The Six-Fold Path of Demystification of Tabloid Pregancies

Blah blah blah. I was about to write a li’l ditty on how they haven’t elected a Pope yet –the smoke looked white at first and the crowds cheered, but then it quickly turned black as it gained volume– and about how E! news can’t seem to get enough of what they affectonately call the “Maternity Ward” or some crap like that. They looooove to gush about the stability that children bring to stars’ lives. They rave about the stars’ nesting instincts. Honestly, though…. who the hell are they kidding?

Some items much gushed-over:

1. Children are stabilizers/ responsibility-makers/help you grow up: What kind of cockamamie crap is this, really? I mean, granted: no one is ever truly ready for parenthood and all the joys, heartbreak, spittle and sleeplessness it brings. But if you seem to be unstable yourself and behave like an immature 13-year old, is having a child (or several, thanks to IVF?) really the answer? Should a person with an overinflated sense of ego and a stunted sense of responsibility –thanks in part to the entourage and to the increased attention– embark upon a journey where that person will have to deal with another little person who ideally should grow up to be responsible, humble and balanced? You know, exactly the things missing from dear ol’ ma? Then again, nowadays people are afraid of their kids, so perhaps raising a balanced individual is not in the cards of society as it is.

2. They are craving the “glow of pregnancy”: I might just have to resort to profanity to make my point; but before I do, I will simply commit two words to cyber-paper: Britney Spears. Surely anyone who’s seen her novel unwashed, uncombed, unkempt, fattened-up, schleppy and Clearasil-coated persona traipsing in and out of public restrooms in barefoot fashion cannot *really* believe that she looks gorgeous and “glowing with the knowledge that she’s with child” if you will. On the other hand, I feel some sympathy for her “dramatic” trips to public restrooms while barefoot. If my calculations are correct, she was getting into those bathrooms during the first weeks of her pregnancy; if she was feeling anything like I’m feeling, she must have been dying to pee. I mean like an evil, burning, scathing desire to void your suddenly-getting-squished-by-your-tangerine-sized uterus bladder before it explodes. So to paraphrase Chris Rock, I’m not saying I’d do it……. but I understand.

3. The clothes are so much cuter now!! And you can eat whatever you want : Only if you want to jeopardize your style and health, darling. Okay, granted: today’s cheeky t-shirts are really adorable. I personally want to get a top from Due and Sprout (availiable through Nordstrom’s maternity boutique)…. not that I’m dropping any hints or anything *cheez* but I think the one that says “not finding out” is really cute. But seriously: Hawai’i is one of those places where people breed by just looking at them, so I have gotten to see my share of pregnant women and pregnant fashions –apart from the ones I’ve also seen on the tablods, of course. And while the clothes may be a bit cuter, better cut, roomier and brighter….. there is still a very pregnant woman underneath. Especially in the last trimester when the waddling begins and the extra water is retained…. the poor pregnant lady is not spared the pregnancy look. I’m sure there have been women who have looked just fabulous and wonderful, but perhaps they either spend time in a hyperbaric chamber or their genes defy gravity. Most pregnant women are heavy-looking, ungraceful and LARGE and they cannot help it. And that’s fine, except that I think NO starlet who makes of her body a thriving business would willingly want to undergo one of the least gainly transformations in their lives. Unless of course that means you get to eat your corporal weight in Twinkies and pizza. And judging by how bloated some get, and by their reported weight gains, I think that some A-listers see their pregnancy as a wonderful excuse to pig out and forget about their horrid restrictive diets for a while. So it is with stars like Kate Hudson and her reported 60 extra pounds of baby love (the recommended average if you start at a healthy weight is between 20 and 25 lbs). Then again….. it’s not like her BMI (body mass index) must have been anywhere near 18 when she got pregnant –making me truly wonder how she got pregnant in the first place (I guess young age is truly a blessing in that department).

4. Pregnancy=respect, or its corollary, pregnancy=change of status: If that were truly, truly true, that would mean that in and out of Hollywood, women with child would be treated with dignity and respect and not get killed by Charles Manson or abandoned by their boyfriends. Unfortunately, Sharon Tate and Shar Jackson are two examples of how fallacious that fact is in Hollywood. And the statistics of teenage pregnancy, domestic abuse and the sad cases of Laci Peterson and Lori Hacking tell us that pregnancy, although it probably should make a woman command more respect and/or change her status in the eyes of her man and of society, does not.

5. Children strengthen a relationship: The old axiom says that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link (I know… I know… and here you thought the show’s creators were all clever and stuff). And so it is with any marriage. Especially with a marriage that has to endure public scrutiny, I would even dare add. So it’s particularly weird to see in the same rag sheets that feast upon people’s breakups and marital woes, pictures of celebrities and their babies in these faux-blissful poses. And it’s particularly sad when some months later you find out that indeed, the smiles and professions of love were false and Denise and Charlie weren’t really meant for one another, after all. Is this always the case? No, of course not. Some famous couples can keep it together, and it does seem like children strengthen their bonds of marriage. But the marriage has to be in place for the children to not disrupt it, like wind on a beautiful but delicate sand sculpture.

6. They’ll recover their goooorgeous shape in no time/three months/two months/six weeks [insert ridiculously, dangerously, seriously dementedly small amount of time here]: Ah. For every average woman still struggling with weight, it’s a thorn on their ample side to see the likes of ….. well! Pretty much everyone in the Show Biz seems to lose the pregnancy weight just as soon as they are done with their awfully long and bloody deliveries (brought on, perhaps, by the shock to the system of trying to fit a baby into their bony frames), ne c’est pas? Yes, yes. Some, like Gwyneth, did yoga until they were the size of a house, and looked enviably good and voluptuous weeks afterward. Others, like Denise Richards, even went so far as to pose for Playboy a few months after giving birth. This sounds impressive; and you bet you’d be impressive too if you had the disposable income to have someone like Gunnar Peterson telling you to exercise and what not to eat between three and six times a week. But… healthy? Nyet, comrade. It’s just sick. Sick because after the stress of going through pregnancy and delivery (hello? delivery? pushing a seven-to-nine pound blob of flesh out either through your vagina or through a slit in your abdomen?) they start to starve their body when they need the calories for breastfeeding. Because after stressing out a body in a way that used to kill women even as late as seventy-five years ago, they start to work out vigorously and selfishly think about nothing but looking good. And by selfish I mean selfish. The baby needs them, because young babies need their mothers. But mother is spending time working out. The tiny baby gets a nanny, or if it is lucky, a familiy member. But seriously… who do you think takes care of baby while momma tries to shed all the horrible pounds? And also, according to my preggers bible, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” (thank you Julia!) a whopping ninety percent of women get some sort of form of stretch marks. So no, your body will never be the same, exercise and cocoa butter be damned. But we, the consumer public, seem to forget those two wonderful tools of delusion: the laser treatment and the airbrush pen. Both are abused, and both contribute to the average woman wanting to scream, period.

Okay. Have written till disgusted.

Pregnancy is not the answer. Pregnancy is the beginning of the next phase of questions in a person’s life.

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This entry was published on April 18, 2005 at 4:43 pm and is filed under Soapboxing, The X-pectant Files. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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