Halle Berry and the Problem with Celebrity Pregnancy Rumors

Elise Solé

Halle Berry is pointing to a hearty meal as the source of rumors that at 50-years-old she is pregnant with her third child.

“Can a girl have some steak and fries?” Berry wrote on Instagram Monday in a post that racked up 85K likes, and received comments such as “Great comeback!” and “…There is no such thing as the perfect body.”

A rep for Berry also confirmed to People that the star is not pregnant.

The buzz started on Saturday night when the mother-of-two attended the Butterfly Ball in Los Angeles. Wearing a silver sequined Gosia Baczynska dress with a silver Yeon coat and strappy stilettos, Berry stood on the red carpet cradling her stomach and at other times placing her hands on her hips.

That was proof-positive for social media, which immediately declared Berry “pregnancy goals” and admired her so-called “glow.”

It seems like each time a female celebrity starts a new relationship, breaks up under mysterious circumstances, wears a loose top, or is photographed at an awkward angle, pregnancy rumors swirl. Rihanna, Beyonce, Kate Middleton, Gwen Stefani, Angelina Jolie, Kim Kardashian, and Taylor Swift are just a few stars who have carried imaginary babies.

In March 2011, Amy Schumer responded to claims that she had gained weight by tweeting, “I am not pregnant for those asking. Can’t a girl take a wand without all the accusations?”

And after being hounded for years about whether or not she was pregnant (even throughout her 2005 divorce to Brad Pitt) Jennifer Aniston penned a defensive essay for The Huffington Post titled “For The Record.” Aniston wrote in part, “…I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up. I’m fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of ‘journalism,’ the ‘First Amendment’ and ‘celebrity news.’”

At the heart of the rumors, is a disturbing tendency to reduce women to their physical bodies. It’s not interesting enough that Berry, an Oscar-winning actress, is starring in a new film called Kidnap — what generates interest in her achievements is whether or not she’s pregnant. Or looks that way.

“We pay attention to celebrities because we’re invested in their lives and on some level, feel a need to connect with them,” Jonathan Alpert, a Manhattan-based psychotherapist and author of Be Fearless, tells Yahoo Beauty. “If Halle Berry is pregnant at age 50, that’s interesting to people on a biological level and if she’s not, people may still care that she’s ‘out of shape.'”

Alpert adds, “People may need to simply adjust their expectations.”

Read more from Yahoo Style + Beauty:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day. For Twitter updates, follow @YahooStyle and @YahooBeauty.