Days after announcing the end of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, the 39-year-old business mogul took to her Instagram Story feed and Twitter account on Sunday to speak out after she was accused of pressuring pregnant women to hide their bodies.
'To anyone who has an issue with maternity solutionwear, and if you haven't been pregnant before you may not know the struggle of what it's like carrying all of this extra weight the way I did with millions of strong women,' she wrote on the social media platforms.
The mother-of-four clarified that the new line has been designed ‘to support’ not slim expectant mothers.
To anyone who has an issue with maternity solutionwear, and if you haven’t been pregnant before you may not know the struggle of what it’s like carrying all of this weight the way I did along with millions of strong women, @skims maternity line is not to slim but to support.— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) September 13, 2020
'The belly part doesn't slim your belly, it's actually sheer and a thinner layered material compared to the rest of the garment,’ she continued.
'It provides support to help with the uncomfortable weight being carried in your stomach which affects your lower back - and the compression on the leggings help with pain relief caused by swelling.'
The argument in favour of maternity shapewear has been debated for several years and while the science supporting it is varied, many pregnant women find soft and stretchy maternity shapewear provides comfort given that regular bras and underwear aren’t designed for pregnant bodies.
'Being currently eight months pregnant', says Natasha Bird, ELLE's Executive Editor on Digital, 'I can tell you that support-wear like this has been a godsend.
'Despite being physically fit, I've really felt the toll of suddenly carrying so much extra weight in one area of my body. My abs can't function like they used to, in order to keep my core zipped up and my posture on point, so my lower back and hips have suffered as a consequence. Anything that can help me feel a bit more supported - beyond actually having to wear a medical support band - has been of huge relief to me. I lived in underwear like this during the summer. And the shorts part help prevent thigh-chaffing too, which also make life much better! It's not at all about slimming or hiding the bump, it's about supporting your bump and back.'
Given her own experience of pregnancy with her two eldest children North and Saint, Kardashian noted that her new products also provide 'comfort and support that most women need after delivery especially if you are recovering from a caesarean.'
After sharing her posts, many of Kardashian’s fans – notably several pregnant women – shared messages of support, with several congratulating her on recognising the importance of suitable shapewear for expectant and new mothers.
‘That you even have to explain your intention with maternity wear is bananas,’ one user wrote on Twitter.
Another added : ‘Honestly same reason I got one from motherhood I was upset there wasn’t more out there. It made me feel much better especially after my first being pregnant and still having baby weight from the first. It gave me support right where it was needed.’
that you even have to explain your intention with maternity wear is bananas— Jaclynn DeLisle (@JDemaggio1213) September 13, 2020
Honestly same reason I got one from motherhood I was upset there wasn’t more out there. It made me feel much better especially after my first being pregnant and still having baby weight from the first. It gave me support right where it was needed.— Gabbsvay (@_Gabbsway) September 14, 2020
Kardashian’s friend Chrissy Teigen jumped to the mogul’s defence and shared a series of photo from an ‘actual pregnant person’.
'Just wanting to show you and maybe talk a little bit about what pregnancy shapewear is. Basically, the reason I love pregnancy shapewear is because it stops all the folds of my vagina and stomach from eating all other types of underwear,' she said, while wearing a design from the shapewear line.
Teigen discussed her own experiences of wearing shapewear and being pregnant, noting that she dislikes the way conventional underwear ‘rolls inside of folds’ of skin.
‘If you don't like it, don't wear it,’ she said of the maternity shapewear and echoed Kardashian's message that the function of the designs is not to hide a pregnancy of make women appear smaller.
‘Most importantly this is not about creating a body we don't know we have. Like, we're not trying to do anything to trick you, we're pregnant,’ Teigen wrote.
Since announcing her maternity shapewear line on Sunday, Kardashian has received countless negative messages about the designs. Among the criticism was a comment from body neutrality activist and actress Jameela Jamil.
'I will say: I wish we could just normalise just focusing on the inside of a pregnant body, not the outside,' the Good Place star wrote on Instagram.
'You don't need your shape corrected or hidden. You don't need an even more awkward obstacle between you and a p*ss. You just need to try and ride with this miracle and do your best to be as happy/comfortable as is possible within your circumstances. Pregnancy is hard enough, with enough worries already.'
The i_Weigh founder concluded her post, telling her fans that if she 'ever' has a baby, she will welcome 'the stretch marks' and 'new curves' and not 'rush to try and snap back.'
Kardashian announced the news of her new maternity line, which is available to buy on Wednesday September 16, and comes in nine different colour-ways.
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