Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pregnancy & Body Image: Illustrated in Women's Words

We interviewed more than 400 women for Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? When we asked expectant mothers to describe their bodies, there was little hesitation. We were struck by the visceral quality of their descriptions, which were filled with enthusiasm, awe, and sometimes sheer frustration and disgust. These illustrations from our book represent a sampling of the actual words women shared with us.

What words would you use/have used to describe your pregnant body?

Illustrations by Monica Martinez


cd said...

Hi, I just found your site via a link on Jezebel. Couldn't have found it - or the link to your book - at a better time. I'm 16 weeks and have had a, shall we say, interactive relationship with my weight all my life.

I though pregnancy would be the great body equalizer, but all it takes is one look at the sales and brand tags on Pea in the Pod clothing to recognize that, no, we should still be stick think with just a rightly-apportioned bump in the front. Which goes away completely when the baby comes out.

The word that most comes to mind for my pregnant body: war.

Magali and Claire said...

Hi cd,
So glad you found our blog and our book.

Pregnancy does present an opportunity to appreciate the power of our bodies in a whole new light, but that doesn't make us immune to the incredible amount of pressure to have the perfect-sized bump during pregnancy and shed all the baby weight five minutes after giving birth. Those messages are fed to us constantly. And then there's the double whammy of pressure women put on themselves--feeling "guilty" or "selfish" if they're suffering with body image issues while pregnant and as new moms. It's no wonder we sometimes feel at war with our bodies.