During the pandemic my perception of other people’s timelines is completely off kilter. Mandy Moore’s pregnancy went by in a blink and yet I feel like Ashley Tisdale has been pregnant for three years. She’s probably due very soon. This is Ashley’s first baby, and she hasn’t spoken much about it, which is why it’s weird that it feels like it’s been so long. But I appreciate that she’s bringing up pregnancy subjects many others don’t. She discussed plantar fasciitis that she developed while pregnant. I didn’t get it while pregnant but immediately after giving birth and thank gawd I was still wearing heels every day because I could not put a flat foot on the ground for months. Ashley recently penned an essay for frenshe in which she discussed being ashamed of her pregnant body at the start of her pregnancy, even though she loved her body for growing a baby.
I haven’t gotten the whole warm and fuzzy feeling about my pregnant body being beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, I am so proud of my body and I’m so grateful to be able to create a home and grow my little one.
However, seeing my body look so different is still a little startling to me. It’s like I don’t fully recognize myself and almost like an out-of-body experience. Thoughts like, “Is that really me?” come to mind. I think it comes down to body acceptance vs body love. I think that you can love your body, no matter what shape or form, but it’s the acceptance part that trips me up a little.
I don’t know what my body will be like after the baby comes, but I do know I’m going to give it time, let it heal, and take really good care of it. I wanted to share this because I’m sure that like a lot of other people, I felt ashamed that I was uncomfortable at first. Yet, it’s important to honor how you feel and understand that everyone has a different experience with pregnancy.
I understand what Ashley is saying. I don’t think I ever felt it as acutely as she is because I was never hired for or paid to maintain my appearance. Ashley mentioned that people have commented on her size, asking if she’s sure she’s not having twins and maybe she’s farther along than she thinks. I got that too. I was huge, but my weight was healthy so my size didn’t bug me. I don’t know why because I’m usually so sensitive to weight comments. But I definitely stopped feeling sexy. I remember trying to dress as such one night, close to my due date. It was sort of our last night as a couple before we became parents. One look in the mirror and I barked out in laughter. But I’ve known women, especially living in LA, who’ve really struggled with their changing appearance during pregnancy. I think Ashley makes an excellent point about body acceptance vs body love.
I think it’s important Ashley and others discuss things like this. We’re still peddling the Mother supreme complex to women and gawd forbid some poor woman feel pregnancy or childbirth is less than the most perfect experience. I don’t have much advice on to give here but I leaned into my maternity style. I never felt sexy, but I was still stylish. There are so many maternity looks for women today, including really chic and comfortable maternity jeans. And I couldn’t afford the fancy stores either. Although there are plenty of well-priced maternity stores and lines, consignment and second-hand are wonderful options for maternity clothing because the clothes are barely worn. Ashley is focusing on the fact she’s creating life to overcome how she feels about her new body shape. I dressed my bump to feel better about it. Maybe some of our other moms have some suggestions as well. But if you’ve been struggling with this new version of you, like Ashley said, not everyone has to have the same experience, so give yourself a break.
Photos via Instagram