Let’s face it, ladies. We can be mean – and not just to each other, but also to ourselves. We self-hate constantly, whether it’s our “frizzy hair,” “pudgy rolls,” “uneven chin,” “short frame,” or “weird body parts.” (Okay, that’s just me.) We tend to be so critical, nit-picking all of the physical attributes we deem faulty in our own bodies, and then, so we don’t completely crumple, turn our judgment on others.
I am guilty of this as well, though I try not to be. Years ago I worked at a modeling agency in downtown Boston. I learned very quickly that those beautiful models you see in magazines and at fashion shows are some of the most insecure women around. To keep their “perfect” shape, some of them would starve themselves, take laxatives, smoke cigarettes, do drugs, or binge and purge. It was so very sad.
The time I felt most beautiful in my life was during the 18 months of my two pregnancies. I felt absolutely, unequivocally beautiful – from the inside out. I loved my body, my belly, my shape, my skin, my hair… not because they were somehow miraculously perfect, but because of the miracle happening inside me.
I feel this way when I see any pregnant woman – they are the most gorgeous creatures alive. Even though there are a plethora of reasons not to feel gorgeous at that time (don’t worry – I won’t go there), it’s just an incomparable feeling. Seems not everyone thinks so.
Poor, pregnant Kim Kardashian has been getting a verbal lashing lately – but what else is new, right? Except this time it’s especially hurtful because she is being bashed for her pregnant body, being called “huge” and “fat” and being compared to Shamu.
Disclaimer: I have ambivalent feelings about Kim Kardashian. I don’t think she deserves the hate that she gets, but I’m not exactly sure of her greater good, either. I definitely don’t agree with her getting pregnant before getting married, but it’s her life to live.
Is society so vitriolic as to attack a pregnant woman? Is there no collective shame in this? Are we so quick to pick up a stone and add to this inexplicable communal rage?
And then the heavens opened up and an angel came forth – a Victoria’s Secret angel, to be exact.
Helena Christensen, the Danish supermodel (she played Chris Isaak’s girlfriend in the “Wicked Game” video), posted an open letter on Huffington Post in Kardashian’s defense.
“It is disgusting and despicable the way that certain media constantly harass the pregnant Kim Kardashian,” Christensen writes. “It’s enough that they persistently project a negative focus on women’s physical shapes; but a public bullying and attacking of a pregnant woman because of her growing shape is just lower than low.” She continues, “There should be some moral compass. It doesn’t matter who the woman is or what she does. No one should ever be publicly judged for their body, but to attack an expecting mother is sacrilegious and just plain wrong. A pregnant woman should not be criticized for her shape, period!!”
I’m impressed with Christensen’s bold and public defense. Too often we don’t speak up, and we need to. Christensen, someone who made a living with her appearance and knows the impact of beauty perhaps more than anyone, spoke up to help a woman she doesn’t know. And in so doing, she helped women everywhere by setting the example of a woman helping, supporting, and encouraging another woman.
OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.