made to feel anything but beautiful during a pregnancy. I love this article for being supportive and honest.

  6. I don’t get it. I have never had children, yet I understand that everyone’s body is differently and every pregnancy is different. I really don’t get the media’s obsession with pregnant women’s weight. It’s a bit annoying to check the news to see “Jessica Simpson overweight pregnancy” etc. I rarely read celebrity news anymore because of how extremely judgmental and negative people can be with issues so intimate that do not involve them at all.

    Any rate, this was a wonderful post–very interesting, entertaining and well, just a damn good read. Thanks :)

  7. I feel that each pregnancy is individual. I have had two children (now 6 and 8), and gained about 30 lbs with each one. I have a faster metabolism, but I also decided to research pregnancy cravings. When I wanted that pint of Ben & Jerry’s, I slugged a glass of O.J. first. Guess what, that juice helped and I didn’t overindulge in the junk. Calf cramps for a childless woman mean low potassium, but low calcium for pregnant women. If a pregnant women craves sweets, she might need more protein in her diet. I feel badly for women who have to undergo emergency c-sections, but I can say from experience that because I took care of myself during pregnancy, I put my body at less risk and was fortunate enough to have two healthy children naturally. P.S. I had to have my second baby turned from the outside because she was breech-NOT EASY.

  8. YES finally someone speaking out about this! I gained almost 60 lbs with my son! I measured big my whole pregnancy and my doctor tried blaming it on my eating habits which weren’t much different than before I was pregnant except the intense chocolate cravings! 18 hours of labor, three hours of pushing, and an emergency c-section later I was holding my beautiful healthy 11 pound 8 once baby boy! My doctor even tested me for Gestational Diabetes again to no avail, some babies are just big. Needless to say I lost 30 lbs of that almost 60lbs gained immediately after I left the hospital.

  9. A woman her height not looking like a giant circle while pregnant is, like, magic or something… She’s probably a wizard.

  10. So well put!! Even if you’re not pregnant and you gain a few pounds… so what? I hate that the media is allowed to say we SHOULD look a certain way to be beautiful. Screw that. I don’t know anyone who is attracted to skeleton thin women.. or men.

  11. The thing that bothers me about jessica’s poor fortune in the news lately (with her weight and how long she was pregnant)…none of these people are qualified doctors. They are reporters for sleazy tabloids. Most of which, if you look, are men. No woman, esp one making a beautiful child, should be put down like that and critizied for her weight. For having a REAL body. There’s a reason we have cravings during pregnancy…our bodies want the extra calories or nutrients to develop the babies. So if she gave into those cravings and her doctor was fine with it…let her! These people writing these tabloids think this is what people want to see. That women will pay for magazines like this. The fact is, this situation has made me stop reading tabloids. I am pregnant and don’t want to hear what they say about her because then Ill see that in the mirror too. Pregnancy is already an emotional time. Instead of these people being happy for her engagement or her becoming a mother they are trying to make her hate herself. And in turn say that we should be treating pregnant women like that. She got to have a healthy baby and do it the real way, why can’t people admire that? Infact, shell be expected to lose all of this weight instantly because she’s famous, instead of concentraiting on getting to know her baby and eating the nutrients for breastfeeding. In the real world mothers with newborns don’t have 12 hrs a day to spend at the gym while their kid is with a nanny like most celebrities. People shoot off about how much smaller she was during her photoshoot for the cover of a magazine. Look how much they airbrushed her! Well, honestly, by the time we saw that cover, after weeks of putting a magazine together she was farther in her pregnancy. Pictures get taken of her walking down the street and because she is not in photoshoot lighting and makeup and it comes out at the same time as that magazine on tv they criticize how bad she looks. I don’t know about you…but I would hate to be in my third trimester of pregnancy, out in public, with people taking pictures of me. It would be amazing if I did so looking anything less than horrendous. But, jessica did it with grace and courage. She still put on her cute clothes and some makeup and went out flaunting her miracle with confidence, even though she knew the whole world was talking badly about her. More power to her!

  12. This post is great! You go girl!

  13. i dont see how anyone can overeat during pregnancy i sure cant i get full on 3 bites but still gained 50 something pounds but fail 2 realize how complications can arise out of nowhere most of the weight i gained was fluidunder my skin barely touch me and i would have a bent lol Sweet or not Jessica has the right to say “Hey Shut Up And Mind Your Business”

  14. While I don’t think that pregnancy is an excuse to overeat (you only need maybe 200 extra calories starting at the END of the second trimester), I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business or right to talk about a person’s weight gain behind their back – especially as a result from pregnancy. Looks like Simpson will be the one laughing, though. Weight Watchers offered her $5 mil. to lose the baby weight. Sounds like a motivator to me! :)

  15. I absolutely love this! I just had my third child & gained 50 lbs with the first two, & 60 with this last one. I had gestational diabetes all three times. And you know what? ALL of my babies are healthy, wonderful & adorable. Your diet alone does not determine if you will develop problems. I ate healthy every pregnancy, especially this last one. I craved fresh fruits & raw veggies-couldn’t get enough!! What mattered most to me was the health of my babies, & I breastfed all of them (still am the new one too) & that does not shed the pounds off every lady, let me tell you! So thank you for this uplifting post, it makes a fellow mom proud to be carrying those extra pounds like half the other moms in our society. :)

  16. Awesome rant. And I feel for you, because of the kidney stones. I’ve had multiple ones that are too big to pass, so I’ve had several operations. Some of the worst times I’ve ever had! Good luck!

  17. And of course, people always defend it with “Well she’s famous, she offered herself up to it!”. Yes and No, people :P And LOOK at her. My mother had seven kids and that image evokes her for me. She let her body do what it would, ate healthy yet often, and was NEVER seen in public without a proud shade of lipstick.

  18. I love it!! Jessica Simpson is a beautiful woman who probably doesn’t have a mean bone in her body! I’m tired of people making fun of her intelligence and pregnancy weight gain. She seems to be such a genuine person. I have no idea how she can take all this crap and not kill someone!!!! I love Jessica Simpson for her incredible patience and poise in the face of all this unwarranted criticism!!

  19. Thank you!!!!!

  20. As a mother of two I completely agree with you. It’s not anyone’s business. On the flip side, if you make your living selling your personal life to the masses, you have to be prepared for a little intrusion. It’s unfortunate that people put themselves in these situations, and that there are so many of us ready to jump on the bandwagon.