A Cincinnati radio show hosts a popular annual event that offers women in their third trimester the chance to win $1,000 to help pay for baby expenses. All the moms-to-be have to do is strut around in bikinis, proudly sporting their baby bumps.
However offensive you may find this whole concept, I guarantee you that the coverage of this annual contest is much more offensive than the contest itself. Peggy Wang of Buzzfeed wrote, “I think I’d be much more into a bikini contest featuring women with giant tumors.”
I’m no fan of bikini contests for any woman—whether a teenager, a pregnant women, or a senior citizen. But I’m certainly not offended by the sight of another woman’s pregnant belly. The crass judgment of Wang’s comment is exactly what makes me opposed to beauty pageants of all kinds in the first place. And comparing the sight of a pregnant stomach to a tumor is practically medieval.
On the other hand, I think blogger Sondra Santos LaBrie is taking her admiration for pregnant women who are willing to bare all a bit too far. Here’s her take on the pregnant bikini contest:
Women in their third trimester of pregnancy typically fall into one of two categories: those who refuse to undress in front of a mirror, and those who embrace this nine months – and their body - wholeheartedly. These proud women evolve into baby-carrying sex symbols that others admire and adore.
I’m certainly pleased to see pregnant women and mothers viewed as sexy, but I’m pretty sure that no one’s openly admired “sex symbols” since the 1960s. And LaBrie makes it sound as if women who don’t feel like sex goddesses during their third trimester are uptight squares.
Personally, I don’t really care what a woman does with her body in the third trimester–so long as it’s not binge drinking–but I do shudder to imagine the future schoolyard teasing of these contest participants’ unborn children. Or maybe this kind of thing is par for the course in Cincinnati….