Here at Motherly, we're all in on pregnant mamas. We love all things pregnancy science: from how a woman's body absorbs her baby's cells, and the effect of breastfeeding on postpartum weight loss. We fawn over the latest + greatest in baby names. And we adore a good celeb baby bump picture.
And recently, when the Duchess presented a British Fashion Award to the designer behind her wedding dress (Givenchy designer Clare Waight Keller) we were not thrilled when headlines suggested Markle "showing off" her bump by cradling it during the awards show.
Here's the deal: When media outlets make note of a pregnant woman whose bump is visible, they often report that the woman is out "flaunting" her belly.
PSA: Pregnant women do not "flaunt" their bodies.
They aren't "showing off their baby bumps."
They're not "taking their bellies out for a day on the town."
They're simply women who are pregnant, going about their daily lives.
This might seem like a small point, quibbling about particular words about pregnancy.
But in reality, acting like pregnant women are "flaunting" their bellies reflects a society that sees pregnancy as a sideshow, rather than a natural part of womanhood. It makes pregnant women feel like weirdos, rather than integral bearers of the future of humanity. It tells women, yet again, that their changing bodies are up for public critique. And it implies to women that the natural changes in their bodies are strange, rather than a normal evolution in life.
So yes, Meghan's baby bump is visible. How exciting for her!
She's not 'flaunting it,' proud mama-to-be though she is.
Meghan Markle is simply rocking her life as a modern woman (and royal), and pregnancy looks amazing on her.
[A version of this story was originally published October 24, 2018]