Not every pregnant woman looks the same. And that's OK.
We've said it before and we'll say it again: There is no correct way for a pregnant women to look. Some women sport large, round baby bumps, while others don't. Some carry low, others carry high. Some keep their abs taut, and others get softer around the middle. Whatever the case may be, as long as these women are healthy and taking great care of themselves, it's all beautiful.
That's why we love the shot Brittany Aäe posted on social media a few weeks ago, when she was expecting her first child. The endurance athlete and coach started posting pictures of her baby bump, only to find that people had far too much to say about its appearance. Social media followers called her bump "small," which prompted Aäe to raise an important point.
“Why does our society shame women whose bodies do not adhere to some narrow notion of false normalcy?” she posted alongside a photograph showing a shot of her baby bump juxtaposed next to a shot of gorgeous model Tess Holliday showing off her own bump.
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in this image these two women are at about the same stage in their pregnancies - 39 weeks. that is the gorgeous @tessholliday looking boss on the left and me with the defined abs on the right. she is a voluptuous model and I am a sinewy mountain athlete. both of us are shamed for our size - she for her roundness and me for my smallness. both of us are having or had healthy pregnancies as validated by our healthcare providers. both of us are making empowered choices about our personal health. ✨why does our society shame women whose bodies do not adhere to some narrow notion of false normalcy? ✨ let's instead keep our thoughts and words about other people's size to ourselves. pregnancy is tough enough without also being body shamed. #effyourbeautystandards #momshame
The fact that Holliday has also received criticism for her pregnant shape is no coincidence. Aäe pointed out that while she's been called out for her "smallness," Holliday has been shamed for her "roundness," making us wonder if any woman can ever escape the body-shaming that runs so rampant on social media.
Aäe and Holliday are both at 39 weeks pregnant in the photo. They look very different from one another and there's nothing wrong with that. As far as we know, there's no rule saying all fit pregnancies must look the same.