Just last week I was at the gym working on my 2018 #bodygoals, naturally, which includes getting killer abs when I briefly checked my Instagram (I know, I’m addicted to scrolling), and I saw Khloe Kardashian post a pic of her 6-month-old baby bump. First of all, never scroll through Instagram when you’re at the gym, unless you want to completely squash whatever bit of self-esteem you just worked up.
Second of all, baby bump where, sis? Koko’s post holding her belly looked eerily similar to my tummy after I eat lunch, and not like an all-the-toppings, spring-for-the-extra-guac type lunch either — like a sensible, Revenge Body-approved lunch. But that’s Instagram for ya. But even for Khloe, who just announced her pregnancy, she was doggedly pursued by followers hoping to catch any glimpse of a swollen stomach. This is a disturbing pastime because for at least six months she wasn't actually pregnant.
I’m in no way fat or obese, but the type of work I do has me fully immersed in the celeb-world, where looking at post-baby snapbacks, fad diets, and Kardashian genes and/or docs are part of my daily grind. This is not healthy for someone who doesn’t look like that, a.k.a. me and a majority of the population. In the Insta-age, the pressure is on for us all, even the celebrities, which is what I realized when Karrueche had to put in a disclaimer in her most recent bikini-clad shot.
“No I’m not pregnant, just full,” she captioned the pic of her glistening, taut body. Without reading the caption, I thought to myself, “Now she’s fitspiration for real!” Seriously, Karrueche is au naturel, which you can’t say about a lot of folks living in the spotlight. And have you seen that a** lately? #LittleBootiesMatterToo
It's sad that she has to clarify that her food baby is in fact not a real baby. But again, that’s Instagram for ya. We all get to experience “food babies” from time to time, and if you don’t, then more power to you, but we have to stop accusing women of being pregnant when they are simply just eating. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, national surveys show that an estimated 20 million women in America will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives compared to 10 million men. While both numbers are staggering, the odds of a woman suffering some type of eating disorder are twice as high. Those are not good odds for us.
I’ve never been diagnosed with an eating disorder, but I have caught myself being way harsher on myself than I should, sometimes because of a food baby and many a time because, not. It’s usually a friend, a co-worker or some some rando who tells me I’m lookin’ good that will boost my ego back to a healthy level again. But I do feel that feeding into social media is extremely easy, and having to constantly remind ourselves that our bodies are the bomb dot com is a necessity now more than ever.
I know — much easier said than done. Yet social media’s persuasion powers can sometimes be used for good, and it's the reason I stumbled upon this post from OITNB’s Danielle Brooks, which gave some perspective.
So I’ll leave you with this: Instagram is NOT real life. Food is fuel. Be #HealthyGoals (not body goals). And long live the food baby!
(Photo: Karrueche Tran via Instagram)