Georgia Love: Please Stop Commenting On My Body
Last night, my fiancé Lee posted a lovely photo of the two of us attending a friend’s wedding.
I’d hired a gorgeous designer dress, he was wearing (and wearing damn WELL) a tux and we were smiling ear-to-ear. It was a really, happy, beautiful photo. There were so many things that could have been commented on: “where’s your dress from?”; “where’s the wedding venue?”; “getting hints for your own nuptials?”
But the comments that drew the most attention weren’t about any of that. They were about the fact that I supposedly looked pregnant.
A night out at a beautiful wedding full of love, happiness, dancing and laughter ended with me in tears, covered up in my baggiest PJs because I’d been made to feel embarrassed and ashamed of my body.
I have been in the public eye and in a public relationship for more than three years now so this isn’t the first time people have thought I’ve been pregnant.
There was the time I wore a peplum dress OBVIOUSLY to cover a baby bump. There was the time I posed with a glass of water while my friend had a glass of champagne. And of course there have been the she’s-in-a-relationship-so-let’s-write-about-her-getting-pregnant articles.
But what was different about the comments on Lee’s post wasn’t actually the pregnancy speculations at all. It was the people trying to stick up for me. While numerous people commented “that’s a baby bump for sure!”, others tried to come to my defense. “Maybe she just had a big lunch?”, one said. Another: “she’s probably just eaten pasta”.
I hadn’t. That’s just what I look like.
The fact people thought they were helping by justifying why my stomach wasn’t flat is wherein the problem lies. Are we so conditioned to filtered photos and models in bikinis that the only plausible explanation for a woman not looking like this is that she’s bloated or growing a small human?
I have never been super thin, nor have I been big. I am quite tall and naturally I have curves. I work out, I love F45, boxing and pilates and I enjoy eating healthily. I take pride in my appearance and I’m happy with how I look. I just happen to have a tummy. I have since I was a child, I have even when I’ve been my slimmest. That is just my body.
The average Australian woman is a size 14. I’m a size 8-10. And I have to answer questions about pregnancy and post-pasta bloating. This infuriates me. How is the average woman meant to feel if a size 8-10 woman is being questioned about not looking perfectly slim? May I reiterate the word average. Normal. Beautiful.
The fact that I am on TV does not and should not dictate my size and how I look. I am on TV because I am a trained, experienced journalist. I was on The Bachelorette because I was a normal girl wanting to find love who allowed a production crew to help -- and film -- her do so. (For the record, I did. And he loves my tummy.)
Being on TV should not mean I am expected to look like a Victoria’s Secret model. Because if everyone in the public eye did look like that, what would that do to the mental health of everyone else in the world? What would that tell the general public about what is normal and acceptable?
Aside from the fat shaming, there is another, even more serious issue. What if I was trying to get pregnant? What if I had really struggled, lost a pregnancy or found out I couldn’t conceive? If my life was turned upside down and I was doing everything just to put a smile on my face and leave the house throughout this personal turmoil? Then people I don’t know on Instagram throw that right back in my face, bringing me back down to that painful reality.
For a myriad of reasons, it is absolutely never okay to ask a woman if she’s pregnant.
Please think about these things before you comment on someone’s post, or ask them on the street when they’re due. It’s offensive, it’s incredibly hurtful and it’s unfair. No one’s body is up for your discussion.
Now I’m off to make pasta for dinner. May as well, right?