Monday, August 08, 2005

Bipolar America and the Preggy body

I find it facinating the cognitive-emotional conflict that our culture places on American pregnant women.
I've come to understand that people love to see a healthy pregnant woman. Indeed, everyone is completely fascinated by a pregnant body. I know this because the number of unsolicited comments about my body has gone from approximately one every two weeks (We're not counting Dave in these Statistics) to approximately 10 per day. My friends who are equally pregnant tell me they have the same/ similar experience. I've grown completely used to people looking at me, looking down at my belly, and then looking back at me. It's like I have Dolly Parton size appendiges, only a located to the south. And people can't help but stare. The bigger the bowling ball grows, the more fascinated people are. It's fortunate that I am not self-conscious of my body, as a general rule, (There are those 5-10% of days when I am incredibly self-conscious.) because many of the same comments to a non-pregnant woman/ or a self-conscious pregnant woman would yield a swift slap in the face and/or weeks of depression.... "Wow, you're getting big." "Getting out there aren't you." "When are you due?" "You look like you are about to pop."

I can see why alot of pregant women just can't deal with all the comments and maintain self-esteem. You see, me, I don't take it as, "YOU are getting big" (which would imply that my butt, boobs, thighs, etc are getting big- even though they have gained a bit- appropriately so), but as that little boy is getting big. (MOST of the time anyway.) You see if it's the boy who's getting big, then Well... Ya he is, and I'm proud of him... not bad for starting out at 4mm (that's how big he was in our first ultrasound.) He's growing big just like he should and I'm happy.

But, you see, American culture values thinness, I would say even from a pregnant woman- they are a little bipolar about this. It leaves pregant women cognitively and emotionally struggling. They want to stay thin- and of course are terrified of not loosing every pound after this whole adventure, but cognitively realize that the baby has to grow and your body has to grow to support this whole process. Since most women have a great deal of their self-worth wrapped up in their appearance, it puts women in an emotionally tough situation. They want the baby to grow, but don't want to gain a pound to do it. I just think it's funny to think about and experience.

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