Before I start, I do have a confession to make. I read tabloids. Usually back to back, always without guilt. I take part in what may be best termed as celebrity voyeurism. After all, these people went on pedestals we built for them I rationalise. Sigh! Now, you may choose to agree or disagree with me, but that’s your choice to make.
With that out-of-the-way, let me get to the bone (or rather the bump) of contention that I have with tabloids of late. It has to do with this perpetual celebrity ‘bump’ watch. Which seemingly extends to hawkish observations from everything that the mother eats, wears (or does not!) and most importantly her extending girth.
Now, pregnancy is a natural occurrence and while it may be interesting to follow a celebrity’s pregnancy (for instance, their fashion choices may indeed influence others) it does not end merely there. Commentary typically ranges from the sublimely judgmental –“Isn’t it time to give those high heels some rest?”, to the uproariously ridiculous –“She’s gaining weight to get a multi-million dollar weight loss deal”.
The bottom line is that a pregnant celebrity is still a pregnant person. And I sometimes wonder if the people writing copy for these articles have ever been pregnant themselves. Are they aware of the hormonal fluctuations, the mood swings, weird body symptoms – and yes – the ever extending body with a mind of its own?
Speaking of which, we come to weight. While on the face of it bumps are almost universally ‘cute’ – people seem to assume that the bodies carrying around these bumps just need to stretch out a bit and spring right back when their job is done. Fat chance. Pun totally intended. Even though this trend of ‘bouncing right back into their Victoria’s Secret itsy-bitsies’ also has celebrities to blame, I do not see why the ones who don’t, need to bear the brunt of it.
Cruel articles on how ‘she still hasn’t lost the baby weight‘ continued to hound Aishwarya Rai months after she had delivered her baby girl. Last I noticed, that weight was off well before the kid’s first birthday – which just goes to show how impatient and unrealistic such reporting can be.
Now on to the question: Why do I care? Well, I do because for one I’ve been pregnant. And it was not easy, physically or mentally – and this is when I had a fairly non-eventful pregnancy for all practical purposes. There were days when I felt low and fat like a hippopotamus (without anyone having to tell me so), days when I couldn’t be bothered to change out of my pajamas – because those were the only things that didn’t irritate my abdomen, days of irrational tears and days of frenzied activity.
I ate lots of some food, stopped eating what I had loved all my life and did lots of other strange things. To sum it up, pregnancy is not a disease but it changes you in inexplicable and unpredictable ways. And to judge a pregnant woman (whoever she is) is just cruel.
Even if Kim K and Kate Middleton make a living out of ‘appearances’, if there is a time to cut them some slack – it is now. I don’t see any reason why we should be tearing apart their fashion and food choices at a time when these are the very choices that are going to be worst effected. Unless of course, they do something dangerous – like drink or do drugs!
So do you agree or disagree with me that tabloid journalism should give pregnant celebrities a break?
Nidhi Dorairaj Bruce is a Freelance writer from Mumbai who also manages a parenting website : thechildrensdaily.net . With no formal education in Parenting, she has been getting on-the-job training ever since her daughter, affectionately referred to as ‘the kidlet’, arrived on the scene 5 years ago. You can connect with Nidhi @typewritermom , nidhibruce.com