Here are two things a normal woman probably won’t do in the span of six months: tweet about her farts and pose nude for the cover of a magazine. But Jessica Simpson’s not a normal woman. She’s pregnant (and not just pregnant, but the most pregnant woman of all time). There’s something about being knocked up that permits women certain latitude with their sharing and an openness with their bodily functions. It’s not just celebrities, either. In no other situation but pregnancy can I imagine my normally modest friends discussing the state of their perineums.
And why shouldn’t they? If complete strangers feel they have the right to touch your stomach, why shouldn’t you feel comfortable letting it all hang out? Maybe we could all use a little loosening of the puritanical reins, whether we’re with child or not. Why should our bodies and our natural biological cycles embarrass us? Because they’re kind of gross and possibly smelly and potentially disturbing to look at, that’s why. Unless you’re pregnant, in which case they are fascinating. Here’s a list of six things you can apparently only get away with when you have another human growing inside of you:
1. Farting. Most women experience an increase in gas when pregnant, and some feel like this gives them bragging rights. In November, Jessica made news by Tweeting, “The average pregnant woman farts 15 times that! RT @OMGFacts The average person expels flatulence 15 times each day!” It’s not always a point of pride, however. I have one friend who never farted in front of her husband until her pregnancy. She’s unpenitent. “It just slipped out,” she says.
2. Eating whatever you want, as much as you want, whenever you want. On a normal, non-pregnant day, you probably wouldn’t take down a cheesecake for breakfast and fried chicken for lunch, like Jessica did. You certainly wouldn’t brag about it. But when your body is a baby factory and you’ve been nauseated for three months straight, you are entitled to whatever fuel you want, food pyramid be damned.
3. Gaining weight, and talking about it. Speaking of the fried Twinkies Jessica had at her baby shower, she’s not the only who’s raised eyebrows with her pregnancy weight gain. Kate Hudson often talks about how she gained 70 pounds with her first child. Of course when your body doesn’t feel like your own, why not tell a stranger about its ballooning to 150% of its normal size?
4. Worrying aloud about your appearance downtown. Clearly nobody wants their lady parts to look like an old leather hobo bag after squeezing out a pup or two. But in an age where labioplasty is legitimate material for the mainstream media, it seems more pregnant women are publicly talking about their postpartum vajayjays, or as Jessica calls it, her “hoo-ha.”
5. Having a “me first” attitude. When you’re carrying 20 to 40 extra pounds of weight, your feet are so swollen that your ankles have ceased to exist, and it’s likely you will have to urinate in the next five minutes, it’s understandable that you want to park right in front of the supermarket door and skip to the front of the line at the post office. With a baby on board, it’s totally acceptable.
6. Letting your bitch flag fly. PMS is nothing compared to the hormonal seven-headed beast of the apocalypse that some women become when they’re pregnant. And that’s okay. Your body and mind have been taken over by the parasite you are hosting in your abdomen. Of course other women are going to be the most forgiving. As one friend explains, there’s an “unspoken bond, like, ‘I feel ya sister, you don't even need to tell me how uncomfortable you are, I get it.’”