If a woman happens to be wearing an unflattering dress– Don’t ask if she’s pregnant.
If she seems a little bloated and has gained a little weight– Don’t ask if she’s pregnant.
If you just get that inexplicable wave of female intuition-– Don’t ask if she’s pregnant.
If she looks one-hundred-percent-without-a-doubt pregnant-– Don’t ask if she’s pregnant.
Because there’s a good chance she isn’t.
And even if there wasn’t a single ounce of malicious intent, those three words may do a world of damage that you’ll never know. Perhaps she tries to laugh it off when the comment is made, but you won’t see her hours later on the floor of her apartment curled up and sobbing until her chest throbs.
You don’t know about her persistent weight struggles. How obsessive rituals involving eating and not eating have consumed a ridiculously large portion of her adult life. How she has been plagued by bad body image and secret eating disorders since 15. How she vacillates only between staying in complete control and spinning madly out of it.
You don’t know that this one comment will cause her to isolate herself out of shame and disgust, too embarrassed to partake in normal summer activities. The idea of putting on a bikini will be laughable and she’ll avoid shopping, mirrors and taking pictures at all cost. She cancels dates and begins to shy away from men altogether just to avoid the prospect being naked in front of them.
You’ll never know how this will inevitably lead to months of obsessing, restricting, and over-exercising. Going on juice cleanses and water fasts, chain smoking and using diet pills to quell the hunger pains.
We must understand the power of our words. And more importantly, that a woman’s body is not a topic of discussion; it isn’t a mere specimen to be dissected and scrutinized. Whether she has lost or gained or you suspect she’s pregnant, it simply isn’t your place to comment on it to her or to anyone. Trust me, when I am pregnant you will all know. Until then, use your brain, exercise a little restraint and keep your mouth closed.