Recently, actress Drew Barrymore was walking out of a restaurant when someone pointed out that she was obviously pregnant. On “The Late Late Show with James Corden” she discussed the situation and her comeback. Go Drew Barrymore – you tell it like it is.
But why should she have to?
I can’t even believe I’m writing this blog because I can’t BELIEVE that in this day and age people don’t know to shut their mouths. Until that baby is rockabyebabying in the mom’s arms, you are simply not allowed to say anything. And then again, even when that baby is in the woman’s arms, you should still keep your mouth shut about that momma’s body. Period. Forever. Seriously, why in the world is her body any business of yours at all?
As the mom of six kids, I’ve been pregnant for 60 months of my life with little guys, and a whole bunch of other months with almost-might-have-been-little-guys. During my child bearing years, it’s hard to even quantify the amount of times I was asked if I was pregnant. One time, I was confronted by a good friend when I was ten weeks pregnant, and not telling anyone yet. And she asked me, in front of a relative, if I was expecting.
And when I got home, FUMING like you can’t even imagine, I wrote her a note. Here is what I wrote.
“Dear ….. I’m trying to figure out what exactly you thought you could possibly achieve by asking me if I was pregnant. What, exactly, was the goal? There are only four scenarios as far as I can tell, and all of them are losers.
- I’m pregnant (Amazing! Awesome! So fun!) but I’m not telling anyone yet. What do you achieve by asking me about this secret?
- I was pregnant, but I lost it and I still look pregnant. What do you achieve by asking me about this painful experience that I’ve kept private and the difficulty that I’m having now moving on?
- I’m not pregnant. Now you’ve told me that I look fat, and no amount of excuses can take back the message that you gave to me. (“Oh no, I didn’t mean that at all. Um, it’s the dress you’re wearing that gives you a tummy. No really…”)
- I’m not pregnant. But I damn well wish I were. So, thanks for reminding me of my infertility and the struggles that we are having day in and day out.
With these ideas in mind, I beg you to please consider your words more carefully in the future. I really can’t see any positive outcome from asking me if I am pregnant today. What could you possibly have gained?”
How many women could write a similar letter? I wouldn’t bother sharing this if I thought it was only the biggest idiots of the world who make this mistake; it’s shocking how often someone who you really trust and even admire ends up saying something that is inappropriate. It’s so incredibly important to remember that we have no idea what other people are going through in their private lives, and that words matter. It’s never appropriate to comment on a woman’s body (or anyone’s body!), no matter what shape it is in or what it might be going through. It’s hers, and if she wants to let you in on her family planning (or on her diet plan, or lack of a diet plan, or anything else pertaining to her body), she will.
And until she does? Butt out. Period.