Tess Holliday Had The Best Response To “Not Looking Pregnant Enough” At 9 Months
Model Tess Holliday has been a recent target thanks in large part to her pregnancy that allegedly doesn’t look pregnant enough, despite objectively being one of the most beautiful creatures to grace the planet. I refuse to add “plus size” as a modifier, because no one can agree on what a “plus-size” model even fucking is, so let’s just leave that phrase in an alley to cry for its mommy or something (too far?).
Anyway! Remember when we talked about how a pregnant woman’s body and how she chooses to display it are none of your damn business? Remember how if you are not Effing Your Beauty Standards in 2016, you’re kind of stuck in the Middle Ages?
In a recent photo she posted to Instagram, she’s posing sideways with a 37-week-old fetus in her belly. Her tatted arms (which are literally #goals. Can I say that on here?) coyly cover her breasts and she subtly pouts her lips. And that effortless TOP KNOT. Damn. By all accounts, a solid 10/10 baby bump photo. No complaints.
But to many, her protruding pregnant belly doesn’t differ much from her non-pregnant shape (again, why are we examining women’s bodies so closely anyway), which has led to continuous attacks on her social media. On the plus side, this photo elicited words of encouragement and sister solidarity to the tune of “My “plus sized” pregnancy was my easiest one! I love your pics, you are awesome!” and “I’ll be 24 weeks Monday and I can’t thank you enough for your posts. I’m a short chubby girl and you’ve helped me become much more accepting of my body, especially while growing this tiny little guy.”
Holliday attributes the bullying to the fact that we’re accustomed to seeing rail-thin models in Hollywood announce their pregnancies, with their before-and-after pics looking starkly different from one another. Look at it this way: Holliday literally has experience carrying weight around, which could come in handy when lugging around a stroller and a perpetually-pooping toddler. Logistics aside, fat doesn’t translate to weak. You can be big and strong. You can be big and have stamina. And ultimately, you can be big and so stunning you’ve converted the naysayers. Growing a human inside of your own human shell is kind of the most powerful thing a body is capable of.
So before shaming a
fat woman for her body, look inwards about how you really feel about what your own body can do. (Although, with researchers at the National Institutes of Health estimating one in six American couples experience infertility, I can 100% see why the image of a pregnant woman is triggering and by some accounts insensitive, thus spewing all kinds of projection-type rage. That doesn’t make it cool to hate on pregnant people. Our main job as humans sharing space on this planet is to carry around our personal kinds of baggage without letting that baggage result in us being shitty to each other.)
Holliday told Yahoo Style “I know that I’m fat, but I think people completely miss the point of me trying to educate women, and show them that it’s okay to be who you are and love yourself.” So while her body is definitely not a tool in and of itself to educate you, it doesn’t deserve more scrutiny than does a thin body. In fact, it doesn’t deserve any scrutiny at all.
Look, it would be naïve and factually incorrect to say I’m “blind” to size, the same way white people claim to be “blind” to color as an ignorant placating tactic. We are not all going to look the same. We are not all going to adhere to or meet each other’s unique criteria of perfection. And just as it’s harmful to suggest Holliday’s body does not look pregnant enough, so too is it complete bullshit to call out thin women for somehow not carrying their bulging tummies well. Whatever your size, keep calm and procreate on.