Does This Baby Bump Make Me Feel Bad About Myself? Self Magazine Sinks to New Low!



Oh boy, in Self’s August issue there’s an article titled “Does This Baby Make Me Look Fat?”

Um, yes it does, actually.

Except it’s pregnancy weight, not FAT.

So sad that the magazine actually commissioned this story…all about how women are bummed out by how fat they get when they are pregnant and how that wreaks their self-esteem.


Then don’t get pregnant.

The article talks about a tiny minority of women who have disordered eating and take risks such as using diet pills, doing cleanses and cutting calories, yes, while preggers. It then segues into to a few stories of women who have actual eating disorders and how they struggled with them through their pregnancies.

I’ve got no problem with the eating disorder portion of the piece. Having just closed a story on eating disorders and how the insurance industry does not cover their treatment as well as it should, I have every sympathy for sufferers. However, this piece took true eating disorder sufferers –and their habits–and morphed their stories into how being pregnant takes a toll on most women’s self-esteem. It further implies that this self esteem plummet may then cause some small minority of women to use disordered eating practices to not gain enough weight because they fear their hideous baby bump makes them look bad.

Honestly Self, women have been having babies from time immortal so to ask them if their 20 pound plus weight gain makes them feel bad about themselves seems not only counterproductive but sort of sadistic, no?

Self polled 300 pregnant or recently pregnant women to give you these startling statistics:

  • 68 percent of thin women say pregnancy made them more insecure
  • 61 percent of normal weight women lost body confidence
  • 52 percent of women said that pregnancy made them insecure about their body image
  • Seven in ten worry about weight gain.


Oh Self, how very shallow you have sunk.

8 responses »

  1. But I think the medical professionals have some blame in this. We’re told not to gain more than X amount of pounds, right? And that’s not bad medical advice. Except when I gained more, I was perfectly healthy. No issues with my bloodwork, no problems moving around, etc. Yes, I “gained too much” but I was made to feel like I would never, ever lose the weight. (One of my nurse midwives told me that I would keep every pound over 30 that I gained. Period. No hope of losing that weight.)

    Why do our medical professionals shame us? Between that and the entertainment/publishing industry, it’s no wonder women worry about gaining weight when pregnant.

    • So true Laura. There should be guidelines and of course women should give consideration to them, and think about their weight gain during pregnancy, that’s part of caring for yourhealth, but shaming women or asking them if their baby bump makes them feel ugly, or wreaks havoc on their body image and SELF esteem is BS!

  2. “Really?

    Then don’t get pregnant.”

    Amen sister. There’s an article in the WSJ about how more and more American newborns are born addicted to drugs because women are taking so many.

    The “fat” is there for a reason — so the body has reserves for breastfeeding. But most medical professionals don’t know or understand this, and also don’t have a clue that WHAT YOU EAT, not how much, is what really matters. Look in any OB’s refrigerator and kitchen cabinets and you’ll see the real problem–they are eating junk food, mold-inhibator-laden “bread,” and processed craps. They feed their families red dye no. 40 cereal that is less nutritious than the box it comes in. And these are the folks who advise women on what to eat.

    Okay. Rant over. But you are right and Self has hit a new low.

    There’s a doc here who offers MOMMY MAKEOVERS. He makes about $50,000 A WEEK doing tummy tucks for women who have recently had babies. Insecurity, sadly, is a great thing to capitalize on when you want to sell products and services.

    • So true, Jen. The Whole thought of us now making pregnant women and new moms feel bad about their body thoroughly disgusted me! And a doc playing to that new mom market is lower than low IMO!

      • He believes he is doing a service to women, I think. It’s just so sad. I was hoping the local TV station would investigate him but they haven’t yet. He still runs his ads. And does so many boob jobs. I have a friend who’s been unhappy with her breasts ever since he put a knife into them. Sigh. Unfortunately there is so much of that — corporations and the medical industry taking advantage of new moms and their babies. (I have a book on this subject coming out in April. It makes smoke come out my ears.)

  3. Pingback: Women Against Women: How the Media Denigrates Moms

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