Last week, I was hanging out with my friend Missy. We’d just gone to Relay for Life so she could walk the survivors’ lap, then we had dinner and we decided to go downtown to have some frozen yogurt from Sweet Kreations, because although I am generally opposed to places that have intentionally-misspelled names (does the K make it
cute kute?), their frozen yogurt is basically the best thing in life, so they get a pass. So, we were sitting on a bench, eating our yogurt, when we were approached by a man who needed $10. Missy handed him some cash, then he looked at me and this happened:
Him: Oh girl, is you pregnant?
Him: Well, you are gonna have a future boy.
Me: [Hands him a dollar.]
Now, over the course of my life, I have been fat and I have been thin. Currently, I’m kind of… middling. Like, nobody’s going to tell me I’m too thin and talk behind my back about how they should force feed me a cheeseburger, but I’m not obese, either. Just kind of… eh, middling.
Speaking of middles, I have one. It is where I carry weight, because the universe is an inherently unjust place and I couldn’t just get fat in my boobs. Fine. And since I have terrible posture, my middle tends to be more pronounced than it would be if I would ever just sit or stand up straight. But one thing I know for sure is that even on my slouchiest, most bloated day, I don’t look pregnant. Because pregnant women look like they are carrying a baby, whereas I look like I’m carrying some excess weight. So, this guy, having never seen a pregnant woman before, jumped to the conclusion that all that frozen yogurt I’ve eaten this summer had impregnated me. Fair enough. Also, he was high.
The morning after this happened, I took this photo in the mirror at Missy’s house:
Granted, Odin photobombed me and got his head right in front of the area of my body in question, but still.
So, I have something to say:
When is it okay to ask a woman if she’s pregnant? The answer is never. It is never okay. It doesn’t matter if she really looks pregnant. It doesn’t matter if she really looks pregnant and is wearing a t-shirt that says “ASK ME ABOUT MY PREGNANCY THAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!” because you know, she could be two weeks post-partum and that’s the only shirt she has that doesn’t have baby spit-up on it. Or maybe she can’t read and she got it at a yard sale. Either way, don’t ask. Because the truth is that it is always open season for commentary on women’s bodies. She’s too fat, she’s too skinny, she looks great (so she must’ve lost weight), why did she leave the house in that dress doesn’t she know it makes her look like a sack of potatoes, she looks pregnant, she’s six months along and she’s not even showing, that ASS, that RACK. Good or bad, compliment or not a compliment, walking out of the house in the morning is like BRING IT ON, WORLD, PLEASE TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT HOW I LOOK. And you know what? Shut up.
And the next guy who asks me if I’m pregnant is not getting a dollar.
7 thoughts on “oh, girl….”
I recently had a coworker ask me if I was pregnant. I went, “What? No!” and got out of the room ASAP, but ever since then I’ve been wondering if she asked A) Because I was lookin’ chubby or B) Because there’s a rumor going on around the office that I’m pregnant. There is also a C (she heard someone say someone named Sarah was pregnant and assumed it’s me) but I came up with that one much later. I have not asked her why she thought I was pregnant because I don’t really want to know the answer.
I learned my lesson the hard way… a woman I knew on a here-and-there basis was—in all my previous encounters with her—rather petite… barely five feet tall and thin. So, when I saw her after an extended period of time, she completely looked eight- to nine-months pregnant. And well, she wasn’t.
I have not asked another woman since, nor will I ever again.
I once heard a comedian say that the general rule on asking a woman if she is pregant should be this- if you can actually see a baby’s head crowning then and only then it is A-OK to ask.
Great post. I think before commenting on a person’s appearance, a good policy would be to think “is it in any way my business what this other human looks like?”. I guarantee the answer is always no. Besides, you’d think people would have seen enough movies that they’d know never to ask a woman if she’s pregnant but no such luck!
I don’t think that it entirely has to do with appearance. In my case, it was a woman I knew and saw semi-regularly, so, it was small talk that dealt more with what I thought was a life event, albeit prompted by her appearance.
I tried to leave a comment three times from my phone, and it was just not meant to be. But thank you for writing this – and I am so glad you are writing again. Open season on women’s bodies really needs to end.
People asked me semi-regularly if I was pregnant while I was actually pregnant, which was its own special kind of insulting. As in, if I looked like this and *wasn’t* pregnant, how could the asker not just be being intentionally incredibly rude and/or mean? Oh girl, indeed.
Unrelated, I like your shirt/phone cover combo.
This just happened again. Thanks a lot, teenaged Costco employee!