I started obsessively reading up on pregnant celebrities as soon as the pee stick showed up positive. I did this not out of curiosity or a sense of camaraderie, mind you, but to learn exactly how I should behave during my own pregnancy.
All was well and good when I was learning about how to stay thin enough to make people suspect you might actually be faking your pregnancy from Katie Holmes and about how to manage postpartum depression from Brooke Shields. But even the perfection incarnate that is a pregnant Angelina Jolie couldn’t save me from the damage already inflicted by Brittany Spears.
Early in my own easily impressionable first pregnancy, pictures of a hugely pregnant Spears were plastered everywhere. The pop star even admitted to gaining over 50 pounds during her pregnancy and to eating such foods as fried chicken and milkshakes. I was doomed. I mean, here I was, a plain-old regular pregnant woman and there she was, a pregnant celebrity. Clearly she was my role model. Nine months and more than 50 pounds later I followed in her heavily trodden prego footsteps.
So what is Jessica Simpson thinking? She is
prancing waddling around talking about deep-fried oreos and how liberating it is to not worry about dieting and exercising. Doesn’t she realize that she is a role model? And that other pregnant adult women will not be able to keep from following suit? Who will be held responsible for the economic downturn in the fashion industry as more and more women are kept in maternity jeans for months, even years, after giving birth?
But I kid. The real shame here is the health of the baby. Obviously, the media must keep a keen eye on any celebrity woman’s waistline in order to diagnose eating disorders or potential diabetes and high cholesterol. Clearly sins against a woman’s own body must be reported far and wide for the sake of us all. But a pregnant woman! She is not only endangering her own long-term health by eating too much, or too little, or consuming caffeine, alcohol, aspertame, feta cheese, sushi and cold cuts — she is also putting her baby at risk.
So while I commend the celebrity news cycle for it’s critical coverage of Jessica Simpson’s pregnancy weight gain thus far, I urge them not to give up the good fight. It may be too late for Ms. Simpson herself, but maybe if we ladle the shame on thick enough, we can still help others. Even if we can save just one unwittingly influenced pregnant women from the public humiliation that is a full-figured postpartum body, it will be worth it.
Are you with me?