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Do You Feel Sexy When You're Pregnant?

…or do you feel like an elephant?

If you’re more about the latter, don’t feel bad. You’re not alone. There’s a good chance that every pregnant woman you know has felt that way at some point. Including pregnant singer Lily Allen, who bemoaned feeling fat and elephantine in a recent interview.

Allen’s pretty early in the process. But is it ever too early to feel uncomfortable about your body when you’re pregnant? The early months can be even tougher. Your pregnant belly has not emerged into a smooth dome of sensuality.  Instead, it might look more like your own belly during your Freshman Fifteen phase. Even in the prime of pregnancy, the second, so-called “sexy” trimester, many women don’t feel particularly comfortable with their bodies.

“I still think I’m fat. Right now I’m worrying about how I’m going to lose weight after the pregnancy. I feel like an elephant, but I do get the occasional sexy pregnant day where I think I look great,’ said Allen.

So what makes a sexy pregnant day a sexy pregnant day?

Yesterday’s top tweeted pic (warning: NSFW) was of a very pregnant and somewhat topless woman staring down the camera in an obviously sexual way. The meme was originally launched by a guy who was making fun of it. “#Aintnothingsexyabout” accompanied the photo. I’m not sure if I agree with the guy, or that all of the millions of people who viewed that picture today do either. But the rash of grossed out responses are a good example of why pregnant women can have a hard time feeling comfortable in their sexual skins.

The past 20 years have been a huge emancipation for pregnant women’s sexuality. 20 years ago, there was no such thing as a sexy pregnant woman, at least not in the mainstream’s eyes. Today, we’ve got photos of hot celebrities in bikinis at six or seven months along. (Never nine). We’ve come a long way, baby mamas. But along with this freedom has come a certain expectation. Now we all want to look like Heidi Klum when we’re pregnant, not just when we’re not. It’s great that we get to be sexy when we’re pregnant. But it’s not so great that we feel like we have to be sexy when we’re pregnant. Pregnancy used to be a breather in the endless feminine quest for hotness. Now it’s just another day at the body-image-anxiety office.

I think it would be really nice if women (not just pregnant women, but maybe especially pregnant women) could feel sexy because they feel good about themselves, and if they could feel good about themselves whether or not their bodies fit into a certain shape and size. Pregnancy is such a complicated time for sex, both emotionally and physically. I wish it were easier for us to focus on how we feel instead of how we look.

Do you worry about whether you’re a sexy pregnant woman or not?

photo: www.bellyoflove.com/flickr

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