The XX Factor

Department of Feminist Outrage: Pregnant Padma (Gasp!) Gains Weight!

Last year my former Jezebel colleague Moe Tkacik picked up on a new and horrifying development in the way that tabloids discuss women’s bodies: Somewhere along the line,” pregnant” turned into merely “fat .” In an insane-o hybrid of baby and skinny fetishization, famous women are encouraged to gestate, but God forbid they stop working out. I was reminded of Moe’s savvy observation when I saw this headline on People ‘s Web site about Padma Lakshmi: “Padma Lakshmi Doesn’t Mind Baring the Baby Weight.” And what’s inside gets worse. “One of the reasons I think I’ve gained weight pretty quickly during my pregnancy is that I’m not exercising as much as I do normally … I can’t. I’m feeling tired, and I have this business to run,” Padma explains … as if anyone needs to give an explanation for putting on weight while pregnant. Don’t worry, she still poses half-naked on the most recent cover of Page Six Magazine , though they make sure to cover her “burgeoning belly.”

I don’t blame Padma, I’m sure the interviewers asked her about her pregnancy weight gain, and she felt she had to answer. I just wish the questions didn’t occur to people to ask in the first place.