Question: Dear Luise: I have been reading your website for some time. Wouldn’t miss it! Many times I have despaired at the silly, superficial issues people write about and have always been amazed at the respect you give them. Well, now it’s my turn. I can hear others sigh when I tell you what’s bothering me. I am pregnant and I despise the show-all maternity clothes that are currently the style. I’m not ashamed of my shape…I just don’t want to flaunt it. Before I was pregnant, I was embarrassed for pregnant women in tight fitting clothes. Even movie stars insist on wearing them. What’s your take on this? Thanks, Yolanda
Answer: Dear Yolanda: The only way I can really relate to your question is to transpose it to my being overweight. I am fully aware that they are not the same thing…one is pathological and one is healthy and normal. However, they are both, in my estimation, temporary distortions of the everyday norm. (I have to think of my excess weight as temporary!)
It’s not just pregnancy or middle age spread that catches the eye. We are often drawn to anything disproportionate and will stare when that’s the last thing we want to do.
Wearing tight fitting clothes as pregnancy advances is a choice, not a requirement. You don’t have to bow to those styles if they don’t suit you and feel inappropriate. Choosing what to wear when you are overweight falls into the same category because, again, choice is a big factor. Women who are large busted and have smaller waists often look attractive in fitted clothes even when they are overweight. Flat-chested gals who are heavy and tuck in their shirts…display the “pear-look”.
There’s a lot going on here about both self-image and comfort. That’s where this discussion is going. If you are more comfortable with the boxy look, go for it. If you feel your specific dimensions are your business, don’t flaunt them. Do what feels best.
I’m about 20 pounds overweight. I’m not busty and I don’t tuck my boxy shirts in. It’s just a choice I have made that makes me feel more comfortable in my “temporary”, over-weight condition. We are all individuals and no matter what fashion does, we still get to follow our own inclinations.
A woman at term who is wearing a smock still looks like a woman ready to bust…because she is…and she will. If she wants to cover the specifics, that’s her business and now it’s yours. Blessings, Luise