These celebs were speculated to be pregnant - Why assuming someone is pregnant can add to mental health issues

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Minnie Dlamini and Rihanna. Photographed by Oupa Bopape and Karwai Tang
Minnie Dlamini and Rihanna. Photographed by Oupa Bopape and Karwai Tang
Oupa Bopape and Karwai Tang
  • Society expects women to maintain the same weight throughout their mid 20s's to thirties. 
  • However because of diets and the body changing and adapting to the woman's age, it is not all possible.
  • Here's why assuming women who have gained weight are pregnant can be mentally damaging.

We live in a society that thinks that when a woman in her mid 20s to her 30s gains weight she is pregnant and no other reason like the type of diet she's on or simply her body is changing and adjusting to her age. While this is an issue that exists within the society, celebrity females are not exempt from it. When Grammy award-winning artist Rihanna's weight gain became visible circa 2017, it initially sparked pregnancy rumours and an onslaught of articles about her curvier figure. 

And while she's always managed to retort with sassy and confident clapbacks, it's not fair to make assumptions about her or any woman's reproductive developments just because they don't have flat tums even in the fertile year of 2019 that is so abundant with pregnancy announcements. 

READ MORE| Tumi Morake and 6 other local celebs who have been body shamed for their weight   

This article was in defense of local TV personality Minnie Dlamini Jones, who much like Rihanna, has been the subject of pregnancy speculations on numerous occasions since she tied the knot. 

This was not the first time Minnie who once spoke candidly about her weight insecurities during a radio interview with 5FM talk show host Thando Thabethe, had slammed pregnancy speculations.

Late in 2018, the 28-year-old actress shared sexy snaps of herself while on a desert vacation with her best friend which she captioned, “No matter your size, shape (Or pregnancy rumors) Love your body, celebrate it!”

In another previous Instagram post, Minnie shared a snap of herself in a bikini in which she explained in the captioned how, “thin” she was during that period and that she never wanted to, “to be this skinny again.” 

READ MORE| OITNB star Danielle Brooks says she embraces her body changes and is relishing in its beauty 

Actress Tia Mowry went through the same insensitive comments when she put on some weight in 2015. 

In an interview with Huffpost Live, she said pregnancy rumors are based on assumptions about how she should look and what kind of body she should have.

“Asking a woman if she’s pregnant is a form of body shaming,” she explained.

“We live in a society that is so obsessed with being perfect … Why can’t we just be us?” Before rushing to ask if someone is pregnant or not, consider the fact that she is well aware of her weight gain and is probably tying to work on it. Weather it's true or not that a woman is pregnant, the assumption alone can be damaging to her self-esteem resulting in mental health issues.

READ MORE| Minnie Dlamini slams pregnancy rumours with sexy desert photo shoot  

According to National Council On Aging, there are four societal and practical factors that can lead to having mental health issues when you have gained weight:

- Quality of Life: Being physically unable to do the things they love - such as attend fun events, travel, or visit with friends and family - can lead to isolation, loneliness, and more difficulty coping with life's hardships.

- Weight bias and discrimination: Weight bias refers to the stereotypes and attitudes that define people who have gained weight as unattractive, lazy and undisciplined. These unfavourable misconceptions can be widespread within families, among peers, in the workplace and in medical settings by healthcare providers. They can lead to descriminatory behaviour that affects a person's self-esteem.

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- Poor body image:  Weight bias and poor body image tend to go hand-in-hand. People who struggle with excess weight may also experience anxiety over being judged for how they look.

- Physiological issues: Research suggests that excess body fat and poor eating habits increase inflammatory makers. This heightened inflammation can lead to a higher risk of developing depression and also plays a role in immune system health

READ MORE| Minnie Dlamini slams pregnancy rumours with sexy desert photo shoot  

It’s probably high time we started to learn to respect people’s wombs and their weight – whether they’re in the spotlight or not. Pregnancy assumptions are not only invasive, but they can also trigger insecurities, they can stop a person from wanting to leave the house. 

So until someone explicitly announces that they are pregnant, it's best to assume that they're not. 

Source: National Counsil on Aging

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