It’s not spring but it feels like a good time for this “Autumn Baby” to talk about having babies. While our group has long passed the age of reproducing or as only nature says and defines(i.e. menopause); we are still being affected by child birth and babies, mostly as grandparents. Two of my friends are expecting new grand-babies within a few months; one a seasoned veteran, the other a novice, but the excitement, anticipation, shopping, party planning is evidence we are enjoying this role.
She walked into Kaiser’s pharmacy, in between what appeared to be six to eight months “along”. She wore the morphed version of platform styled shoes with stiletto heels, figure hugging leggings, hair perfectly coiffed (weave and all), her top was well coordinated and showed off ever curve and bulge of her pregnancy. I tried not to stare, I am not certain I was successful. My initial reaction was reduced to internet lingo “SMH”, but my mind would not allow me to stop there. As I studied this young woman and wondered was I feeling this disapproval because I am beyond the child bearing years and jealous(because my hormones make me crazy), am I out-of-touch, am I old and judgmental, or was this mother-to-be just inappropriately dressed. I concluded that many of the prior cited thoughts, could very well be applicable.
I was researching my thoughts when I came across an article in The New Yorker from two years ago titled “Parents Of A Certain Age”. It was a remarkable piece, I was enlightened and amazed by it. Covering everything from the bliss of being first time parents at the half-century mark with financial stability, to the the possibilities of having a debilitating stroke during or right after giving birth. I kept going; now I was on a mission, looking up fashions and cultural aspect of pregnancy. Why was this grandmother so intrigued and involved with this natural phenomenon? Be certain I was not trying to join the ranks of the older mothers from the New Yorker article.
I was seeking understanding. I wanted to know why this redefining of pregnancy was happening. Fashion was only one aspect of it, although it was taking a very interesting turn. Now I am a mother, so I have been pregnant. I went though my childbearing years with Demi Moore”gracing” the cover of a magazine nude. Fashion’s cutting edge suggestions for the 1980’s was to use your husband’s dress shirts and a opened front vest, in opposed to a frilly, childish, or matronly top. We ever wore over-sized tee shirts designed to drape over the “baby bump“. Maternity fashions have historically been expensive and down right ugly; it is easy to see why women would look for alternatives, but pregnant women should look carefully.
Now you see painted bellies, outfits that accentuate(like that is needed) the bellies, and yes bare bellies many with protruding belly buttons. Celebrities are known for being out there, but we everyday people are supposed to know better. Seriously anyone, these days, three years old and above knows what that protruding abdomen means. Are young women so obsessed and pressured about their looks that they still need validation in pregnancy. Whose attention are you trying to get?
When I read an excerpt from a fashion article encouraging women to display their “baby bumps in form fitting materials is so sexy”, I thought I would scream(and vomit). Now we are turning the bellies into a fetish? Great, objectify a woman in a state that should ONLY be appealing to HER mate. Wait a minute this woman is not only unavailable she is not alone (i.e. with child???)! Please understand I am not saying pregnancy is sickening, embarrassing, or something to hide; I am saying modesty, health, and safety are things women in the condition should consider. You are having a baby, not prepping for a bikini photo shoot. Tight clothing can slow the digestive process causing heartburn, those beautiful high heels and your expanding out of balance body may have a propensity to stumbles, trips, and falls(which could be devastating in “flats” let alone 3 and 1/2 inch stiletto heels).
Expectant mothers are beautiful, glowing and full of new life. Realize your pregnancy is a personal experience, unique to YOU and your partner. As we weren’t audience to the beginnings of this impending blessed event, we should not be “knee deep” in this aspect of the event either. Therefore beautiful, proud, elated “mothers-to-be” take one more look in the mirror before you step outside; realize that precious cargo you carry within you, will be exposed to the world soon enough.