Beauty : Pregnancy
Remember that Vanity Fair cover of a naked, pregnant Demi Moore? Surprisingly, it’s one American memory I can actually claim. Although it’s from 1991, well before I ever flipped through the pages of any secular magazine, I remember being shocked by the photo when I caught a glimpse of it at the checkout of the grocery store. A pregnant woman, celebrated for her body!
Motherlode over at NYTimes just ran a piece on the depiction of pregnant women’s bodies, and it reminded me of that moment seeing Demi, which permanently altered my image of pregnant women. Not only were they ripe with mitzvah and Hashem’s blessings, I realized, they could also be beautiful on a purely physical plane! After that epiphany, when I looked at the many pregnant women around me, I always tried to squint past the wigs and baggy clothing, to see the beauty of their blossoming bodies.
I just entered my third trimester, and it’s time for me to put my long held belief in a pregnant woman’s beauty to the test. Unfortunately, just as my stomach is finally large enough to unequivocally confirm that yes, I am actually pregnant, I am simultaneously swamped with exhaustion and kvetchyness and a range of aches and pains that distract me from relishing any beauty. I feel like an awful, bloated mama stereotype as I shlep my body around the apartment in shorts and a tshirt, hoisting my legs up on a chair whenever I get the opportunity, lifting my hair off my sweaty neck.
“You’re so beautiful,” my husband (unbidden!) tells me.
“Thanks,” I say. “Can you pull off my socks? I’m too tired to reach down.”
I’ll practice being Demi some other time. Now I just want to lean back, splay my legs and kvetch.Printable Version