A little while ago, I had found a great post on one of my favorite positive body image blogs, We are the real deal. The post features a video and an opinionated text about the term “mommyrexia” and the pressures that pregnant women are faced with as far as their appearance and weight are concerned. Written by Mama V of Mamavision (another GREAT blog, run by a former model), there’s really some great content and info about how women are being taught to focus more on their appearance than their actual health during and after their pregnancies.
The video is a segment of NBC’s Today Show, in which two doctors (one is well-known Dr. Nancy Snyderman) speak on the show about the term “mommyrexia” and what it means for mothers, and women in general. The topic was presented as a reaction to the NY Post’s “Mommyrexia Takes Manhattan,” which spoke about expecting mothers being pressured by society to maintain perfect bodies in fear of appearing “deformed.”
Dr. Nancy Snyderman got particularly passionate about the subject. “I think this is an Upper East Side, white girl, obnoxious problem. It’s irritating to me! We want perfect babies, perfect bodies, perfect lives. I just find the whole thing vulgar,” ranted Snyderman.
It is also upsetting that the media has taken the serious eating disorder anorexia and used it to make the cutesy name “mommyrexia” for mothers who might be struggling with life-threatening conditions. It’s sickening and really makes light of the severity of the problem.
The segment went on to show examples of Hollywood stars that expecting mothers may be comparing themselves against. Many of these stars barely show baby bumps during their pregnancy or have lost the weight with lightning speed. The doctor accompanying Snyderman admitted that she has seen many women in her practice vomiting during pregnancy in attempt to keep the weight off.
Many of these women do not have actual eating disorders. They are choosing these routes and ultimately putting their babies’ lives at risk in order to avoid gaining the necessary 30-40 lbs of pregnancy weight that is needed to sustain the growing baby. It’s really saddening to think that such a precious time for an expecting mother cannot even be enjoyed without the standards of society. Expecting mothers have so many more important things to focus on and shouldn’t be pressured into looking a certain way. More importantly, sacrificing their health as well as the safety and well-being of their child for something as superficial as their appearance is a horrifying trend.