This morning I was perusing Facebook while nursing my Mush Man and found this little pearl on the web. Something about reading the headline Self help for pregnant Bimbos made my eyeballs practically burst and made my mouth blurt WTF? I went on to read the article which is a critique about a new pregnancy book just waiting to hit the shelves. The pregnancy book is suppose to be a cheeky, little read that will tell pregnant ladies everything they need to know about pregnancy but have not been told by friends, midwives, doctors etc. Some of the highlights of the book include farting for an entire week, not getting too fat and how to lose the baby weight; because of course those are the most important things to know about pregnancy. GAG.
This book’s angle of looking at pregnancy with the same amount of depth as a kiddie pool, is nothing new. A pregnant gal doesn’t have to look very far to find very, very crappy literature about arguably the most important event in her life. Even I have bought one of these ridiculous books; Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven cough, cough, gag, gag.
I appreciate humor of all types. I can sing bits and pieces of Weird Al songs, and I actually thought Coneheads was kind of funny; so I get crappy humor. I do, however, dislike doing anything for a laugh or poking fun at the expense of those that need supporting. While I do believe that pregnancy is a very sacred experience, I do not think that pregnancy jokes are off limits; however, packaging up a bunch of pregnancy related “stuff” and giving it a Clueless write all of this nonsense? Sidenote: I did like Clueless, but I don’t want Cher and Dion giving me pregnancy advice. Kidding aside, we live in a society with an alarmingly high c-section rate and an unhealthy obsession with putting super skinny women on a pedestal for reasons that have nothing to do with anything other than their waistline.
Why do we have to hunt for all of the good pregnancy material out there? When I was pregnant with my firstborn, this is what I knew about pregnancy:
- Pregnancy is where your stomach gets big, but every other part of your body stays normal. Courtesy of a TON OF PREGNANCY ADS & COMMERCIALS.
- There is a ton of shit that can go wrong. Courtesy of TLC’s A Baby Story
- Epidurals and episiotomies are normal and necessary. Courtesy of TLC’s A Baby Story again.
- C-sections are chic and easy. Courtesy of A BOAT LOAD OF CELEBRITIES. Too Posh to push, anyone?
- It is really important to lose the baby weight, but don’t worry because it is super easy. Courtesy of A BOAT LOAD OF CELEBRITIES again.
Obviously I know that you shouldn’t rely on things like television, celebrities and advertisements for important information; however, unless you have been pregnant before, being pregnant feels very foreign. And when you are bombarded with image after image and article after article portraying pregnancy to look a certain way, it is hard to not buy into all of it to some degree. And it also gets pretty hard to not feel bad about yourself for a number of reasons when you find yourself not fitting the “mold” touted by society.
But books are different. People believe what they read in books and are influenced by books in a totally different way. Books about pregnancy, babies and childbirth have to tell the truth and be factual, right? Because they are written by doctors or are given endorsement by popular brands, right? Despite many people knowing that you have to research and dissect most if not all information about all that is baby, there are tons of people who believe what they see on the cover because it is being sold at a popular book store. Now, when you take that same book filled with crappy advice, negative images and ridiculousness and make it funny, you add to the growing numbers of misinformed pregnant mothers who view the awesome miracle that their body is creating as another need for a diet or another “thing” to be uncomfortable about.
Maybe it will take Ricky Lake doing some stand up during her next birth film to get people to begin finding, reading and understanding information about pregnancy that is relevant and meaningful. Perhaps, Ina May Gaskin can deliver Angelina Jolie’s 7th baby naturally to make women realize that opting for a C-section is about as chic as stapling a pair of Christian Louboutin stilettos to your feet.
Pregnancy and birth is not meant to be fashionable, “in” or the next “it” thing. It isn’t the pun of the joke or the reason to avoid eating carbs. We are talking about creating a child, not putting an accessory clad Chihuahua in a Gucci purse. It is meant to be a wonderfully, incredible experience. And that is what we need to hear more about.