It is touted that America is the land of the free
but what if our chains were a different bondage,
a prison in the mind by media voices?
Fat, skinny, short, tall,
alert and agitated,
worked and weary
and a cycle of words stamping stereotypes on placid faces.
Pregnancy glow, or so it is glorified,
but the stark reality rings a different tune.
Everyday a person is commenting on your growth, the baby’s (babies) growth.
Your body is a red carpet seemingly beckoning commentary.
When silence or excitement is most appreciated
there seems to be a running wheel of unsolicited advice,
and opinions regarding dress to behaviors, as pregnant women and new mothers.
Forgive me for my part in the haughty, judgemental roles.
The bigger I get and the longer I’m parenting,
I’m learning that the fool opens the mouth and spews uninformed critiques.
I’m taking a lesson from my introverted spouse
and finding freedom from fatuous fallacy.
Now if only I can find safe haven from the constant analysis of my ever increasing rotund bodice.
My pregnancy did not issue a license to study my body.
Why the sudden interest?
You didn’t care to notice this petite girl before, why now?
So please, go back to your own affairs
and let my belly grow without your constant comments, however seemingly innocent they may appear to you.
*It seems that we aren’t supposed to comment on people’s shapes unless a woman is pregnant and then it is fair game, even permissible, to study and critique her body everyday. Perhaps maybe the constant analysis of a woman’s body, sadly sexualizing it, is a daily occurrence here. Apparently, vanity/ physical aesthetics is a sin enshroud with acceptance and admiration in this country and we don’t even realize that this sin, this idol, is holding us captive.*
—So often I write unscripted (read: unedited) here. As such, the flow isn’t always the best. I do welcome criticisms on how to write better. I find I can edit better when I receive input on how to do so from my audience.