15 December 2008

Just because you're pregnant

and deeply fascinated by your ballooning torso does not mean you should snap photos of your exposed belly (even artistic black-and-white ones) and exhibit them for all the world to see, for the simple reason that not all the world wants to see them. (I once had a friend offer to send me a snapshot of her "torpedo belly" taken while she stood in front of the mirror in her bra and panties; "No thanks" was the gist of my response.)

Just because you're pregnant

and find breastfeeding the most beautiful, natural thing on earth, and think every woman should feel such a magical bond with her little one, does not mean you should have others snap photos of this most intimate moment and exhibit them on your webpage or on magazine covers for all the gawking world to see, and assume that the rest of us will feel the same magic and wonder upon seeing your offspring feasting on your exposed teat.

Maternity is the most sacred and glorious aspect of the feminine; the vulgar take this beauty and make exhibits of it, like the smitten, indecorous husband who divulges too much about sex with his wife, or the evangelical who blabs incessantly about his close, personal relationship with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, yet has never experienced Holy Communion and reception of the Eucharist. Of course, we live in an age of exhibitionism--modesty being a long lost concept--in which one's every act is downloaded onto YouTube, and even taking one's life is not considered meaningful unless live-streamed to a virtual audience. (Physician, heal thyself! you cry--and to that I respond that this blog is an extension of approximately 10% of myself, the rest remaining hidden behind a fog of mystery. No, my dear readers, you have not figured out Christine, nor shall you, so far as I can help it.) The truth remains that foisting one's deeply meaningful, personal experiences indiscriminately onto an overcurious public necessarily results in reducing those experiences to something less meaningful, less personal.

So, my fellow expecting mothers, take heed; your husband may adore your expanding midsection, with its dimples and stretch marks, or find you at your most womanly when nursing, but do not assume the rest of the world to be so eager or so kind. By all means, take your photos, paste them into your scrapbook, look back upon them with fondness and nostalgia in future years--but there let them remain, and kindly spare the rest of us the spectacle.