Over the many years I have been talking and writing about pregnancy at larger sizes, I have found that many women of size really worry what they are going to look like pregnant...... yet it's very hard to find pictures of fat pregnant women online.
I have searched long and hard for images of women of size during pregnancy, birthing, and breastfeeding to use on my blog and website.
I have found almost no pregnancy and birthing images; I have found a few for breastfeeding (like the one I use for my blog, above right), but even those are hard to find. And often those images are not especially "well-rounded."
Now, of course fat women have been having babies for ages, but apparently there is a cultural taboo against showing it today. If you were looking for images online now of fat pregnant women, you'd be hard-put to find many.
And forget about finding any pictures of fat pregnant women in birth books. That might mean condoning obesity in pregnancy (gasp!).
So if you are a fat woman and want to know what pregnancy or birth as a woman of size looks like, you'd be hard-pressed to find any images, any inspiration whatsoever, anywhere.
This is ironic of course, because fat women were used as fertility symbols in many ancient cultures, like the picture below (from here) of "Goddess Giving Birth," or the famous Venus of Willendorf image.
Of course, many of you fat chicks out there have had babies in the digital age, yet few fat women post their pregnancy pictures online either. Because of body insecurity, fear of harassing emails, and the cultural taboo about being fat and pregnant nowadays, many women of size do not publicize their pictures of themselves pregnant.
I'd like to change that. I'd like to collect a gallery of photos of plus-sized women who are pregnant, birthing, breastfeeding, and parenting.
Right now, I'm especially interested in shots of fat women pregnant and giving birth, because those are the images I get the most requests for and the ones that are hardest to find online, but I'd be happy to have any sorts of pictures.
Let's show the world that fat women DO get pregnant, DO give birth, DO breastfeed, and DO have children and parent just like everyone else.
If you have a photo you are willing to share on my blog, please send me an email at kmom at plus-size-pregnancy dot org (no attachments, please).
You will need to give me permission to use the photo, and you might want to include a few details like how many weeks you were, number of prior pregnancies, a general idea of your pre-pregnancy size (dress size works well), things like that.
Don't send me 150 photos; pick a couple of the best and send those.
I especially want birthing photos because images of fat women giving birth are the hardest to find, and it's important to document that Yes, fat women can and do give birth vaginally too.
That's not to say that I don't want cesarean photos either, because these are important to document too. But if you have photos of yourself giving birth vaginally, I'd especially love to have those.
I am also always looking to add photos of fat women of color, because women of color are often already under-represented in pregnancy and birthing photos.
I have some photos already that I have used in slide shows about plus-sized pregnancy for NAAFA conferences, birth conferences, and midwifery conferences. However, I am still working on getting permission to use these on my blog.
So I don't have all that many pictures yet for my blog, but here's a few, and some links to others.
I have a series of pictures of a woman of size pregnant with twins, showing how her body changed all through her pregnancy. I've posted this video before, but in the interest of having several of these pregnancy photos all in one place, here's the link again.
Here are a series of pregnancy pictures from a dear friend of mine. You know her; I posted about her recent VBAC, and the image at the top of this blog entry is from her website. You can go to her blog to see her recent pregnancy documented in photos:
Labor and Birth
There's also a slide show of pictures of her from a previous pregnancy there, at the bottom of this link.
What about you? Do you have some photos to share?