he online body-shaming trolls have been out in full force this week, offering unsolicited opinions on the bellies of not one, not two, but four well-known models who are moms-to-be: Blac Chyna, Candice Swanepoel, Tess Holliday, and Hannah Polites (of Australia).
Blac Chyna was the target of nasty comments when this photo turned up on a celebrity fan page. (Photo: Instagram)
The online body-shaming trolls have been out in full force this week, offering unsolicited opinions on the bellies of not one, not two, but four well-known models who are moms-to-be: Blac Chyna, Candice Swanepoel, Tess Holliday, and Hannah Polites (of Australia).
“I think I looked like that when I peed on the stick,” noted one of the commenters on Polites’s Instagram photo, in which she appears in a black bra and underwear with a barely there bump, noting that she is six months along in her pregnancy. Other choice comments include, “She’s tiny,” “I’m actually worried about the baby!” and “pregnant whe-re?”
Also in the shamed-for-being-thin-while-pregnant category was Swanepoel, the beloved Victoria’s Secret Angel, who posted a black-and-white photo on Wednesday to announce she would be having a boy. “Um, is she actually preggas?” asked one of the thousands of commenters (most of whom, in all fairness, complimented the model’s beauty). “That’s what I look like when I eat food,” noted another.
Hannah Polites brought out the haters by looking “tiny” in this six-months-pregnant shot. (Photo: Instagram)
On the other side of the discussion is Holliday, a U.K. plus-size model who posted arecent pregnant photo.
“Just because we’re plus size, doesn’t mean we have to prove that we’re healthy, just as someone who is smaller than us or average size doesn’t have to prove they are healthy,” wrote the size-26 Holliday, quoting herself f-rom a recent Telegraph profile. “‘We should be able to exist in our bodies. I am technically healthy but my body is no more valid than someone’s who isn’t.’ I was 7 months pregnant in these photos & loved every moment.” Many of her 1,200-plus commenters, however, disagreed, including the one who noted, “This is not a healthy weight no matter how long you shopped for a doctor to tell you that. You’re a mom your kids deserve for their mom to be healthy and there for the long haul.”
Tess Holliday, a size-26 model in the U.K., was pelted by criticism following her posting of the pregnancy photo. (Photo: Instagram)
Similarly, Chyna faced harsh criticism after a photo of her in a snug jumpsuit and out of makeup was posted on a celebrity-fan Instagram page. Commenters called her “huge,” “gross,” and “so ugly,” with one actually suggesting she “would get an a** reduction.”
But the future wife of Rob Kardashian shot back with a comment of her own: “To all you people out there with negative comments and insecure words (obviously because you have nothing else to do but criticize the next), I AM HAVING A BABY! Exactly what do you expect to see?! If I walked out in makeup and heels everyday to be beautiful to your means I WOULD BE MISERABLE AND UNHAPPY which are two vibes I refuse to transfer to my little one.”
Model Candice Swanepoel announced that she was having a boy by posting this photo on Wednesday, bringing out mostly supportive comments but plenty of unnecessary mentions of her body size. (Photo: Instagram)
Nasty size comments directed at pregnant women can be particularly damaging, according to Claire Mysko, CEO of the National Eating Disorders Association and the author of Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat?: The Essential Guide to Loving Your Body Before and After Baby. “Pregnancy is always a time of such vulnerability and insecurity for so many women, so it makes these types of comments even more toxic,” she tells Yahoo Beauty. “Women are generally given the message that their physical appearance is somehow connected to their self-worth, and that can be really amplified during pregnancy.” Having your weight criticized, especially so publicly, can lead to self-esteem issues, Mysko adds, and for women already facing troubles with body image or disordered eating, she says, “it can be triggering for some much deeper issues.”
The criticisms are toxic “across the board,” whether they deem someone to be too big or too small, she says — but she makes a point to acknowledge that those who are a larger size face additional stress. “It’s important to acknowledge that weight stigma and weight discrimination are real, and documented, so there’s an added layer that we don’t see in women of smaller weight,” Mysko says.
Bottom line? Ditch the negativity. And consider following the advice of this pro-Chyna commenter: “Some people can be so mean, wow, so many unwanted and unneeded opinions. Like she really cares what you guys have to say? Just worry about yourself and stop leaving stupid comments. If you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say it at all, haters.”