Few people feel comfortable enough to be themselves on social media — especially celebrities. Given the visibility of social media, celebrities become targets for each and every photo they post on their personal account. There are a few fearless unicorns that seem to be authentic in the face of the media; and, Chrissy Teigen, the glistening unicorn I want to write to today is you.
This is a love letter to you. You, who has been a gleaming example of how a woman should be able to express herself during pregnancy, especially in the spotlight. Many times women are pressured by outside opinions from those who don’t know them on everything from what maternity clothes to wear, what to publicly share about their experience, how to act while pregnant, and even how to be a mother.
You decided to shape the narrative around your experience. As a model who is constantly scrutinized, the rhetoric you’ve used to describe your evolving body and pregnancy is nothing short of brilliant. You tweeted so enthusiastically about your filling thighs, your unusual yet natural cravings, and the day your belly popped. But leave it to the world of Twitter and Instagram to bash a woman who is creating life and honestly sharing it with others. At times I wonder, does it escape the brain of the average commenter that the woman they’re criticizing is literally harboring another human soul in her body?
If our society wasn’t so heavily focused on the actions, thoughts, and daily adventures of celebrities, then your personal portrayal of pregnancy wouldn’t be so influential. Still, you constantly challenge the way you are portrayed; you basically broke the mold for how pregnancy is talked about in Hollywood. It seems almost weekly a new story surfaces about your fearless clap-backs against the media. When a woman has to say, “Good thing I’m not easily offended,” in response to constant comments about her weight gain and eating habits, it’s a glaring sign that society’s treatment of pregnant women, especially famous women, is terrible. Your fearlessness has inspired the average woman to embrace the body she is blessed with and enjoy the journey.
When I look at your personal Instagram, I find joy in the life you are creating. And for that, I can only say thanks. Due to your unrelenting passion for a woman’s ever-changing body, you have single-handedly inspired many future mommies (including me) to fully embrace the changes, cravings, and overall difficult lifestyle that come with being pregnant. You serve to empower women, and we will in turn empower each other. Instead of hiding behind expertly angled photos, and only showing the photos of your former body as if your body isn’t beautiful now, you have demanded the right to be seen. The right to be a pregnant woman, who grows, changes, and is proud to bring a new soul into the world. You are paving the way for women inside and outside of the industry to honestly portray the struggles of pregnancy. Your open and honest dialogue is creating a change in the treatment of women by media.
I hope we as women continue the conversation about how we expect to be spoken to and how we choose to be represented. By creating your own narrative, you’ve shown other women to embrace everything about their bodies, even when society tells them it’s undesirable. In a much bigger way, you are challenging women to create the image they want instead of succumbing to the pressures and ideals of people who don’t know them.
So, Chrissy – if you ever feel the ills of society bearing down on you, or feel afraid to exercise your powerful and beautiful voice, I hope you remember one thing: you are a compelling and formidable force for women today, and the way you exude brilliance, humor, compassion, and beauty are things we all aspire to have. I find peace and solace in the woman you are showing the world. I stand behind you and support you. I love you and I thank you — from one loving and empowered woman to another.
Courtney Simpson is a southern belle and lifestyle writer. A feminist, book nerd and fashion coveter, Courtney is on a mission to empower women and eat as many burritos as possible. Chat with her on Twitter or Instagram, or learn more on her blog, Tiff & Coco.