People are analyzing the size of Meghan Markle's baby bump, but pregnancy is not an invitation to comment on women's bodies.
Even before Meghan Markle announced her pregnancy, fans and interviewers alike were asking intrusive questions about when she and Prince Harry were going to have kids. Now that she's pregnant, people can't stop talking about the size of her baby bump.
It's one thing to pay attention to Markle's style — the outfits she chooses sell out instantly and even create new jobs at small companies due to increased demand. But it's another to scrutinize her body or "bump shame" her for getting bigger.
She's pregnant. Pregnant people's bumps often increase in size. This should be news to no one.
Author and feminist Chimamanda Nogozi Adichie kept her pregnancy to herself to avoid such unsolicited attention, only revealing that she was breastfeeding in a 2016 interview with The Financial Times.
"I have some friends who probably don't know I was pregnant or that I had a baby," she said. "I just feel like we live in an age when women are supposed to perform pregnancy. We don't expect fathers to perform fatherhood."
As public figures, members of royal family are expected to perform pregnancy and motherhood. Why else would Kate Middleton greet photographers outside the hospital mere hours after all of her children were born with blown-out hair and heels?
Every body experiences carrying a baby (or babies) differently, so there's no way to deduce anything about someone's pregnancy just by looking at them. Some baby bumps remain small throughout the process, and some are the size of watermelons by the first trimester. Some people have retroverted uteri, causing their pregnancies to grow backwards and barely show at all.
Markle probably won't have to deal with strangers in the supermarket touching her bump without permission given her royal security detail. Still, "bump shaming" her by fixating on her body during pregnancy needs to stop.
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