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Meghan Markle’s bump is none of our business

Meghan Markle’s bump is none of our business

“How will she navigate ‘bump watch’?”

This question was posed in the Guardian in relation to Meghan Markle’s newly-announced pregnancy. Because we’re all watching, right? We’re collectively gawking at Meghan’s abdomen, searching for that first a hint of a bump, wondering if she’s going to be the ‘flaunt it’ or ‘hide it’ type.

But here’s the more important question: should we be?

The article claims that Meghan’s challenge will be “to incorporate a baby bump into the sleek, streamlined identity of the independent-minded modern woman”. This ignores the many actual challenges that Meghan will face during her pregnancy, including trying not to vomit in public, discovering ‘lightning crotch’, attempting to sleep with aching hips and the constant need to pee, and burping in people’s faces unexpectedly. There are more difficult things about carrying around another person inside you than deciding whether you can still get away with wearing a pencil skirt.

Meghan is just barely into her second trimester, yet the Guardian is already making predictions about her maternity fashion choices.

“Meghan will make use of the power of tailoring and find some haven in the privacy that a well-cut coat can afford,” it says. Maybe she will, but it’s really none of our business. Yes, she’s the most public of figures, but that doesn’t give us the right to pass judgement on what she decides to put on her body as it goes through one the most dramatic changes it will ever experience. If, like so many of us, she decides to forgo clever tailoring for high-waisted leggings and oversized jumpers, then that’s her choice. Pregnant women should wear whatever they feel most comfortable and confident in.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I wore nothing but leggings for nearly the entire pregnancy. After a few months of this, I began to question why I had ever worn trousers at all, and indeed whether I ever would again. There’s nothing easier than throwing on a pair of leggings with a jumper dress. Nothing digs into you, you can move around easily, and you look appropriate for work but not too dressed up at the soft play on the weekend. My pregnancy style morphed into my actual style, which has morphed back into my pregnancy style now that I’m expecting my second child. The great thing about not being famous is that literally no one cares how I’m covering my bump, as long as it’s covered – which is as it should be.

Being pregnant can be tough. Being pregnant when the entire world is staring at and commenting on your body must be nearly impossible. Rather than expecting Meghan to be some sort of modern maternity fashion icon, let’s just let her get on with the very challenging business of growing a small human. If she decides to live in giant sweatpants for the next six months because she feels like a beached whale, we should all keep our mouths shut about it.

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