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Kylie Jenner pregnancy rumours have been doing the rounds for a few days now, and although the 20-year-old reality star has yet to confirm she’s expecting her first child with her boyfriend Travis Scott, that hasn’t stopped the media from launching into full “bump-watch” mode.
“Kylie Jenner gives fans the first glimpse of her bump,” teased one headline, “Kylie flaunts her rumoured baby bump,” shouted another, “Is this Kylie Jenner’s baby bump,” posed yet one more.
Over on social media fans speculated that her lack of a “bump” proved she wasn’t actually pregnant at all.
In an Instagram photo posted on Sunday, Kylie posed alongside her best friend and a giraffe (as you do!) with her hand on one hip and flashing the tiniest sliver skin on her stomach, leading to a debate in the comments about whether or not this was the first official glimpse of her “bump” or if the whole pregnancy thing was just a rumour.
Indeed the conspiracy theories about her pregnancy or lack of have already gone into overdrive – she’s Kim Kardashian’s surrogate, Kris Jenner engineered the pregnancy (or rumour of) due to the disappointing ratings of Kylie’s reality show, ex-boyfriend Tyga is the baby daddy. You get the drift.
It’s hardly surprising the world is now focussed on Kylie Jenner’s stomach.
But while the speculation might seem like a harmless bit of fun, it could in fact lead to something altogether more serious.
Though Caitlyn Jenner has reportedly spoken out about the pregnancy, Kylie is yet to confirm the news herself, but the pursuit of photographic evidence to prove it is already off the scale. And if she is pregnant it is only set to get worse because the focus on the size and shape of her stomach will continue for the next six or so months.
How much weight will she put on during her pregnancy? Should she be working out while pregnant? Is her bump too big/too small for how far along she is in her pregnancy? And on, and on…
But there’s a very real danger that such scrutiny could lead to bump-shaming. Body changes during pregnancy can make even the most confident of Kardashin/Jenners feel insecure about their size. And if your bump is constantly under the scrutiny of the media and subject to clickbait headlines, bump-comparison is inevitable.
Not just for Kylie, but also for other pregnant women who will inevitably compare the size and shape of their own bumps.
But bumps appear at different times during pregnancy and grow at different paces and no two baby bumps are ever the same.
“Things like how much fluid there is around the baby, the size of your placenta, and the position your baby is lying in are key factors in determining the size and shape of your bump.”
The number of pregnancies you’ve had can also have an impact on bump size.
“A mothers stomach muscles also change depending on how many children she has had. Typically a mother will have stronger, tighter muscles with her first baby making her abdomen appear smaller. The muscles become more lax the more babies you have.”
“A woman’s stature and fitness level are also factors that will significantly impact on the size of your bump,” Natalie continues.
Let’s not forget also that the labelling of Kylie’s so-called “baby bump”, which could in fact turn out to be nothing more than the result of bloating, or a big lunch, could be highly damaging and objectifying, for both Kylie herself and other women.
Already social media is awash with women comparing themselves and their own ‘non-pregnant’ stomachs to that of the reality TV starlet.
“If she looks pregnant, I must be carrying triplets FFS,” one woman wrote on Twitter.
Have we learnt nothing from Jennifer Aniston’s impassioned plea for everyone to stop speculating about the size of her non-existent “baby bump”?
Tired of her body being analysed for signs of pregnancy, last year the actress issued a powerful statement to the world’s press begging for the scrutiny to end.
“For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up,” the fiercely private actress wrote in a blog post on The Huffington Post. “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.’ ”
“The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing. The way I am portrayed by the media is simply a reflection of how we see and portray women in general, measured against some warped standard of beauty.”
Knowing the Kardashian-Jenners, the world will know soon enough if another baby is on its way. But until then, let’s just stop scrutinising Kylie’s body for signs of a bump shall we?
Because bump-watching may be fascinating, but it’s also pretty damaging.
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