Many women shy away from discussing things like amniotic fluid, weight gain, and what it feels like to be so close to labor that you feel like a bowling ball is pressing against the inside of your vagina. But not Jessica Simpson! The soon-to-be mom is proving to have a good sense of humor about all the craziness that happens to women’s bodies during pregnancy—and even labor—which is refreshing, given that most people seem uncomfortable discussing these things outside of a purely clinical context. And for that, I’d like to thank her…even if I’m not crazy about the fairly awful food habits she’s been boasting.
On Monday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, she vividly described the sensation of being eight months along and ready to burst:
I feel like I have a bowling ball sitting on my hoo-ha! Apparently I have a lot of amniotic fluid, so whenever my water breaks it will be like a fire hydrant!
OK, so she basically compared her vagina to a fire hose, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But there isn’t really a delicate way to talk about amniotic fluid, is there? And why should we tiptoe around something that so many women will deal with experience in their lifetimes?
She also spoke about her pregnancy with Jay Leno last week, telling him in no shy terms about the fact that she and fiance Eric Johnson weren’t planning on having a pre-wedding baby. Which some might consider tacky, but again, let’s face it: This is how a lot of babies are made, despite the fact that it isn’t the fairy tale story of conception that we’d prefer to believe in.
Not all of her confessions have been quite so positive; I know many will disagree with me on this, but every time she talks about her diet during pregnancy, my eyes involuntarily roll to the back of my head and I cringe. The future Weight Watchers rep told Leno about her “slut brownies,” which are problematic for several reasons, not least of which is the fact that they’re basically just triple-layered junk food that’s super unhealthy for her and her baby. As are the buttered pop tarts she proudly told fans she’s been eating while pregnant. Yes, of course everyone deserves to indulge now and then, but as future moms and their doctors will tell you, gaining too much weight while pregnant can have serious health consequences for both mother and child. And eating a healthy, balanced diet is, if anything, more of a priority for women when they’re knocked up.
But despite my misgivings, Simpson’s recent string of interviews about the baby that’s about to burst out of her body have made me—dare I say it—like her a little more. For all the talk in politics and pop culture lately about women’s health, reproductive rights, and pregnancy, there’s surprisingly little talk—or knowledge, I think—of what pregnancy is really like. Full-grown, well-educated men still seem confused about how reproduction works, and many smart adult women (at least the ones I know) are surprisingly void of knowledge about what pregnancy and labor are really like, until they’re actually going through it themselves. Isn’t it about time that everyone grow up and get a sense of humor about women’s bodies, as much as we have about men’s?
Jessica Simpson seems to think we should, and for that, I have to say: Thank you.