Imagine if we stopped talking about how women will retain their looks while gestating another human being in their torsos.
Actress and noted beautiful person Mila Kunis is pregnant, so of course E! covered the story by posting a list of five ways Kunis can stay fit during her pregnancy. Kunis is expecting her first child with fiancé and former That ’70s Show co-star Ashton Kutcher.
“The Black Swan actress is known for her petite frame and commitment to health and fitness,” E! writes, speculating whether Kunis will be able to keep her figure as she brings another human life into the world.
Reading celebrity gossip is like eating Gushers: The pieces are gross and manufactured and doesn’t nourish you in any way, but they’re almost too easy to consume. I don’t know if Gushers have any especially disgusting flavors because I’m not an 11-year-old, but if they do, then this kind of pregnancy coverage that focuses on how the body will get fat or stay fit would be that flavor: especially toxic. Of course, women who are pregnant should treat their bodies well. But so should women who are not pregnant. And, you know, men. Kutcher may become too busy to hit the gym as often as he once did as he prepares to raise a child, but there’s no corresponding article about how the former Punk’d star will stay fit as he adjusts to a new time management schedule. Perhaps the tabloids assume that Kutcher’s routine of throwing heavy piles of money at tech startups is adequate. More likely: The confirmation of Kunis’ pregnancy means that celebrity media outlets will get to play yet another round of Good Pregnancy/Bad Pregnancy.
Last year, tabloids had a field day scrutinizing Kim Kardashian’s weight and style while she was carrying her first child. Nevermind that Kardashian, a woman who took great pride in her appearance and regularly exercised before, during, and after her pregnancy, gained a healthy amount of weight while expecting. She had a Bad Pregnancy because she didn’t look hot. It’s acceptable to be a pregnant celebrity if you’re naturally petite and your pregnancy shows itself as a round, pert baby bump, like Kate Middleton. If you’re not exceptionally small and your pregnancy weight is distributed in a different way, you’re a disgusting garbage whale swimming toward Irrelevance Island. Unless you can reverse the tide and exercise yourself back to previous levels of bangability, you’ll end up like Jessica Simpson: doing gauzy-filter commercial appearances for weight loss products.
Kunis isn’t the only pregnant celebrity renowned for her looks currently getting scrutinized over how the weight she gains or doesn’t gain during pregnancy will affect her career; there is already speculation about whether Scarlett Johansson, who is expecting her first child with fiancé Romain Dauriac, will be able to fit into the skin-tight suits she wears as the Black Widow in The Avengers franchise. They’re going to use CGI and body doubles to keep Paul Walker, who is dead, in the next Fast and Furious movie, so it’s ridiculous that Johansson’s pregnancy weight gain would really present an insurmountable obstacle for the enormously popular franchise. They have the special effects budget. There’s no need to focus on changes to Johansson’s body.
And there’s no need to focus on how pregnancy will change or won’t change Kunis’ body. Even if she does manage to keep her physique in line with the ludicrously narrow parameters set up to constitute a Good Pregnancy, holding her or anyone up as an example of how someone’s body should look during pregnancy is unhelpful, unnecessary, and stupid.
Photo via Flickr/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)
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