Is pregnancy shame a thing in your 20’s

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I’m not pregnant – don’t freak out! Although, would I be embarrassed if I were?

I’ve recently got engaged which makes you think a lot about the future. I’ve decided who my person is going to be and now we have to think about how we want to design our lives together. Eventually children will play into that but the thought of me being pregnant right now makes me cringe.

I feel like ingrained scaremongering of teenage pregnancies has followed me into my 20’s and now as a 24 year old, safely out of this teenage danger zone I still feel it.

I’ve been trying to pin point what it about the idea of pregnancy that embarrasses me. Is it the thought of people thinking I’m “fat”? Is it a social class thing? Is it a virgin pride thing? Is the BBC right that my teenage years are still upon me? I don’t know!

I can’t help but notice when friends around my age get pregnant they seem to go incognito. TheirΒ Instagram accounts become private, the suddenly delete hundreds of friends of FacebookΒ and their photos hide their growing stomachs.

Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy was a hot debated topic shrouded in mystery. Compared to her sister Khloe, aged 33 who has posed with her bump, appeared on chat shows and generally broadcasted her pregnancy; Kylie remained shtum. Many publications have commented on Kylie being 20 years old and how that would affect her parental ability.

I think social media itself has a unique influence of how women share their life once pregnant. We already know that on instagram people showcase their lives through rose-tinted glasses (petition to start as a filter name). The photos on Instagram are often one note. Heavily filtered, similar angles and familiar subject matter. The public votes on what they like to see and vote with their silence on what’s not desirable material. It’s frankly not the norm to be posing with a giant belly. Instagram is the place for perfection and desirability.

Kylie Jenner in particular made herself the focal point of desire. The pictures she took of herself were lustful and attention seeking. As a majority monogamous society it’s viewed as odd to sexualise a pregnant woman. If Kylie had continued to pose in crop tops and CK briefs with-child I’m pretty confident the kickback would have been immense.

Perhaps pregnancy shame is that shift in identity. That lack of control over your body and the way people look at you. Maybe because I’m young my identity is fixed more firmly on my appearance than I’d like to admit. If I were older, developed a few wrinkles and exceeded in other areas of my life, I’d get over myself. After all having a child forces you to love someone more than yourself.

I’ve got to say, when the pregnancy part is over, I definitely see a lot of baby pictures.