I've taken this role of -mother to be- as an amazing opportunity to connect with my body, in a loving and kind way. Carefully listening to my needs, trying to stay true to a more honest version of myself. Not paying much attention to what I feel doesn't apply to me or my child. There’s an information overload, so many myths about pregnancy, its difficult to distinguish fact from fiction.
My pregnancy got me thinking about my presence on social media, how we feel a need to post every little thing, although its actually healthy to keep some intimacy from the web. And how we feel so influenced by what people post, seeking out an unobtainable ideal of perfection. I'm not against pursuing a better version of yourself, but when unnecessary surgery, intense diets, and unsupervised high risk exercise routines becomes a norm, we need to ask ourselves: Am I doing this for me? Or am I being pressurized to change to get validation from others?
I've been saving this wonderful little secret from social media for 8 months now, because I truly enjoyed telling people the news in person and getting a spontaneous smile, a genuine hug and face-to-face congratulations. The reactions about keeping my pregnancy off the Internet have been varied.
Nowadays if you do not post something on Facebook or Instagram it's as if it never happened. Apparently "when a tree falls in the forest and there is no one nearby to hear it, it doesn't make a sound." It’s a very personal decision and I respect the parents who decide to document everything publicly on the web. But something as personal as a pregnancy would seem to meet nothing more than happy comments and likes, when in reality some women experience the opposite, especially those that are part of the public eye, a criticisms about how exaggeratedly big the belly is or how small the bump is based on how long you’ve been pregnant is never missing from the feed… Or needless comments about what to do or not do, when each woman is so different.
Although I like to share some aspects of my life experiences online, in order to expose and make accessible a little glimpse of my pageant years, and my recent actress and filmmaker shenanigans. I watch what I share. Lately before I make a post I always ask myself how can it affect the person who has access to my content.
During my pregnancy I have been exposed to a number of images and information on social networks that can put a lot of pressure on a woman in this stage, on how you should look and feel. I have concentrated on doing exercises with my coach under the guidance of my doctor, and a routine of prenatal yoga, both have allowed me to take care of my body, my mind and my spirit, without putting emphasis on how I look, I focus on how I feel, preparing myself for childbirth both physically and psychologically. This process is very unique for each woman, each pregnant woman should consult with her gynecologist to know what is appropriate for her case, not to be confused or depressed by what they see or hear out there.
I am at a moment in my life where I do not allow anyone or anything to impose that single body image that is unattainable without sacrificing physical and mental health. I am as I am, and I feel good, I am very comfortable with my imperfect self and it has taken me a lot to get to this point. More of us should be freed of the stress of pursuing an illusory aesthetic ideal promoted by media. More of us should think about the power that an image has, and if we are contributing to that "single model of human beauty", manipulated by advertising and media at the service of beauty industries, "health" and Fashion. Life is about living reality, not about living inside a life you created to please others.
I will close my article with this fragment of the Acento article called Tyranny without Tyrant, written by Juan Tomás Tavares - "If we do nothing, we are supporting that tyranny of appearance in the society of representations. Only when consumers demand the plurality of body image models, based on health criteria and phenotypes, will the market liberate us from the tyranny that subjects so many people to the unnecessary tortures of hunger (in the midst of abundance), routines of extreme physical exercises, mental stress and vain surgical procedures. The concept that beauty lies precisely in plurality and variation, and not in a single model for all people, must be encouraged in future generations. "
To read the Acento Article "Tyranny without Tyrant" click here