Early on a January evening, I sat around my kitchen table with friends, sipping tea and reading magazines. It felt somewhat luxurious to revel in the sizzling gossip of the stars. However, as I scanned the pages, I felt bothered, out of touch. Not just because I had no idea who Vanessa Hudgens was but because everyone had been impregnated.
Their stomachs were planets.
Nicole Richie had apparently been using her baby bump to present herself as “oh-so-maternal.” She wore tops (from Armani’s lesser-known but no-less-desirable maternity line) that showed off the circumference of her stomach. She attended Hollywood parties on the arm of her boyfriend, emitting a celestial glow. She said — tremor in her voice — that she “couldn’t be more excited” for the arrival of their first child.
I was touched, moved even, by this star and her planetary womb. I had addressed a gift package, complete with diaper genie, bonnet and rattle to her publicist’s office. (No matter how earnestly I swore Nicole and I were BFFs, the publicist would not give me the address of the baby shower.) But then I stopped: WAIT A SECOND.
It was an epiphany: A vision came to me.
Epiphany 1.a.) Nicole Richie, 2003, People Magazine. A stint in rehab. This was after Richie had, in fact, been arrested for possessing heroin. (Epiphany 1.b: I realized my attempts to be as thin as her through anorexia would have been much more successful if I’d just hit the needle.)
I held the gift package close to my chest. I was in the throes of an inner struggle: I realized the pregnancy may have been an accident. My overpowering telepathic connection with Richie caused me to realize she had been using heroin/anorexia as her primary means of contraception.
Epiphany 1.c.) “No, no, silly young Kathryn,” said a wise voice in my mind. Probably not, I conceded. The pregnancy must have been deliberate: She was, after all, 30, or 28, or 20 — well, at least 12 years old. Her biological clock had therefore been furiously ticking. Though she probably hadn’t gotten her period in over four years, God, that biological clock was a-ticking. No longer was she a drugged-out “Whore of Hollywood.” Now, she was a blessed Madonna.
Then there was Jessica Alba, FHM’s No. 1 Sexiest Woman in the World 2007, newly pregnant with fiance Cash Warren’s child. In a recent interview with People Magazine, Alba stated she had fears about weight gain: “I try to eat as healthy as possible … [and] exercise. As long as I don’t gain too much [weight], too fast, that’s the key.” Epiphany 2.a.) Um … what? A young child is being brought into the world and the one question People Magazine asks her is if she is scared about gaining weight? Perhaps, for a woman whose career is based around her amazing bod, this should be her primary concern about being a mother. Pregnancy shouldn’t be a fashion statement. Come on, Alba.
Epiphany 2.b.) But then I realized I was being irrational. You can’t be a good mother if you’re fat.
And then there is Jamie Lynn. When the media buzzed about her teen pregnancy — the greatest tragedy since Rwanda — I chuckled to myself. THE FINAL EPIPHANY: She’s the one who’s got it right. Even in dog years, Jamie Lynn Spears is underage. Let’s be practical, because she’s too young to buy Sudafed at Rite-aid, her chance of being a substance-abuser goes way down. Plus, the weight she gains from the baby will do nothing but push her out of a training bra and into a 32-A. FINAL EPIPHANY PART 2) HOTT. And the bonding potential is out of control. She can graduate high school in the same class as her child.
I am going to get pregnant so I can be as awesome as Jamie Lynn. It will be harder for me, of course, as I am 19 and getting old in my years, and men drastically lose interest as soon as soon as the sex is legal.
Kathryn Olivarius is a freshman in Branford College.