Searching for Terms

You know that looking at the search terms that land people on this blog are one of my little thrills, right? It’s almost a voyeuristic pleasure, as if I’m getting to see what it is that people are secretly searching for out there on the Internets.

Here are 9 from the last 30 days, with my comments.

“sweet christian girl”

Sorry, definitely wrong blog for that.

“cool tattoos for guys arm for a dead dad”

I *think* that you’re aiming for a nice tribute to your dad here. Watch your syntax, though.

“tell me what each district stands for in hunger games”

How about asking nicely?

“i want to be skinny pregnant”

I understand how you feel, but please don’t try for that. Read this.

“polly pockets in medieval times dress”

That would be AWESOME.

“jesus eating lunch”

And why not?

tiffani amber thiessen fat thin

Geez, neither! Curves do not = fat

“tim keller eating disorder”

I don’t think he has one. But you never know!

“mom failure overweight child”

No. No, you’re not a failure. You might like to read this.

“woman being eaten alive by stone bear statues”

Uh, ok.

Pregnancy as Hospitality

NYMag’s Vulture blog had this post on how the movie posters from the What to Expect When You’re Expecting movie are “deeply disturbing.” And they are, look–

And that’s one of the less-bad ones.

What’s frightening about these photos is how ridiculously skinny and airbrushed these pregnant women are, like the pregnancy is some kind of abdominal accessory.

Make no mistake, “skinny pregnant” is a thing. I get blog hits every day based on those kinds of search terms. When I was first pregnant, I read, with great interest, this article about pregnant New Yorkers who worked out like crazy and counted every ounce. I learned of this exercise program aimed at preventing and reversing the “mummy tummy.” And I also found the oddly titled Pregnancy Without Pounds.

Because, I’m ashamed to say, I was afraid of getting bigger.

A number of times now, I’ve been asked how I went from disordered in my eating and body image to joyfully (if occasionally) consuming pie for breakfast.

I’m never quite sure how to answer the question. It’s complicated.

But there is one thing that I can point to for sure. Wait, two things, actually:

Oh, I didn’t start out well. I fretted about getting a belly (will it ever go away?) and confessed to my husband that I “just didn’t want to gain weight.” And he said:

“If you don’t gain weight, our baby will die.”

{Ouch.}

And so I did the best I could. I ate. (And managed not to puke it all up.) I got bigger. And I had a really, really beautiful baby. I nursed him. And as I nursed him, I felt a powerfully strong sense of our connection. To feed him, I had to feed myself. I wanted him to get bigger and stronger. I had a context for seeing feeding and weight gain as unquestioned positives, and to make that happen, I had to feed myself so I could feed him.

Having my baby showed me my unmistakeable connectedness.

To me, that’s the thing that’s scary about the obsession with pregnancy skinniness, which I see reinforced everywhere–on Facebook, in conversations, and (certainly) among the tabloids, which seem always to be screaming about how skinny this or that celebrity just X number of weeks after having a baby, and now, these stupid movie posters.

The obsession with pregnancy skinniness spectacularly misses the point, which is that women’s bodies are capable of

making room.

hosting new life.

welcoming babies, those nearest of strangers.