Sorry Ladies, There’s No Excuse For Calling Pregnant Women ‘Garbage Disposals’
Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady are pregnant with baby number two. Yay for them. Last week, I took this happy occasion as an opportunity to remind us all of the obnoxiously condescending things that the supermodel said about baby number one.
One such quote went a little like this, “I did kung fu up until two weeks before Benjamin was born, and yoga three days a week. I think a lot of people get pregnant and decide they can turn into garbage disposals. I was mindful about what I ate, and I gained only 30 pounds.” I made the mistaken assumption that we all understood why it’s rude and inappropriate to call other women “garbage disposals.” But to my surprise, we had some commenters who took sides with Gisele on this one.
Melissa said, “The majority of women spend 10 months eating everything within arms reach and then spent the next 2 years on the counch flipping channels and complaining they’re fat…hmmm I wonder why you still look pregnant. … Don’t bash her get up and hit the gym or at least walk to the nearest cheeto bag.”
Angelika agreed, “I think she is right about the garbage disposal comments. Most women use pregnancy as an excuse to pig out and gain crazy amounts of weight. You have a little baby inside you, not a football team. There is no need to eat so much and unhealthy things at that, like Jessica Simpson.”
And CW added, “I agree! A woman only needs to consume a mere 100 extra calories per day. That’s eating a single apple. Yet 90% of the pregnant women I know use the whole “eating for two” excuse to pig out. Then they moan and complain that they cannot lose the baby weight afterwards.”
Holy Judgement Batman! First of all, I would like to admit that with my first daughter, I had no problem eating a little extra. I still maintain that I was pregnant at the best possible time, because I was showing for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I never heard a word about my sneaking second helpings at all those awesome eating holidays. Well, obviously I wasn’t sneaking them. It made pregnancy so much more fun.
Eating some extra caramel apples and peanut butter fudge did not make me a “garbage disposal.” In fact, because I taught Pilates up until month 6, I still didn’t gain a lot of weight. But even if I had, I cannot believe that other mothers would be so judgmental and rude as to insult me for it. Because that’s what’s going to help pregnant women, lots of shame and cattiness.
Listen, we all judge moms a lot. Some called me out for judging Gisele to be a sanctimommy. And they’re probably right. Maybe it does make me a hypocrite. But either way, I believe that calling other moms “garbage disposals’ is rude and inappropriate. It’s hurtful. If someone actually wanted to help those moms make better choices, insulting them won’t.
But that’s not really what sanctimommies are about. They aren’t trying to help, they’re trying to make themselves feel or look better. You noticed that Gisele’s comment about garbage disposals was in comparison to what she did differently. It was saying why she’s better than those moms who eat everything in sight. It wasn’t a statement about how mother’s need to continue considering their nutritional intake. It said, “Look how much better I am than them.”
If we want to have a conversation about nutrition and pregnant women, let’s do that. There are plenty of great examples of people who have that conversation without being offensive. That’s not what Gisele was doing. She was putting down other moms to make herself, a supermodel, look better. And there’s no defense for that.