Stock footage rarely represents reality. I mean, who smiles while eating a salad with no dressing or croutons? Nobody. Also, why is everyone wearing white? Seriously, I can’t wear white for more than five minutes without spilling something on me. Pregnancy stock images are the worst offenders. In fact, in my opinion, some stock photos of pregnant women should be banned from the internet immediately.
The other day I realized that I only had one picture of me pregnant with my second child. Then I remembered why. My pregnancy was terrible. I had hyperemesis gravidarum, which meant I was vomiting for months. When it seemed to calm down I started to bloat until I was induced for preeclampsia at 37 weeks. I didn’t want to remember my pregnancy, and the last thing I wanted was a picture of me miserable and unhappy. However, I sincerely regret it.
This time around, I made a point of taking and posing for a ton of photos. I wanted to document every minute, from the bad days when I couldn’t keep food down, to the last moments of calm before the storm. My husband captured footage of my first moments with our son who I will treasure forever. I wanted to document what the pregnancy really looked like, not the way it’s portrayed in the media or in ridiculous stock photos.
Most pregnant women don’t have a perfectly smooth, round, airbrushed belly without stretch marks, veins, rashes or dry skin. These images of perfection leave most expectant mothers thinking they’re wrong. Another note to make? Pregnant women have faces. We are not just pregnant torsos, or vessels to objectify. When stock footage includes faces, they typically express one of three emotions: happy, sad, or angry. Which pisses me off, because most pregnant women go through a ton of emotions, and we absolutely don’t need more images of irrational, angry women on the internet. Some seem to fetishize pregnant women in weird ways, portraying a pregnant woman as the innocent angel or the devil in the bedroom, literally.
Honestly, most stock images leave me wondering if they’ve ever seen someone pregnant in real life. They should seriously be banned. For real.