Pregnant celebrities and the people fat-shaming them

Forget the stress of actually getting pregnant. Now it’s the 24-hour weight-watch making women feel like they’re never enough.

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 Kim Kardashian is seen in Soho on March 26, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)

Kim Kardashian is seen in Soho on March 26, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)

When did it start? The obsession with appearance and weight gain being used as a blunt force object against pregnant women, especially celebrities. Maybe it began with the ubiquitous and obnoxious use of the word, ‘bump,’ whose original, fleeting moment of sauciness has long since worn out its welcome as a badge of tabloid cleverness.

It’s difficult now to imagine a time when public women were able to be pregnant and private or lay claim to any sort of dignity. Today crude speculation about their weight gain and the relative sizes of their rear view are deemed legitimate cover material for tabloids.

A pregnant Kim Kardashian, especially, has become a kind of celebrity voodoo doll, relentlessly poked and ridiculed, the target of so many cracks, jokes, cruel jibes and cheap shots that even The Daily Beast has demanded better treatment for her. Even some celebs are piping up in the reality star’s defence. Recently model Helena Christensen labelled the practice of criticizing pregnant women’s bodies as ‘despicable’.

How dumb are we? How fundamentally ignorant about the simple biological process of pregnancy have we willfully become that we refuse to separate the naturalness, the necessity — the rightness! — of maternal weight gain from the snark meted out to celebs walking the red carpet.

Who is the next target? Who will be put under the microscope and found wanting next? Women who lose their hair to chemotherapy or their breasts to cancer? Kardashian is a soft target and arguably a complicit one — on TV recently her sister Kourtney’s mate, Scott Disick, a mindless, arrogant stand-in for the culture, derided her post-pregnancy weight bringing her to tears.

Not a pretty moment but a representative one and worth thinking about, because sometimes, as a culture, it seems as if we’ve become Scott Disick and who among us, even in our least admirable moments, wants to be that guy?

Do you think there’s too much pressure on women to uphold an unrealistic standard of beauty during pregnancy? Tell us in the comment section below.