The Vagenda

Styling Out Your Pregnancy, the Grazia Way

And thus, with a crushing sense of inevitability, we turn to this week’s Grazia.
Although Grazia is yet to be renamed ‘Cara Delevigne Sycophantry Monthly’, it’s only a matter of time. However, I’m less interested in that (please, give the girl a holiday, she’s everywhere) than I am in Grazia’s ‘Baby on Board’ feature, which teaches you how to ‘style out’ your pregnancy because ‘from Kate Middleton’s bikini bump to Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy wardrobe, bumps have never been so scrutinised.’ 
First up, whose bumps? Their bumps, not your bumps. The only people who give a toss about your bump are a.) you, b.) your partner, if you have one, which is by no means necessary these days, and c.) your gyno. Perhaps occasionally d.) the old lady at the bus stop given to unsolicited touching, but all that can be put paid to with a well-pitched GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME (a la The Vagenda’s co-editor’s mum), but other than that, I can categorically say that no one else gives a shit about your baby bump. Femail couldn’t give a flying fuck, FYI.
So now that we’ve got the fact that absolutely no paparazzi are scrutinising you or your rapidly growing foetus, let’s have a look at all the stuff you don’t have to do to ‘style out’ your pregnancy. Grazia believes that pregnancy is a condition that ‘can seem like a conspiracy against glamour’, but – GOOD NEWS, PREGGYBROS – you can totes have a spray tan. Words to keep you warm while you’re wondering what that weird discharge is and why your tits hurt so much. 
Appazza K-Middy cancelled her weekly spray-tan while pregnant, but she ‘didn’t need to’ according to tanning expert (!) James Whitely. ‘It’s perfectly safe to have a spray tan during pregnancy’ he assures you, as a nation of women sigh with relief. Being pregnant is NO EXCUSE for giving yourself a break from looking orange and streaky while smelling of biscuits.
I love how Grazia thinks the only conceivable reason why the Duchess of Cambridge (or any other pregnant woman) would cancel her spray tan is because it might be unsafe. It could have been for any other number of reasons, including:
a.) Hyperemesis gravidarum, i.e. you’re so busy clutching a toilet bowl and weeping that you can’t go anywhere
b.) The smell of biscuits makes you feel even more sick
c.) It’s still snowing, in April
d.) You can’t be arsed
Those options just don’t exist in Grazia land. Luckily, you can also wear heels and get highlights while pregnant. Also, waxing. Apparently shaving your legs or bikini area can become ‘awkward with a bump’, so it’s best to wax your vag instead. You don’t want to be ‘mortified by your big bush when giving birth’ (that one’s from a Mumsnet board on the topic- did the commenter not think that maybe a gyno might have spent most of his/her professional life looking up women’s fannies, and that a few pubes are unlikely to faze him/her? I mean, they watch women shit themselves on a daily basis, FFS), even if it does hurt like nothing on this earth because your skin’s more sensitive when pregnant. Seriously, if you want to shave, do it. Or don’t. Whatever. But magazine articles that make you feel as though you SHOULD when you’ve got other, more important shit going on, can fucking JOG ON. 
Elsewhere in the feature, there’s some good news. Pregnancy provides an excellent excuse for a new haircut. YAYNESS.
At this point in the article, Grazia recommends that, in order to get rid of my post-baby mum tum, I use something called a Gowri Wrap. Beloved by such empty, rigid-faced husks as Gwyneth Paltrow, it’s apparently an ‘elasticated corset that helps restore your pre-pregnancy stomach’. Sounds like a hoot. I can’t help wondering, though, if it works on post- food baby bellies too. Beats having a massive dump.
Which is exactly what you’ll be doing if you follow the Grazia pregnancy food plan, involving as it does shitloads of nuts, avocado, oats and brown rice. That’s if you manage to read the words ‘Eat for you, not for two’ without vomiting violently first. 
To finish off, we have some pregnancy exercise advice that has me laughing my tiny little non-pregnant arse off. Namely: ‘try walking briskly along the bottom of the swimming pool’. Thanks for that, James Duigan, pregnancy trainer to the stars. I’ll be sure to try that anytime I feel like looking a MASSIVE TWAT in front of everyone at Highbury pool, before sinking and drowning at the bottom of the deep end, killing both myself and my hypothetical unborn child. 
Other than that, it’s all about squats. Squat and style it out, ladies. 
I would be genuinely interested in hearing what some pregnant women have to say about this article. From what I can gather from friends and relatives, having a baby usually has the effect of making you a lot more comfortable with your body (I guess when you’ve spent nine months with your naked bum in the air and your legs in a pair of stirrups that tends to happen). This article, however, seems to be on its way to undermining that by colonising the only period of time where a woman is seriously allowed to relax a bit and no one can say ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Which has me begging the question: is it worth it?
Next week: how to ‘style out’ your abortion. 

5 thoughts on “Styling Out Your Pregnancy, the Grazia Way

  1. Oh for the love of God. So much to say about this I don’t really know where to begin.

    First thing to point out is that any of this only applies to the first pregnancy – when there’s already one little kiddliwink running around there’s no time to actually think about your own precious self at all (I spent my 29th birthday preggers and nursing my sick husband and son. Still a sore point). One’s appearance barely even registers on the ‘things to care about’ radar, second time around.

    As for body hair – yeah, you just stop caring. Or I did, but then I’m a right-on feminist. Women Who Read Magazines might care a bit more about that sort of thing, I dunno. Once you’ve had a membrane sweep (imagine a smear test but with someone’s hand instead of the speculum) you feel you have no secrets from the world.

    ‘Eat for you, not for two’? Eat what you flaming well want! Jeez, I’m still pissed off about when my (male) GP told me I had ‘quite a good weight gain’ and that it was ‘ok to diet during pregnancy’. Oh bog off! I don’t stay hungry for anyone, even my unborn children!

    Why does anyone even have a spray tan? It is beyond me.

    I work with a lot of women, many of whom are mothers, and the received wisdom is that the post-baby paunch is there to stay. Forwarned is forearmed, so knowing it would never ever go away, I’m at one with my saggy tummy. Take your freaky wrap and go to hell.

    To be fair, it’s very easy to feel ungainly and a bit animalistic and ugly during pregnancy – it’s not all radiance and blossoming and suchlike – so it is nice to try to feel a little bit glam once in a while over the nine months (and the following years!), but feeling the need to ‘style out’ the entire pregnancy is just yet another way to fail as a woman, frankly.

    I wrote this on the subject of the postnatal body, if anyone’s interested:

  2. Oh honey, if you have time to be thinking about the size of your bush you are not even close to giving birth. Dilate a few centimetres and it’ll all be forgotten.

  3. the idea you should be ‘mortified’ by your pubic hair, especially when giving birth = barf. also, how can people claim that shaving is entirely their choice and they only do it to please themselves when shit like this is in magazines, adverts, tv programmes etc all the time. i wouldn’t care as much if you occasionally saw ‘… in case you’re mortified by your lack of pubic hair’.