Pop star Shakira gave birth to her son, Milan, back in January. Since then, she’s been hard at work promoting her new gig as a judge on the NBC show, “The Voice.” As part of that promotion, Shakira spoke with US Weekly and weighed in with some thoughts on motherhood:
On getting her pre-baby body back: ”I mean, I guess our mothers and grandmothers weren’t under the pressure that women of today are after delivering a baby. My dad says that there’s nothing better than a little meat on the bone! He likes my mom a little chubby. So she was never under the pressure to get back to her old weight, and she never did, actually! But it’s different, I have a career, and that’s the only part that’s been a bit stressful because I knew that I’d have to come back here to do ‘The Voice’ two months after I delivered a baby. I didn’t have my four months maternity like every woman on Earth has. So I’m not trying to complain, but it’s been a process full of challenges in my life. I’m still a few pounds over! Zumba has been pretty great for me even during pregnancy. I did it almost until the end.”
Sigh. That’s a whole lot to unpack. First, I have to admit to busting out a cackling laugh at Shakira’s seemingly naive lament over not having her “four months maternity like every woman on earth has.” But then I remembered Shakira is Colombian and — oh yeah — it’s pretty much just the United States that is completely screwed up when it comes to mandated paid maternity leave. I’ve ranted about this before, but honestly, it never gets old. The U.S. is one of only four (FOUR!) other countries in the world that does not provide any sort of mandated paid maternity (or family) leave. Keep reading »
In one of the most horrifically bizarre cases we’ve heard in a while, a woman in London, England, attempted to have her 14-year-old daughter impregnated so she could have another child. The woman, a single mother of three adopted children, wanted to adopt a fourth child, but the courts denied her request. In response, the unnamed woman attempted to have her 14-year-old daughter inseminated with donor sperm.
The initial attempt failed, but the daughter eventually became pregnant at 16, with the aid of artificial insemination. In a Mother’s Day card she gave her mother in 2009, the girl even included a photo of a positive pregnancy test, and promised her mother she would give her the baby she desired. The mother had undergone an elective sterilization in response to a medical condition she had and could not have children of her own. Keep reading »
If you have been in a one mile radius of me anytime in the past few weeks, you have probably heard me tell you all about how I love “Call The Midwife,” mention I’m going home to watch “Call The Midwife,” or suggest you watch “Call The Midwife.” That is because — yup — I am obsessed with the PBS drama “Call The Midwife.”
The premise is this: Jenny Lee (actress Jessica Raine) is a 22-year-old midwife in the 1950s hired for her first nursing job in an impoverished section of London’s East End. She’s had a privileged, sheltered upbringing and the poverty she sees in Poplar is like nothing she’s ever experienced. Nurse Jenny lives at Nonnatus House, a convent run by nuns who are also nurses, with three of her other 20something midwives: Nurse Trixie is the house glamour girl who loves boys, dancing and gossip; Nurse Cynthia is the thoughtful, quiet one, and Chummy is a gawky, awkward nurse from a titled family who is an embarrassment to her parents but finally finds a place in life working amongst the poor. Keep reading »
Amnesty International has warned that a 22-year-old woman is going to die if the government of El Salvador does not give her a lifesaving abortion. Abortion is illegal in the country under all circumstances, even to save the life of the mother. Keep reading »
Well, of course, someone had to take some photos of me at a party, wearing my favorite dress (should I just stop wearing the clothes I love to events where there might photos taken?), bulky, lopsided, unfortunately proportioned, and my pregnant beauty bubble, so to awkwardly speak, was popped.
No matter how many times I tell myself patiently, firmly, “NO. Don’t pay attention, the photo is lying!” there’s that part of my mind that goes “But this is the truth! THE TERRIBLE TRUTH IN A RANDOM, IMPERSONAL UNIVERSE WITHOUT A GOD.” My new tactic is better, I think. I tell myself, “So what? So what if I’m ugly?” And that is always more helpful. But at that particular moment there had been much talk of beautiful women, much instant evaluation around me of women as either pretty or dismissible, and it seemed as though it did matter, at least enough. Because even if it’s out of sheer laziness or habit or nothing important or just in passing, people seem to talk about the way women look first, and constantly, and always. Keep reading »
This post contains spoilers!
Sunday nights are no longer full of Monday dread. I have something to look forward to at the very end of the weekend: a mind-bending episode of “Mad Men.” The show you love, full of characters you hate, and issues you hope to only deal with through barrier of your TV screen: infidelity, corporate hell, violence, and mortality.
For an office drama centered around a 1960s advertising agency, “Mad Men” has tackled very nuanced issues that remain relevant topics in our day and age. Anyone who watches the show knows the terrible way that women are treated: sexual harassment, rape, sexism, domestic violence, infidelity. And as of Sunday, all of the major female characters have experienced pregnancy. Keep reading »
“Can I touch your belly?” my friend squealed, rushing towards it, hands outstretched.
Then she stopped in her tracks. “I mean,” she said, suddenly bashful, “only if it’s okay, of course! Are you letting people?”
I am five months pregnant. And I keep reading on the various boards and sites where all of the talk is pregnancy-related (it feels pretty trashy, honestly, but I’m a little addicted to babycenter.com) about how this is the time when everyone starts wanting to touch your belly. It’s true, this is definitely that time. BUT, boards and sites immediately clarify, you don’t have to let them.
This point is very important.
Actually, reading current pregnancy forums gives one the impression that for most of history, pregnant women’s bellies were just constantly being groped by grabby, entitled strangers on public transportation and in the grocery store, and then finally we got feminism, and then, thank god, AT LAST, we could say, with the deepest relief, “Get your hands off my pregnancy, jackass!” Keep reading »
For the last week or so, I’ve been somewhat convinced that I’m pregnant. For the most part, this belief was paranoid, but also not entirely outside the realm of possibility. I had a proper French affair when I was in Paris a few weeks ago and at one point there was a broken condom situation, though we realized it was broken and replaced it with a fresh one prior to, ahem, any fluids reaching their apex, so to speak. But I know how babies are made and I’m a total hypochondriac, so when my period failed to arrive on the day it was supposed to, and the day after, and the day after that, and I started feeling gassier than usual, well, I began to panic. I started to type “gas sign of” into Google and the search engine, seemingly reading my mind, autofilled the rest with “early pregnancy.”
Oh god, I thought. It was all but confirmed. Keep reading »
New York City’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) has recently launched a new ad campaign aimed at teen pregnancy that has caused quite a stir — and rightfully so. The campaign employs some of the most shameful tactics I have ever seen in the name of preventing teen pregnancy. These offensive ads (pictured after the jump) feature crying babies and blaming language that the HRA hopes will turn teenagers off from becoming parents.
Much of the wording places the onus of teen parenthood directly on the mother. Only one ad talks directly to young men (focusing on how much money he’ll have to pay in support), while the rest weigh heavily on the shoulders of young women, with one specifically focusing on how it’s highly likely a teen mom will end up raising her baby alone.
Is becoming a teen parent ideal or easy? No. Nobody is saying it is. But the way to go about preventing teen pregnancy isn’t by shaming and blaming those who already are young parents. The money that was spent on this horrible (and most likely ineffective) ad campaign could have been put to better use in more widespread comprehensive sex-education programs within the city. Keep reading »