Like many mamas out there, Shay Mitchell is familiar with the unsolicited-baby-bump-touching-from-strangers that is par for the course during pregnancy. Unlike the rest of us, Shay Mitchell has the platform and resources to make a hilarious video about it!
Mitchell, who is mama to daughter Atlas and currently pregnant with her second child, shared the video to her Instagram account on Wednesday—and it is perfect.
Raise your hand if you've had random strangers touch your growing belly at the grocery store, the mall, the pharmacy, the doctor's office, Starbucks, Target, etc. Yep, lots of hands going up! While I thought it would bother me more than it actually did, it sure did happen A LOT. And because you never know how a pregnant person you've never met will react to a stranger touching their body, you probably shouldn't do it without an explicit invitation to do so.
The best part of Shay Mitchell's perfect video is the caption: "No petting, but you can definitely feed 😂"
Do most people mean well and simply touch the bump out of excitement without even thinking about it? Yes, absolutely. But there are plenty of pregnant people who don't like it (particularly from complete strangers), and we have to respect that.
Plenty of Shay's followers agree:
Personally, I didn't mind it that much (and if you know me, this is surely a surprise). Maybe because during both pregnancies, I wasn't self-conscious about my stomach at all—when I'm not pregnant, I'm self-conscious about it 24/7. I haven't discussed it with my therapist, but that's my best guess!
Regardless, we need to respect everyone's bodily autonomy and personal space always. But we especially need to stay self-aware of those things when encountering a pregnant person in the wild before we latch onto their round bellies faster than a magnet can cling to a paper clip.
Thank you, Shay Mitchell, for this perfectly delivered PSA.