I'm Not Pregnant, I'm Just Fat
Imagine you're minding your own business, dressed up in something you think is flattering and a stranger comes up to you and asks, "how far along are you?" Now imagine someone you know sees you in a grocery store and comes up to say, "congratulations on your pregnancy! You are glowing." Now imagine that in those two scenarios you are NOT pregnant...sucks, doesn't it? This is what you should think about EVERY.SINGLE.TIME you are even thinking about asking a woman if she is pregnant or congratulating a non-pregnant woman on being with child.
Unfortunately, not enough people have the common sense filter to avoid this awkward encounter. I say awkward because inevitably, the non-pregnant person will deadpan, "I'm not pregnant" which then causes the perpetrator to do the whole, "oh my goodness, I am so sorry, I just thought..." dance which is both unhelpful and maddening. Why maddening, you ask? Because what the perpetrator has communicated to you is, "you look fat...or at least fatter than you should...or at least fatter than I remember...so of course the natural conclusion is...." Ridiculous.
I have found myself in this situation twice in my life. Neither time was easy. The first time I was at an actual BABY shower for one of my best friends and a guest - whom I have never met in life - comes up to me and says, "so when are YOU due?" with the emphasis on "you" which I took as a reference to being pregnant with your good friend...which is so not cute, mind you. What really irritated me about this encounter was that I was looking REAL cute in my stilettos and short swing dress (the kind that flows out from right under the bust). I guess she thought it was a maternity dress. She's now dead to me. I've also burned the dress...
The second time it happened was recently when I received a message from someone congratulating me on being pregnant based on some of my social media posts and a perceived "glow". Geez.... She went on to say she was happy for me because she knew I always wanted to be pregnant.... Dear God...
Now - for those who know me, you know that I have NEVER exclaimed that I wanted to have children. I was caught completely off guard. I let her know that I wasn't pregnant and thanked her for the subtle suggestion that maybe I needed to carry my chubby ass to the gym.
You see, in many cases, the brave souls who commit this grossly inappropriate crime aren't considering the myriad of other possibilities contributing to this "pregnancy glow" that they perceive. In my case, hell, I'm just fat. But in other cases, maybe a woman has just given birth and is struggling to lose the baby weight. Maybe she's had a miscarriage. Maybe she just had a burrito for lunch and is bloated. Regardless of the reason, it is NEVER EVER acceptable to ask a woman if she is pregnant. Some have even suggested that it's a form of body shaming because you are commenting not on how someone looks but how they should look which is just not cool.
Some will say, "but I had the best intentions." Folks: look a little beyond that thought. Once you unleash those "good intentions" think about the lady and what she's going to do when she gets home? If she's me, she will cry and not eat for two days (this happened in both situations....). We can all agree that we never set out to cause someone to feel badly about who they are or how they look, so take my advice - sometimes even the best intentions have the worst consequences. Use better judgment, people!
Photo Credit: Sarah Dorweiler