Model, actress and essayist Emily Ratajkowski just announced she is pregnant with her first child. And, in a piece for Vogue, she also announced that she will not be announcing her child’s assumed gender or having any kind of gender reveal.
In her post, Ratajkowski explains that when people ask her and her husband, Sebastian Bear-McClard, what kind of child they are having, the couple explains that they don’t know.
She writes: “We like to respond that we won’t know the gender until our child is 18 and that they’ll let us know then. Everyone laughs at this. There is a truth to our line, though, one that hints at possibilities that are much more complex than whatever genitalia our child might be born with: the truth that we ultimately have no idea who—rather than what—is growing inside my belly.”
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The mama-to-be is open to raising a son or a daughter and understands that there can be different challenges for each.
“But I don’t like that we force gender-based preconceptions onto people, let alone babies,” she writes. “I want to be a parent who allows my child to show themself to me. And yet I realize that while I may hope my child can determine their own place in the world, they will, no matter what, be faced with the undeniable constraints and constructions of gender before they can speak or, hell, even be born.”
In a world where gender stereotypes can hold our daughters back and see our sons hurt by toxic masculinity, it is important to recognize that there are challenges in rising any child in a society that has an awful long way to go before we can reach gender equality.
But no matter where our children fall on the gender spectrum or how they identify, the most important thing is that they know love, and Ratajkowski is showing her love by connecting with her body and her baby, rather than visions of pink or blue balloons.
Check out Ratajkowski’s full essay on Vogue.